GOP senator skips hearing on veterans to attend a campaign fundraiser


The week before Memorial Day, Thom Tillis showed his constituents exactly where his priorities are when it comes to veterans.

Days before Memorial Day, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) skipped a hearing focused on veterans issues so he could attend a high-dollar fundraiser in Greensboro, North Carolina, according to a Monday report from WBTV.

Tillis was not in the room when the Veterans Affairs Committee, of which he is a member, convened on the Wednesday before Memorial Day to discuss legislation dealing with veterans' mental health care and homelessness among veterans. He even missed the discussion about a bill to address exposure to potentially toxic substances at Camp Lejeune — a Marine base in his own home state.

Instead, Tillis was in Greensboro sharing a fundraising stage with Vice President Mike Pence and yukking it up with donors.

The reaction from Tillis' home state was swift and harsh.

"Senator Tillis again put his political self interest ahead of North Carolina, cashing big checks at a fundraiser rather than show up for a Senate hearing on critical issues facing veterans and victims of toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune," Robert Howard, North Carolina Democratic Party spokesperson, said in a statement. "When he attacked his opponent for the same thing in 2014, Senator Tillis said she had failed to do her job — what's he got to say for himself now?"

In 2014, Tillis relentlessly attacked his opponent, then-Sen. Kay Hagan, for missing an Armed Services Committee hearing in order to attend a fundraiser. "There is nothing more important than receiving briefings on our national security," Tillis said at the time. "It's the top responsibility of every member of Congress."

Yet when faced with a similar choice, Tillis did exactly what he attacked others for doing.

When asked about this hypocrisy, Tillis' spokesperson "did not directly answer the question," according to WBTV. The spokesperson said instead that Tillis has "a strong record of results" for veterans and has "advocated for the victims of toxic contamination at Camp Lejeune."

Yet Tillis' voting record shows a different story. Earlier in 2019, Tillis voted to allow Trump to steal millions from the military in order to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

On the list of projects Trump may steal money from? A new health care facility for Camp Lejeune.

Tillis failed to live up to the standards he set for his predecessor in the Senate, choosing to prioritize his campaign donors over the well-being of veterans and those serving at a military base in his own state.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.