Burr: VFW, DAV More Outraged by Letter Than by VA Scandal

Burr fired back Sunday at the VFW and DAV after they expressed outrage at a letter he wrote slamming the veterans groups' leadership. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Memorial Day weekend sparring between veterans groups and the top Republican on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in the wake of the VA scandal is continuing. Sen. Richard M. Burr fired back at veterans service organizations after they blasted the North Carolina Republican in response to an open letter to veterans that Burr issued on Friday. In his response, Burr questions the priorities of groups like the  Veterans of Foreign Wars. "The VSOs' response is a rousing defense of the status quo at VA," Burr said in a statement provided to CQ Roll Call. "It's clear that my open letter to America's veterans has outraged some VSOs more than the scandals at VA — I believe their testimony stands on its own."  

Burr's Friday letter said that a recent committee "hearing made it clear to me that the staff has ignored the constant VA problems expressed by their members and is more interested in their own livelihoods and Washington connections than they are to the needs of their own members."  

The VFW's leadership issued a letter Saturday responding Burr's open letter, calling Burr's missive "clearly one of the most dishonorable and grossly inappropriate acts that we've witnessed in more than forty years of involvement with the veteran community and breaches the standards of the United States Senate."  

Another group, Disabled American Veterans, joined in the criticism of Burr on Sunday morning.  

"DAV is outraged that North Carolina’s Senator Richard Burr chose the eve of Memorial Day weekend – a sacred time to remember and honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation — to attack the patriotism of leaders of most of the nation’s leading veterans service organizations," DAV said in its own statement.