Politics

Madison Cawthorn mocked for wishing US would spend $40bn on veterans when VA budget is $301bn



Representative Madison Cawthorn from North Carolina was mocked on social media after he wrote that he wished the US would spend $40bn on veterans instead of on Ukraine.

“Imagine if we spent $40 Billion on veterans,” the representative tweeted.

Political commentators later mocked Mr Cawthorn by pointing out that the country’s Veteran Affairs (VA) department had requested a total $301bn budget.

The department’s website states that the budget request for the 2023 fiscal was a 13.3 per cent increase compared to the enacted levels from the 2022 fiscal.

Mr Cawthorn received several scathing responses to his tweet.

Ron Filipkowski, former federal prosecutor and current defence attorney, wrote: “In addition to pensions and other benefits, the VA budget alone last year was $270 Billion, and have requested an increase of $31 billion this year for a total of $301 Billion. Since he is on the Veteran’s Committee, I assume he knows that.”

Others accused the North Carolina representative of a discrepancy between his tweet and his actions.

“A couple of weeks ago you voted against a bill expanding health care for veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxins,” wrote one user.

Another pointed out: “Imagine voting against 12 bills that would benefit veterans and then posting this tweet.”

“You use them to score political points but then once they’re actually in front of you they’re on their f****** own,” the user commented.

Don Moynihan, a professor at Georgetown University, said implementing Mr Cawthorn’s wish would mean cutting the VA budget “by about 300 billion”.

Meanwhile, The Daily Beast reported that conservatives in North Carolina, along with outgoing senator Thom Tillis, are openly saying they want Mr Cawthorn gone.

The report also mentioned the Republicans “tolerated” the North Carolina representative until very recently when he said in a podcast that conservatives in Washington DC engage in “drug-fueled orgies”.

Mr Cawthorn has since then been at the receiving end of embarrassing disclosures.

“The reality is Cawthorn has spent the last year making enemies, from Capitol Hill to the corner of North Carolina that he represents,” the report said.

“The congressman’s most recent string of unforced errors – from the coke-and-orgy comments to disparaging Ukraine’s president as a ‘thug’ – merely helped to consolidate a powerful coalition of longtime foes and former friends,” it added.



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