FACT CHECK: Sherrod Brown Has Always Supported Our Armed Forces And Is A Champion For Veterans In Ohio, And Across The Country

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FACT CHECK: Sherrod Brown Has Always Supported Our Armed Forces And Is A Champion For Veterans In Ohio, And Across The Country

JOSH CLAIMS: Sherrod doesn’t support our troops and voted against troop funding.

THE TRUTH:  Sherrod has always stood by our troops and made sure they have the resources and assistance they need while serving and once they return home. 

1. Since 2007, Sherrod has served on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

2. Sherrod has always fought to make sure our deployed troops have the resources they need. [Vote 230, 12/15/11]

3. Sherrod voted for the largest increase in veterans’ funding in history, including $2.6 billion for veterans’ healthcare and medical research. [DPC, 11/5/07; CQ; Vote 316, 9/6/07]

4. Sherrod has fought to increase job opportunities for returning soldiers, including introducing the Hiring Heroes Act as part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act. [S. 951, Library of Congress; H.R. 674, Library of Congress; CQ, Vote 204, 11/10/11; Senate Veterans Affairs Committee,11/10/11; Plain Dealer, 1/18/12]

Sen. Brown Was Responsible For Legislation Requiring Remains Of Fallen Soldiers Be Delivered To Airports Convenient To Families.  In December 2007, The Columbus Dispatch wrote “Brown also is on the Veterans Affairs Committee, and he met with countless numbers of veterans across the state to hear their concerns about medical care and benefits. He was responsible for legislation requiring the Department of Defense to deliver the remains of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan to airports convenient to their families, not just major hubs often hundreds of miles away.”  [Columbus Dispatch, 12/23/07]

Sen. Brown:  Denying Funding For Troops In Iraq “Would Not Bring Them Home Any Sooner And Could Put Them In Even Greater Danger.”  In June 2007, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported,  “On the eve of their Memorial Week recess, the Democratic Congress ceded to the Republican in the White House the power of the purse by providing money to continue the Iraq war without a deadline for troop withdrawal.  There were exceptions – Ohio Democratic Reps. Dennis Kucinich, Betty Sutton, Tim Ryan and Marcy Kaptur voted no, and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones missed the vote because of the death of her father. But Sherrod Brown, the Democratic senator who usually rails against the war, voted for the Bush version.  Brown said afterward that denying money for troops ‘would not bring them home any sooner and could put them in even greater danger.’”  [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 06/03/07]

Brown Cosponsored Hiring Heroes Act Which Was Part Of VOW To Hire Heroes Act Signed Into Law In 2011.  Sen. Brown was an original cosponsor of S. 951, the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011.  The bill was incorporated in the VOW To Hire Heroes Act, which Sen. Brown voted for and which was signed into law in November 2011.  [S. 951, Library of Congress; H.R. 674, Library of Congress; CQ, Vote 204, 11/10/11; Senate Veterans Affairs Committee,11/10/11; Plain Dealer, 1/18/12]

VOW To Hire Heroes Act Would Improve Transition For Veterans To Civilian Life, Expanding Education and Training Opportunities And Offer Tax Credits To Businesses That Hire Qualified Veterans.  According to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act will:

• Improve the Transition Assistance Program (TAP): The VOW to Hire Heroes Act will make TAP mandatory for most service members transitioning to civilian status, upgrade career counseling options, and resume writing skills, as well as ensuring the program is tailored for the 21st Century job market.

• Help Facilitate Seamless Transition:  This bill would allow service members to begin the federal employment process prior to separation in order to facilitate a truly seamless transition from the military to jobs at VA, Homeland Security, or the many other federal agencies in need of our veterans.

• Expand Education & Training: The VOW to Hire Heroes Act provides nearly 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras and wars with up to 1-year of additional Montgomery GI Bill benefits to qualify for jobs in high-demand sectors, from trucking to technology.  It also provides disabled veterans up to 1-year of additional Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits.

• Translate Military Skills and Training:  This bill will also require the Department of Labor to take a hard look at what military skills and training should be translatable into the civilian sector, and will work to make it easier to get the licenses and certification our veterans need.

