Cochran, Wicker join GOP vote to kill far-reaching veterans’ benefits bill

February 28, 2014

Health Care, Politics

Mississippi’s Sen. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker joined Senate Republican in derailing a bill that would have expended $21 billion to enhance health care, education and job benefits for veterans.

irag war vetThe “nea” votes Thursday by Cochran, Wicker and all but two other Senate GOP members brought a harsh response from the American Legion.

“I don’t know how anyone who voted ‘no’ today can look a veteran in the eye and justify that vote,” said Daniel M. Dellinger, national commander of the American Legion in a Washington Post report. “Our veterans deserve more than what they got today.”

Republicans stopped the veterans bill from moving on a procedural vote, which needed 60 votes. The final tally was 56-41.

The bill contained provisions that would restore the COLA for vets, and protect them from losing their benefits in the event of another government shutdown. It also would have authorized the construction of 27 new clinics and medical facilities, and it would have provided tuition assistance to post-9/11 vets, Politico reported.

Republicans argued the nation can’t afford the expenditure which would have been spread over 10 years, while Democrats reminded them that the money is already earmarked for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and would be spent at home to help the veterans who fought the wars instead opf on the wars itself.

Even such self-proclaimed veterans’ champions as Sen. John McCain and Lindsey Graham joined GOP colleagues in voting to kill the measure. Two Republican senators – Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada and Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas – joined Democrats in support of the measure.

In a commentary piece for Politico, politics writer Jason Easley said the GOP action is tantamount to stabbing the nation’s war fighters in the back.

“Senate Republicans committed a disgraceful betrayal of the promise that has been made to those who put their lives on the line for this country. I hope this is a wake up call for vets who think that the Republican Party has their interests at heart,” Easley wrote.

 

 

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6 Responses to “Cochran, Wicker join GOP vote to kill far-reaching veterans’ benefits bill”

  1. Bob Joyce Says:

    Republicans vote unanimously to send young soldiers into often-needless wars, then vote unanimously to deny them care when they come home.

  2. Ed Williams Says:

    To Bob and the American Legion

    We are 17 Trillion in debt.

    This bill was to raise funding, a “no” vote keeps funding at current levels.

    This is the best we can responsibly do with this irresponsible Democrat administration.

    Bob, what needless war are you referring too?

    If it is Vietnam, Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, both Democrats send young soldiers into that war.

    I joined after Vietnam as a volunteer, and it has been a volunteer force since then. I chose to serve in Desert Storm and four tours in the current situation before I honorably retired. All of these were needful wars.

  3. Helen Webster Says:

    Please explain your vote on this. Just an FYI my son just retired with 26 yrs in the Navy doing a very dangerous job, my husband served 13 1/2 yrs in the Navy during Nam and my dad was in the Army during WWII. I could go on but somehow I don’t think you would appreciate the sacrifice all of the families are making who serve this country and protect each of you.

  4. Charles McFall Says:

    Since they both voted to raise the debt limit, I guess this is par for the coarse!

  5. Steve Says:

    You can sugar coat this story any way you want to. Just (for a few seconds) try to imagine not being able to walk, or to see, or to even breathe. I’m sure you would feel the same as these American Heroes….Our American Heroes!

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