WASHINGTON, D.C. â€“ U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) joined his colleagues and Veterans’ advocates in fiercely opposing a provision in the Republican spending proposal to cut 10,000 housing vouchers that would keep homeless veterans off the streets next year.
In a letter sent to his Nevada constituents, “The Republican’s proposed cut would eliminate funding for the successful HUD/VASH grant program that provides homeless veterans with a year-long rental voucher,” said Sen. Reid.
â€œThese cuts, according to the Senator, â€œwould seriously threaten efforts by Congress and the Obama Administration to end homelessness among our veterans, and would leave local providers without the resources they rely on to fight veteran homelessness.â€
â€œThis extreme budget proposal would halt a program that has successfully taken 600 Nevada veterans off the streets and put them into safe, permanent housing,â€ he adds.
â€œHomelessness among veterans is a serious problem.Â Our nationâ€™s veterans were there when we needed them, and they put their lives on the line to protect our freedom.Â We need to make cuts to our nationâ€™s budget, but we cannot balance the budget on the backs of veterans who have already sacrificed so much for our country,â€ he avers.
Balita-Las Vegas Edition contacted freshman Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV, 03), a military veteran himself who ran on Veterans’ issues among other things, for comment.
Dan Littell, spokesperson for Cong. Heck, in response to Balita-Las Vegas Edition’s inquiry, categorically denied Senator Reid’s statement.
â€œThe cut was to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, not specifically to the veterans housing vouchers. Congress let the Department of Housing and Urban Development decide how best to adjust to their new budget guidelines. The people making this claim are assuming the Department of Housing and Urban Development will cut that money from the vouchers program. There is no cut to veterans housing vouchers,â€ he insists. (Zen S. Laluna)