• Veterans Tax Credits:  The VOW to Hire Heroes Act provides tax incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans, and up to $9,600 for hiring disabled veterans, if the veteran has been looking for work for six months or longer. [Senate Veterans Affairs Committee,11/10/11]

Brown Supported Largest Increase In Veterans’ Funding In The History of the United States.  “This year, Senate Democrats provided the largest increase in veterans’ spending in the history of the United States. In the Fiscal Year 2008 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (VA) Appropriations bill, Democrats advanced a $3.7 billion increase above the President’s budget request for the VA, including a $2.6 billion increase for veterans’ health care and medical research.” [DPC, 11/5/07; CQ; Vote 316, 9/6/07]

ONCE TROOPS WERE COMMITTED, BROWN FOUGHT TO MAKE SURE THEY HAD THE RESOURCES THEY NEEDED

Voted for Amendment Giving Bonus to all Troops Serving in Iraq or Afghanistan (2003). On October 17, 2003, Brown voted for a Stupak (D-Michigan) amendment providing a $1,500 bonus to all troops serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.  The amendment would have cost $265 million, and Stupak proposed to pay for the bonuses by reducing funding to import oil into Iraq.  The amendment failed 213-213.  Two Democrats voted against the amendment and 14 Republicans voted for it.  [Roll Call 554, HR 3289, 10/17/03]

Brown Voted To Authorize $662.4 Billion In Defense Spending Including $115.5 Billion For The Wars In Iraq And Afghanistan.  In December 2011, Senator Brown voted in favor of the adoption of the conference report on the bill that would authorize $662.4 billion in for defense programs in fiscal 2012, including approximately $115.5 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would authorize $248.4 billion for operations and maintenance; $153.7 billion for military personnel; $13 billion for military construction, family housing, and base closings; and $33 billion for the Defense Health Program. It would authorize a 1.6 percent pay raise for military personnel. The measure would require terrorism suspects to be held in military, rather than civilian, custody. The requirement would not affect “existing criminal enforcement” operations. The measure would prohibit the transfer of a detainee to a foreign country until the Defense secretary certifies to Congress the country meets certain security and judicial standards. It also would call for new sanctions on financial institutions that do business with Iran’s Central Bank.  [Vote 230, 12/15/11]

Voted for $368 Billion Defense Spending Bill (2003) But Voted Against House Passage of the Bill. In September 2003, Brown voted for the conference report on the fiscal year 2004 Defense Appropriations Bill.  The bill passed 407-15.  It appropriated $368 billion in spending for the Department of Defense.  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drove the passage of this record appropriations bill.  The bill was in line with request from the White House, which had reached an early agreement to cut $3 billion from President Bush’s initial requested budget.  Brown voted against House passage of the Defense Authorization Bill.  The bill passed the House 399-19.  [Record Defense Bill Clears Congress, “Congressional Quarterly Almanac Plus, 2003, 59th Annual Edition;” Roll Call 513, H.R. 2658, 9/24/03; Roll Call 335, H.R. 2658, 7/8/03]

Voted for $417 Billion Defense Spending Bill (2004) And Voted For House Passage As Well. In July 2004, Brown voted for the Fiscal Year 2005 Defense Appropriations Bill.  The bill passed 410-12.  The bill approved $417.5 billion for the Department of Defense.  This amount was slightly less, $1.6 billion, than the amount requested by President Bush.  The bill included $25 billion in emergency war appropriations that the Pentagon could use to cover operational shortfalls in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Brown also voted in favor of House passage of the Defense Appropriations Bill.  The bill passed the House 403-17.  [Quick Action on Pentagon Funding, “Congressional Quarterly Almanac Plus, 2004, 60th Annual Edition;” Roll Call 418, H.R. 4613, 7/22/04; Roll Call 284, H.R. 4613, 6/22/04]

Brown Voted For Emergency Fiscal 07 Appropriation Bill For Iraq, Afghanistan And Disaster Aid.  In March 2007, Senator Brown voted for a motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill that would appropriate approximately $121.7 billion in emergency funding for fiscal 2007, including $96 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, $4.2 billion for agriculture disaster aid and $3.1 billion for military base realignment and closure. It would require the withdrawal of most U.S. troops in Iraq by 2008. [CQ; Vote 117, 3/28/07]

