As one of 19 freshmen who have served our country in uniform in the 116th Congress, I’m honored to be part of the largest class of freshman veterans in a decade. Veterans bring a unique perspective and much-needed voice at the table in Congress.
I’m grateful to each veteran in my class for his or her service to our nation. My freshman class has seven Democrats who served. Unfortunately, a recent vote revealed that too many of them are willing to put party priorities before our brothers and sisters in uniform.
Last week, five of the seven voted against my “motion to recommit” — a simple amendment that would ensure illegal aliens don’t get our latest medical technology before our veterans. H.R. 3525, the bill they all voted for, would require the Department of Homeland Security to set up an Electronic Health Records system for illegal aliens. The Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs don’t have that same technology yet — and won’t for several more years.
Let me repeat: These Democrats voted for healthcare technology to be delivered to illegal aliens within the next 90 days. But our veterans and service members won’t get those benefits for years.
Sixteen Democrats voted for my amendment. The five Democratic veterans — Reps. Max Rose, Jason Crow, Chrissy Houlahan, Elaine Lucia, and Gil Cisneros — voted against it.
Our country’s veterans need members of Congress who shares their values. And they need people who will stand for them — and with them — in Washington. There’s a common misconception that some Democrats — especially veterans — are able to blaze an independent path in Congress. Unfortunately, that’s just not true. While they may promise to be moderates or independents, when they get to Washington, they fall in lockstep with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
While we all honor them for their service, we must take a sober look at their political record. Almost all of them promised to be independent-minded and promised they would not just do what the extreme Democratic leadership told them to do. Of the seven, every one of them voted for the unconstitutional H.R. 1, the massive debt ceiling increase, and all but one voted for the gun-grabbing H.R. 8. And each one voted for this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, a partisan bill that cut personnel accounts for the troops by $1.2 billion.
Regardless of how one feels about the underlying illegal immigration, we should all be able to agree that illegal aliens shouldn’t be put in line before our American heroes — the men and women who put their lives on the line for us and wrote a blank check to our country, cashable all the way up to their very lives.
These five Democrats will continue to campaign as independent-minded veterans. Unfortunately, as history has shown us, we can’t trust the rhetoric. When they get to Congress, they’ll fall right in line, just as they did with this latest vote.
Rep. Mark Green (@RepMarkGreen) is a physician, businessman, and combat veteran who represents Tennessee as a Republican in the United States House. He serves as the Republican freshman class president.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.