In a rare showing of bipartisan unity, Republican Congressman Will Hurd from San Antonio and Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso held a joint meeting Monday to talk about veteran's affairs.
About two dozen veterans filled a meeting hall at VFW post 76 in San Antonio. They wanted to tell the congressmen what’s wrong with veterans’ healthcare.
The vets talked about high hospital bills, a lack of mental healthcare, and help needed to reintroduce soldiers to civilian life.
O’Rourke – who is on the House Veterans’ committee - says congress’ low approval rating is well earned because some members won’t work together.
“People want to know that we talk to each other, we work with each other, we write legislation together, and even if we hold different points of view on a given issue we’re able to talk those through. Will and I have been able to do that.”
Hurd says some issues – like those pertaining to veterans – are non partisan.
“And this is an example of how you have someone from two different parties, from two different opinions working together to improve the services we give those men and women who have served us.”
The two listened to the concerns for about an hour. Laly Cholak – a veteran and legislative chair with the VFW – says she’s pleased to see the two congressmen come together and make progress.
“There certainly is improvement. For example the other than honorable veterans that are going to be at least be provided mental healthcare at the VA, that’s a step. Three years ago that would have been unheard of and mental health is a very important aspect of these veterans lives to help them forward in their lives.”
One thing these two congressmen from different parties do have in common is their opposition to some of President Trump’s policies. Hurd the Republican and O’Rourke the Democrat both, for example, oppose Trump’s wall along the border.