Republicans Vote Against our Veterans — Again

“Support our troops” is only a marketing gimmick to Conservative lawmakers. They wrap themselves in the flag while turning their backs on actual troops.

Image by Amanda Jordan

And here we have it again folks, Democrats trying to support our troops while the Republicans shoot them down.

Last Thursday, the day before Veteran’s Day, this happened:

“The largest piece of veterans legislation in decades — aimed at expanding health care, education and other benefits — was rejected Thursday by the Senate. The legislation died on a vote of 56–41, with only two Republicans voting for it.”

The legislation would have restored cost-of-living increases for the pensions of future military retirees, expanded VA health care and would have provided benefits for family caregivers of disabled veterans — and was supported by nearly all veterans groups.

Funding was to come from billions of dollars the government projected it would spend on wars overseas in the fight against al-Qaeda. Republicans said this was “phony” because the wars are winding down. Which was exactly Bernie Sanders’ point of reallocating these funds… because, in theory, they wouldn’t now be needed to fund the wars.

So, to paraphrase:

Progressives: Hey, let’s take the money we set aside for the wars — that we don’t need now — and let it help our troops returning from the wars.
Conservatives: No way. That money is for wars.
Progressives: But the wars are nearly over, winding down, packing up and calling it done. So, since it’s there, set aside, and we don’t need it, let’s support our troops with it!
Conservatives: That’s phony money. It doesn’t exist anymore since the wars are almost over.
Progressives: But we set it aside. It does exist.
Conservatives: No. It does not exist. That money is only for war.
Progressives: But you just said there is no money anymore.
Conservatives: There isn’t.
Progressives: But it was set aside.
Conservatives: It is. But only for war.

I am not making this up.

And this is far from the first time Conservatives have blocked the Obama administration’s attempts at supporting our troops. Here are just a couple of examples of legislation that was proposed to help Veterans, that was shot down by Republicans:

Veteran’s Affairs Funding Bill (2015) — Republicans opted to remove more than $1.4 billion in veteran services from President Obama’s proposed 2016 budget. It was estimated that 70,000 fewer veterans would be able to receive needed care after that.

Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act (2014) — Proposed by our President’s administration to help severely wounded (female) Veterans with healthcare for fertility issues as well as counseling. Voted out by a majority of Republicans — citing that it would be showing support for Planned Parenthood.

Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act (2014) — Written by Bernie Sanders to expand healthcare and education for returning Veterans. Voted against by Mitch McConnell and 41 out of 45 Senate Republicans.

The Veterans Jobs Act (2012) — Proposed by Iowa Democrat, Bruce Braley, and would have established the Veteran’s Job Core for 20,000 Veterans to transition into gainful employment through public works positions, like firefighters, in their own communities. Denied by Republicans . “We Republicans remain resolute in our commitment to deny the Democrats anything that looks like an accomplishment in an election year,” said Republican, Mitch McConnell, according to US Uncut.

Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans with Children Act (2010) — Proposed to expand assistance for homeless (women) veterans and homeless veterans with children. This bipartisan bill made its way through the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee with strong support from members of both parties. However, the bill was promptly killed by Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell.

This is your Conservative vote at work. And the above mentioned are far from the only times the GOP has chosen to support war while simultaneously turning their backs on our Veterans.

The thing is, though, our Representative’s votes are public information. You can read every proposed bill, see the transcripts of Congressional hearings and find out how each elected official voted. I encourage you to do just that. Check out the U.S. Senate website for more information.

Do what you will with the information I’ve provided here. And If you are interested in learning more, please read the articles attached below.

“I personally, I have to say this honestly, have a hard time understanding how anyone could vote for tax breaks for billionaires, for millionaires, for large corporations and then say we don’t have the resources to protect our veterans.” — Bernie Sanders

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