Brown Voted For Emergency Fiscal 07 Appropriation Bill For Iraq, Afghanistan And Disaster Aid.  In March 2007, Senator Brown voted for passage of the bill that would appropriate approximately $123 billion in emergency funding for fiscal 2007, including $97 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, $4.2 billion for agriculture assistance and $3.1 billion for military base realignment and closure. It would also set as a goal of withdrawing most U.S. troops in Iraq by 2008. It would also raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour over two years and provide $8.3 billion in small-business tax incentives. [CQ; Vote 126, 3/29/07]

Brown Voted For FY 2007 Emergency Supplemental Conference Report.  In April 2007, Senator Brown voted for the adoption of the conference report on the bill that would provide $124.2 billion in fiscal 2007 emergency supplemental funding, as well as set a goal of redeploying most U.S. combat troops in Iraq by the end of March 2008, if the president can certify the Iraq government is meeting benchmarks, and by the end of 2007 if he cannot. The measure would provide $95.5 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, $6.8 billion for hurricane recovery and relief, $3.5 billion in crop and livestock disaster assistance and $2.25 billion for homeland security anti-terrorism programs. It also would raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour over two years and provide $4.8 billion in small-business tax incentives. [CQ; Vote 147, 4/26/07]

Brown Voted For FY 2008 Defense Authorization.  In September 2007, Senator Brown voted for a motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Levin, D-Mich., substitute amendment no. 2011 that would authorize $648.3 billion for defense programs in fiscal 2008, including $127.5 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would authorize $143.5 billion for operations and maintenance; $109.9 billion for procurement; $122.9 billion for military personnel and $74.7 billion for research development, testing and evaluation. [CQ; Vote 357, 9/27/07]

Brown Voted For FY 2008 Defense Authorization.  In October 2007, Senator Brown voted for passage of the bill that would authorize approximately $672 billion for defense programs in fiscal 2008, including about $151 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill would authorize $143.5 billion for operations and maintenance; $109.9 billion for procurement; $122.9 billion for military personnel; $22.5 billion for military construction and family housing; $22.5 billion for defense health care programs; and $74.7 billion for research development, testing and evaluation. It would authorize a 3.5 percent pay increase for military personnel. As amended, the bill also includes $23.6 billion for the procurement of 15,200 additional mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles. It also would make violent crimes that cause bodily harm based on the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability punishable by a fine and up to 10 years in prison, and punishable by a life sentence if the victim dies, is kidnapped or subjected to aggravated sexual abuse. [CQ; Vote 359, 10/1/07]

Brown Voted To Appropriate $50 Billion In Emergency Supplemental Funds For Wars In Iraq And Afghanistan For FY 2008 And Require Troops To Begin Deploying Within 30 Days Of Enactment.  In November 2007, Senator Brown voted for a motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed to the bill that would appropriate $50 billion in emergency supplemental funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for fiscal 2008. The bill would require troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq within 30 days of enactment, with a goal of withdrawing most troops by Dec. 15, 2008. [CQ; Vote 411, 11/16/07]

Brown Voted For FY 2008 Defense Authorization Conference Report.  In December 2007, Senator Brown voted for adoption of the conference report on the bill that would authorize $696.4 billion for defense programs in fiscal 2008, including $189.5 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would authorize $142.8 billion for operations and maintenance; $119.7 billion for military personnel; $23.7 billion for military construction and family housing; and $23.1 billion for the Defense Health Program. It would authorize a 3.5 percent pay increase for military personnel. [CQ; Vote 433, 12/14/07]

Brown Voted For Supplemental Appropriations Bill Providing $161.8 Billion For Wars In Iraq And Afghanistan.  In June 2008, Senator Brown voted for a Reid, D-Nev., motion to waive the fiscal 2008 budget resolution with respect to the Coburn, R-Okla., point of order against the Reid motion to concur in House amendments to the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the bill that would appropriate $161.8 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and $24.7 billion for domestic programs. [CQ; Vote 161, 6/26/08]

