Five Democratic members of Congress have written President Reagan to complain that, in effect, the administration is talking out of both sides of its mouth on the issue of helping Vietnam veterans. They point to last year's Veterans' Health Care, Training and Small Business Loan Act, which set up a $25 million small business loan and loan guarantee program for Vietnam veterans and a $142 million program extending eligibility under the GI bill for on-the-job and vocational training. The Veterans Administration has yet to propose regulations for the loan program and has severely restricted access to the training programs, the congressmen charge.
The VA doesn't argue with that. On the loan program, spokesman John Scholzen said, "The administration does not feel . . . it is the proper time to tempt veterans into small business ventures, given the state of economy, the heavy rate of foreclosures, etc." As for extending job training, he said, "The administration does not believe it was the intent of Congress to provide a general extension of the GI Bill to veterans who do possess a relatively extensive educational background or a marketable skill but who are experiencing employment difficulties that are more closely related to the nation's economic problems in general than with their military service."