GOP Rep. Claims He ‘Was Proud To Support’ GI Bill That He Voted Against

mike-turner.gifLast week, President Bush signed into law a new GI Bill that doubled educational benefits for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Though Bush had steadfastly opposed the bill, he attempted to steal credit for its passage, and praised Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for helping, despite McCain’s own vocal and ardent opposition to the bill.

Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) was one of the many conservatives who followed Bush and McCain’s lead. On May 15, Turner joined the majority of House conservatives and voted against the GI Bill.

But now that Bush and McCain have reversed themselves, Turner has followed suit, writing an op-ed in his hometown paper today praising the bill and claiming — three times — that he was “proud to support” it:

It is our responsibility to provide [veterans] with more than just recognition for their service: we must also make certain that they have the skills they need to accomplish their next mission once they return to civilian life. That is why I was proud to support recently passed legislation that expanded the Montgomery GI bill to provide more funding for veterans to receive a college education. […]

With the huge impact the GI bill has had on America and the debt that we all owe our nation’s veterans in mind, I was proud to support recent legislation that dramatically expanded the scope and scale of the educational benefits available to our veterans. […]

I am proud to have supported legislation that will directly provide this benefit for military families and look forward to further working on their behalf in the future.

Turner has a history of being on the wrong side of veterans’ issues, receiving a dismal grade of C from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association in 2006, and has “abysmal 29% and 34% lifetime scores from the Disabled American Veterans and Retired Enlisted Association, respectively.” Like other conservatives, Turner is trying to erase his opposition to the popular measure — and just like Bush, it’s clear Turner “blew it” on the GI Bill.