Washington A Democratic senator on Saturday accused President Bush of "hollow talk" in support of U.S. troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and said the Bush administration has not done nearly enough to provide veterans with the care they need.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said, "The president can call on Democrats to follow him in lockstep all he wants, but when it comes to caring for our veterans, we are not about to start taking advice from George Bush."
Bush scolded Democrats on Thursday for combining spending bills for defense and veterans programs with one for labor, health and education matters. Republicans consider the bill bloated.
The president also lamented that his emergency spending request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan still languishes.
Murray, delivering the Democrats' weekly radio address, accused Bush of underfunding the Veterans Affairs Department and said troops are "stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare" and aren't getting the health care they need.
The senator said the number of uninsured veterans has grown rapidly in recent years. The administration also lost the personal data of millions of veterans and failed to correct shoddy outpatient treatment and poor living conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, she said.