Friday, May 30, 2014

Senate to get a second chance to do right by veterans

May 30, 2014
By Steve Benen

One of the most important congressional votes of the year was held three months ago, though most of the political world didn’t even notice. There will be a similar vote next week, and chances are excellent that this one won’t be ignored.

In late February, Senate Democrats pushed a bill on expanded veterans’ benefits. It would have expanded VA health care access, tuition assistance, and job training, and the legislation’s sponsors, led by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), were optimistic about its chances.

Their hopes were misplaced. Despite majority support and the backing of major veterans’ organizations, Senate Republicans wouldn’t even allow a vote. A filibuster from the GOP minority killed the bill, insisting Democrats hadn’t done enough to ensure the bill was paid for – because helping veterans matters, but making sure the deficit isn’t slightly larger really matters.


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