Brown Voted For Motion To Concur In House Amendments For Supplemental Appropriation Providing Funding For Wars In Afghanistan And Iraq, Military Construction, And Relief From Midwest Flooding And Hurricane Katrina Victims.  In June 2008, Senator Brown voted for a Reid, D-Nev., motion to concur in House amendments to the Senate amendment to the House amendments to the Senate amendment to the bill that would appropriate $161.8 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including $95.9 billion for military operations for fiscal 2008 and $65.9 billion for fiscal 2009. It would provide $24.7 billion for domestic programs, including $2.7 billion for Midwest flood relief and $5.8 billion for fiscal 2009 to rebuild levees destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. It would provide $4.6 billion for military construction, and $10.1 billion over two years for the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and international food aid. The bill also would bar permanent bases in Iraq and require the Iraqi government to match reconstruction aid. It would provide for a permanent expansion of education benefits for post-Sept. 11 veterans, extend unemployment insurance benefits for 13 weeks and place a moratorium through March 2009 on six Medicaid regulations proposed by the administration. [CQ; Vote 162, 6/26/08]

Brown Voted For $91.3 Billion Supplemental Appropriations Bill To Fund Wars In Iraq And Afghanistan And Pandemic Flu Preparations.  In May 2009, Senator Brown voted for a motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill that would appropriate $91.3 billion in emergency supplemental funds for fiscal 2009, including funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and pandemic flu preparations. [CQ; Vote 200, 5/21/09]

Brown Voted For $91.3 Billion Supplemental Appropriations Bill To Fund Wars In Iraq And Afghanistan And Pandemic Flu Preparations.  In May 2009, Senator Brown voted for passage of the bill that would appropriate $91.3 billion in emergency supplemental funds for fiscal 2009, including funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and pandemic flu preparations. It would provide $73 billion for the Department of Defense, $6.9 billion for state and foreign operations and $1.5 billion to address potential pandemic flu. It would provide $5 billion in budget authority for about $108 billion in funding for new commitments to the International Monetary Fund. It also would bar the use of funds in the bill to release detainees at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, into the United States. It would ban the disclosure of certain photographs related to the treatment of individuals detained by the U.S. military after Sept. 11, 2001 under the Freedom of Information Act. [CQ; Vote 202, 5/21/09]

Brown Voted For $105.9 Billion Supplemental Appropriations Bill Conference Report To Fund Wars In Iraq And Afghanistan And Pandemic Flu Preparations.  Adoption of the conference report on the bill that would appropriate $105.9 billion in emergency supplemental funds for fiscal 2009, including funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and pandemic flu preparations. It would provide $79.9 billion for defense funding, $10.4 billion for foreign aid and stabilization programs and $7.7 billion to address potential pandemic flu. It would provide $534.4 million for $500 per month in additional pay to military personnel in extended enlistments, $5 billion related to International Monetary Fund activities and $1 billion for a program to encourage consumers to trade in their cars for new, more fuel-efficient vehicles. It also would bar the use of funds in the bill to release detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, into the United States. [CQ; Vote 210, 6/18/09]

Brown Voted For FY 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill.  In October 2009, Senator Brown voted for passage of the bill that would appropriate $636.3 billion in discretionary spending for the Defense Department in fiscal 2010, including $128.2 billion for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The total includes $154.1 billion for operations and maintenance, $108 billion for procurement, and $78.4 billion for research and development. It would provide $28.3 billion for the Defense Health Program and $124.8 billion for military personnel. It would fund an active duty end strength of 1.4 million and a reserve component end strength of 844,500. Congressionally directed spending items in the bill for certain for-profit entities would be subject to acquisition regulations for full and open competition. [CQ; Vote 315, 10/6/09]

