GOP Reps Draw Intense Backlash After Proposing Benefits For Americans Serving In IDF

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Guy Reschenthaler and Ohio Republican Rep. Max Miller introduced legislation in May that would amend certain veterans’ benefits programs to include Americans who served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The legislation drew intense backlash from conservatives and veterans alike.

The bill, H.R. 8445, “would extend the benefits of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) to American citizens serving in the Israel Defense Forces,” according to a release on Reschenthaler’s website.

The Daily Caller contacted both Reschenthaler’s and Miller’s offices regarding the legislation with a number of questions, to which Miller’s office refused to comment and Reschenthaler’s office did not directly answer.

The Caller reached out to well over a dozen congressional offices, but none wanted to comment on the record, despite there apparently being frustration with the bill amongst the conference. A senior GOP source on the Hill said there had been complaints about the bill among Republicans, but no lawmakers wanted to comment on the record.

Here Are The Questions The Caller Asked Reschenthaler and Miller’s offices: 

  • Can you or the Congressman give some specifics about what benefits this confers?
  • Would an American fighting for the IDF get GI bill benefits, or be treated in VA hospitals?
  • What would you or the Congressman say to critics who view this as a case of encouraging dual loyalty?
  • Lastly, does the Congressman think the current treatment of American veterans is in a good place that doesn’t need further improvement?

Reschenthaler’s office refused to answer any of the Caller’s questions and instead responded with this:

“This bill provides certain legal protections related to lending and employment under the SCRA and USERRA. For example, if someone were to deploy with the IDF, their employer couldn’t fire them, and lenders couldn’t foreclose on their house. The legislation does not touch the post-9/11 GI bill, VA benefits, or medical care.”

Miller’s office also declined to comment.

On Reschenthaler’s website, Miller has a statement that reads: “As our closest ally in the Middle East continues to defend itself against terror, many brave Americans have decided to lend a hand. I’m proud that this legislation extends important protections to those Americans who chose to risk their lives in the fight against terror.”

Les Sandusky, a former Special Ops soldier, explained to the Caller that no legislation should incentivize service to a foreign country and that if U.S. citizens want to serve for another country it should not be on the U.S. to provide for that person. (RELATED: ‘Amateur Hour’: Biden Admin’s Floating Gaza Pier Problems Go From Bad To Worse)

“No bill should encourage or incentivize in any way shape or form service to a foreign country, government, or non-state actor. If people want to serve another country it should solely be the responsibility of that country to provide equipment, meals, housing, salary, etc, and not the American tax payer. Also if your country chooses to go to war it should be on your own country to do so without foreign aid. If this is not possible then I would suggest those nations revisit their diplomacy protocols and take a better look at their foreign policy,” Sandusky said.

“I think this further highlights subversion in our government — many people would call the allegation antisemitic,” he continued. “Nobody in government should possess dual citizenship and definitely should be removed from office immediately for wearing the uniform of a foreign military.”

Sandusky added that while there could be improvement to the current treatment of American veterans, he said that can only be done by holding lawmakers in leadership positions accountable.

“Improvement should always be sought within any government program. Throwing a bunch of money at stuff doesn’t always get you the results you need. We may need to focus on leadership and holding those in leadership positions more accountable. There needs to be clear cut minimum standards and there must be incentive to do better and consequences to not achieving reasonable goals.”

Others, on Twitter, expressed their frustration with the proposed piece of legislation.

“So now we are going to extend military benefits to US citizens fighting for a foreign country? We can’t even take care of those who fought for our flag. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills, or maybe the USA has become a vassal of Israel,” Gregory Thomas, Managing Director of 375 Park Associates wrote.

“Two GOP congressmen, Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) and Max Miller (R-OH), have introduced a bill that would extend the same taxpayer benefits to Americans serving in the IDF as if they were serving in the US Military. Absolutely disgraceful to our own service members…,” activist and veteran Greg Stoker wrote.

“Holy crap! Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) and Rep. Max Miller (R-OH) have introduced a bill that would extend the same taxpayer benefits to Americans serving in the IDF as if they were serving in the US military!,” journalist Michael Tracey wrote.

There has been no movement on the bill in the House since it was introduced in May.