Senate Republicans Reject Pro-Veterans Bill
The next time you hear that liberals hate the military, remind the person saying it about the bill that was rejected by Senate Republicans because it costs so much money. But, then so do wars we shouldn’t be fighting.
Sen Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent and chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee who authored the bill, argued that many provisions in the bill have won bipartisan support in other pieces of pending legislation before Congress.
Republicans complained about how to pay for it. Sanders’ legislation had more than 140 provisions costing $21 billion over 10 years.
Most of that money was to come from billions of dollars the government projected it would be allowed to spend on wars overseas in the fight against al-Qaeda. But Republicans argued that this is “phony” budgeting becasue U.S. participation in the Iraq War is over and operations in Afghanistan are winding down.
The legislation would have restored cost-of-living increases for the pensions of future military retirees; expanded VA health care by allowing acquisition of 27 new medical facilities and paid for reproductive services for 2,300 troops wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
It also would have expanded compensation for family caregivers of disabled veterans — something now provided for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan — to families of veterans of all wars.
The bill was supported by nearly all veterans groups.