The proof is in the pudding

When it comes to legislation benefiting veterans, Wally Herger has been AWOL

The author is a retired Air Force colonel who lives in Cottonwood. He was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Congress in 2010 and 2012.

Over the years, some folks have praised Congress-man Wally Herger’s commitment to our military and its veterans. And no one would argue that Rep. Wally Herger helped make the veterans’ cemetery and home a reality, that his district staff has provided constituent services to veterans, and that he supports local events honoring our veterans.

But, how’s he done legislatively? To what extent has he supported proposed legislation affecting military personnel?

According to the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), not particularly well.

MOAA is an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan organization whose focus includes military personnel matters, especially in regard to legislation affecting the military. It does not track individual legislators’ voting records, believing that “co-sponsorship records are more telling of an elected official’s stance and position.”

Several random checks of MOAA’s “Take Action” database ( reveal Herger’s reluctance to co-sponsor proposed military legislation.

A check of proposed bills tracked by MOAA on Oct. 16, 2010, showed him co-sponsoring zero out of 24 bills. A second check on July 16, 2011, showed him putting his name behind one out of 16 bills. And then, as of Nov. 12, 2012, Herger gets credit for co-sponsoring one out of 24 proposed bills.

Realistically, no one expects Herger to support every piece of veterans’ legislation, especially given the country’s dire financial situation. But, by any reasonable measure, there’s clearly room for improvement.

A sampling of the bills Herger could have co-sponsored but chose not to includes the Reserve Retirement Credit for Active Duty Service since 9/11; Surviving Spouses’ Benefit Improvement Act of 2009; Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act; Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act; Military Spouse Job Continuity Act of 2010; Retired Pay Restoration Act; CHAMPVA Children’s Protection Act of 2011; and the Honor America’s Guard and Reserve Retirees Act.

Rubbing salt into the wound, Herger apparently felt the need to co-sponsor such “critical” bills as the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act; Designation of U.S. Postal Service located in Eureka, CA as the “Sam Sacco Post Office Building”; Girl Scouts USA Centennial Commemorative Coin Act; and the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act (source:

Heck, even Sen. Barbara Boxer has a better record, currently co-sponsoring nine out of 14 bills supporting our military.

Dare I say, my friends, the proof is in the pudding.