Benishek to break campaign promise

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U.S. Congressman Dan Benishek (R-District 1) announced on Tuesday April 7 that he will seek another term in office.

According to the U.P. resident, veterans issues are at the top of his list of concerns facing Northern Michigan Families.

“Imagine the Washington agency tasked with helping veterans telling someone to go away and never come back. Unbelievable, right? But that is what one Vietnam veteran was told by the VA in 1967,” Benishek stated. “Nearly 50 years later, he came to our Veterans Assistance Fair at the Cheboygan National Guard Armory and finally received the help and support he deserved. At the same fair, we helped a 92-year-old World War II bomber pilot obtain a health card so, after seven decades, he could finally have access to the benefits that he had earned.”

Benishek said that, while he was glad to help those two veterans, there are many more who need assistance.

“[T]he Veterans Administration in Washington continues to fail our heroes returning home from war,” he stated. “As the only member from Michigan on the House Veterans Committee, I’m working to confront these issues and hold the bureaucrats at the VA accountable for failing our veterans.”

Benishek added, “In fact, as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Veterans Health, we’ve already uncovered incompetent leadership, billions of wasted spending and inadequate policies that hampered caregivers.”

Benishek also addressed a campaign promise he made when he first ran for office.

“To keep working in Congress for our veterans, and everyone in the first district, would mean breaking a pledge I made when I first ran,” he stated. “In that campaign, I stated my support for term limits, saying, ‘three terms and you’re retired seems about right to me.’ But I also hate to walk away from a challenge.’

Benishek said he is now addressing the issue of his plan to run again so he doesn’t have to address it later.

“It may feel like last year’s campaigns just ended, and they have. Yet the questions about whether I am considering running again are valid and I felt it was necessary to explain my reasoning and address this now so that we can move past the political discussions and continue to focus on the important issues facing families in Northern Michigan,” he stated. “I also want you to know that while I do support term limits, I believe for them to be effective they must apply the same to every member of Congress.”

Benishek said he is not looking for a career as a Washington politician.

“I already have one: serving the UP as (a) doctor for 30 years.”

Benishek said his focus has been, and will continue to be, on helping to provide an environment that will get government out of the way of job creators and allow the economy to grow.

“I’m privileged that you have trusted me to serve as your congressman these past few years,” Benishek stated. “It’s my hope that I will continue to earn your trust and keep working on the important issues facing you, your families, our veterans, and the diverse communities that Northern Michigan is blessed with.”