Brown Voted For FY 2010 Defense Authorization Conference Report.  In October 2009, Senator Brown voted for adoption of the conference report on the bill that would authorize $680.2 billion in discretionary spending for defense programs in fiscal 2010, including approximately $130 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other operations. It would authorize $244.4 billion for operations and maintenance; $150.2 billion for military personnel; $24.6 billion for military construction, family housing, and base closings; and $29.3 billion for the Defense Health Program. It would authorize a 3.4 percent pay raise for military personnel. It would prohibit detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from being transferred to U.S. soil until the president submits a plan to Congress and consults with the governors of affected states. It would extend, through 2010, bonus and special pay for military members, and make disabled retirees eligible for one year of concurrent military retirement and veterans disability payments. It would extend federal hate crimes laws to cover offenses motivated by a victim’s gender identity, sexual orientation or disability, and would prohibit attacks on military personnel based on their military service. [CQ; Vote 327, 10/22/09]

Brown Voted For Cloture On $33.5 Billion Supplemental Appropriations For Iraq, Afghanistan, $5.1 Billion For FEMA And $13.4 Billion In Mandatory Funds To Compensate Vietnam Veterans Exposed To Agent Orange.  In May 2010, Senator Brown voted for a motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the committee-reported substitute that would provide $58.8 billion in supplemental funds for fiscal 2010, including $33.5 billion for the Defense Department for the addition of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan, $3.6 billion for Afghan and Iraqi security forces and $4.9 billion for Defense Department procurement. It would provide $5.1 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for costs of past disasters and $13.4 billion in mandatory funds to compensate Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange. [Vote 171, 5/27/10]

Brown Voted For Brown Voted For Cloture On $33.5 Billion Supplemental Appropriations For Iraq, Afghanistan, $94 Million For Recovery Efforts In BP Oil Spill, $5.1 Billion For FEMA And $13.4 Billion In Mandatory Funds To Compensate Vietnam Veterans Exposed To Agent Orange.  In May 2010, Senator Brown voted for passage of the bill that would provide $58.8 billion in supplemental funds for fiscal 2010, including $33.5 billion for the Defense Department for the addition of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan, $3.6 billion for Afghan and Iraqi security forces and $4.9 billion for Defense Department procurement. It would provide $94 million for recovery efforts related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It would provide $5.1 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for costs of past disasters and $13.4 billion in mandatory funds to compensate Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange. [Vote 176, 5/27/10]

Brown Voted For Cloture On $58.8 Billion Supplemental Appropriations Bill.  In July 2010, Senator Brown voted for a motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the bill that would provide $58.8 billion in supplemental funds for fiscal 2010, which would largely fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also would provide $22.8 billion in additional domestic spending. [Vote 219, 7/22/10]

Brown Voted To Authorize $662.4 Billion In Defense Spending Including $115.5 Billion For The Wars In Iraq And Afghanistan.  In December 2011, Senator Brown voted in favor of the adoption of the conference report on the bill that would authorize $662.4 billion in for defense programs in fiscal 2012, including approximately $115.5 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would authorize $248.4 billion for operations and maintenance; $153.7 billion for military personnel; $13 billion for military construction, family housing, and base closings; and $33 billion for the Defense Health Program. It would authorize a 1.6 percent pay raise for military personnel. The measure would require terrorism suspects to be held in military, rather than civilian, custody. The requirement would not affect “existing criminal enforcement” operations. The measure would prohibit the transfer of a detainee to a foreign country until the Defense secretary certifies to Congress the country meets certain security and judicial standards. It also would call for new sanctions on financial institutions that do business with Iran’s Central Bank.  [Vote 230, 12/15/11]

Brown Voted To Authorize $662.4 Billion In Defense Spending Including $115.5 Billion For The Wars In Iraq And Afghanistan.  In December 2011, Senator Brown voted in favor of the adoption of the conference report on the bill that would authorize $662.4 billion in for defense programs in fiscal 2012, including approximately $115.5 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would authorize $248.4 billion for operations and maintenance; $153.7 billion for military personnel; $13 billion for military construction, family housing, and base closings; and $33 billion for the Defense Health Program. It would authorize a 1.6 percent pay raise for military personnel. The measure would require terrorism suspects to be held in military, rather than civilian, custody. The requirement would not affect “existing criminal enforcement” operations. The measure would prohibit the transfer of a detainee to a foreign country until the Defense secretary certifies to Congress the country meets certain security and judicial standards. It also would call for new sanctions on financial institutions that do business with Iran’s Central Bank.  [Vote 230, 12/15/11]