At a press conference held by the right-wing Tea Party organization FreedomWorks, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) suggested doing away with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs healthcare system.
In an unpatriotic and un-American moment of lack of awareness, the Donald Trump loyalist asked:
Is it savable? I mean, why not abolish the VA? Take all of the money that we are otherwise spending and go to an any willing provider system within our communities, and then if people get bad care, they can vote with their feet.
Matt Gaetz suggested abolishing the Veterans Administration healthcare system instead of improving it.
Gaetz: “Why not abolish the VA?” pic.twitter.com/nIpoVF4E95
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) September 30, 2022
Gaetz has been a frequent, and vocal, critic of our nation’s military, which has led to heated confrontations with military veterans and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in April 2022.
“This is the most capable, the most combat critical force in the world, and it has been, and it will be.” – Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin
At the spring’s 2023 Defense Budget Request congressional hearing, Gaetz went head-to-head with our nation’s top defense expert within the administration and had his rear handed to him by Secretary Austin after criticizing our country’s armed forces. This prompted Austin to accuse Gaetz of being “embarrassed by his country,” adding that he was “sorry.”
That exchange led to veteran Richard Ojeda posting a video crushing Gaetz—condemning the Florida congressman for disrespecting the military community and those who served.
Frankly, I don’t know how anybody can hold their composure talking to this sick pedophile, anti-American, insurrectionist who voted to throw away your democracy and pledges his undying worship to the orange wanna-be dictator. And int he process, spitting on our very constitution. Under no circumstances should we have to put up with Matt Gaetz in our Congress.
Ojeda isn’t alone in his outrage, disgust, or condemnation.
With his constant attacks on the United States Armed Forces, it’s surprising to find that Rep. Gaetz not only sits on the House Armed Services Committee but the Subcommittee on Military Personnel.
The group Homefront Fidelity Project has advocated for Gaetz’s removal from the HASC, even filing a 44-page complaint less than two weeks after the Capitol attack, for which the Republican representative reportedly asked a pardon for, writing:
It is evident from the Congressman’s copious public statements that he fancies himself a disruptor in the national security arena, despite having no prior military service or relevant expertise. It should go without saying that defense policy is no place for amateurs, self-styled “firebrands” or political hacks. The stakes are simply too high, for both our nation’s security and the men and women who risk their lives to protect it.
"Our review of @mattgaetz's tenure on @HASCDemocrats reveals a staggering pattern of shirking his oversight duties, politicizing the military, & using his official communications to sow domestic unrest, spread disinformation & undermine federal law enforcement."
— Quinn Daniels (@MightyQuinnUSA) February 26, 2021
In December 2019, Gaetz was confronted by a member of the anti-Trump Veteran’s group, Combat Defense, during the then-President’s first impeachment trial for attempting to extort Ukraine, accusing the Rep. of violating his oath. The same oath is taken by those enlisting to serve in our nation’s military.
He objected to the veteran’s assertion that oath is a sacred one. According to Newsweek, “I take exception with the premise of the question that [a lawmaker’s oath of office] is ‘sacred,’ but I’d say it’s super important, but not necessarily sacred,” Gatez said.
Those of us who served feel differently. pic.twitter.com/QaQrTkG6fw
— Common Defense (@commondefense) December 17, 2019
No congressman, it’s the American people and our brave veterans who object to you.
Occupy Democrats reached out to Gaetz’s Democratic opponent, Rebekah Jones for a comment on the incumbent’s statements, she said:
The commitment this country made to our veterans will not be erased by the likes of Matt Gaetz. Gaetz’s continued attacks and disrespect for our active and former service men and women should be a major red flag for voters here and send a clear message: Matt Gaetz doesn’t care about our military men and women. He only cares about finding ways to profit from the sickness of others.
“Matt Gaetz’s recent comments on abolishing the VA reflect his ignorance of and resentment for our service men and women, who depend upon the VA systems for health care, among other benefits,” Jones added.