Maddow Blasts Republicans For Blocking Veterans Bill that was Passed 93-3 in Senate (Video)

maddow-veteransIt always makes me laugh when Republicans say that President Obama is the reason why Congress has failed to get anything done the last few years.  Because, you know, he was the one who held the debt ceiling hostage, shut down the government, refused to allow a vote on a bipartisan immigration bill and set records for the number of filibusters used in the Senate.

Oh, wait.  That wasn’t him.  Republicans did all of that.

And while most Republicans in Congress have been guilty of obstructing just about everything President Obama supports, House Republicans are clearly the biggest problem.

Even if the Senate happens to pass a bipartisan bill that the president would sign, often John Boehner simply refuses to let the House vote on it out of fear that enough Republicans will side with Democrats and it will pass.  You know, out of fear of seeming to endorse *gasp* bipartisanship.

But even when the Senate passed a veterans bill drafted by senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) by a vote of 93-3, somehow we still can’t get a bill passed.  For something to pass the Senate 93-3 is astounding in today’s political environment.  But that doesn’t matter because Republicans in the conference committee continue to hold up the passage of the bill.

Now to be fair, the House passed their own bill 421-0, though it includes less funding than the Senate bill does for VA programs.  And my theory is when it comes to helping our veterans, I support the side who’s trying to spend the most money.  Especially considering one of the biggest problems facing our VA system – is funding.

Rachel Maddow hammered those Republicans stalling the passage of this bill last night, calling their respect for our military “shameless lip service.”

She said, “Right now, while this crisis is still happening, all of Washington’s flagrant and shameless lip service on veterans’ issues is not being matched at all with action.”

That’s when she brought up the bill that the Senate passed last month 93-3.

“Didn’t you think that this was done?” she continued. “Didn’t you think that this was done after that whole crisis and Shinseki resigning? I mean, that’s Bernie Sanders and John McCain, of all people. If they could get together on this, and the Senate agreed 93 to 3 to go with them on this, didn’t you think that this was done? This is not done.”

But of course not.  Because as much as Republicans tried to hammer President Obama on the most recent veterans scandal, when presented with a bill that passed 93-3 that would address many of those issues with proper funding addressing a multitude of issues, it still seems some House Republicans were too concerned about the costs of the bill.

Just for the record, if passed this Senate bill would build 26 VA clinics in 18 states and fund the hiring of more VA personnel.  It would also allow veterans living more than 40 miles from a VA clinic to visit private doctors.

You know, the exact things we need to do to reduce wait times and improve the quality of care we provide to our veterans.  Which are two of the major issues plaguing these VA hospitals.

The main differences between the bills, which seem to be the reason why some Republicans continue to block this bill, center around the following:

Senate provisions not mentioned or passed previously in the House are health care related to sexual trauma, an authorization for VA to expend unused funds to hire additional health care providers, and emergency appropriations to cover the immediate expansion of non-VA purchased care. The Senate bill would also dedicate $500 million toward hiring new VA medical staff.

As with most things Republican, it all boils down to money.  So while many of these Republicans stand there, acting as if there’s no limit to how far they’ll go to help our veterans, when we get right down to it – it’s always about money with them.  Though they never seem to mind when we spend billions on war or for some giant piece of military equipment we don’t even need.

Then Maddow really ripped into Republicans.

“See, when the attention is there and everybody’s complaining about how something must be done, it’s very easy to demand, in theory, that ‘this must be done, no expense spared, this is a sacred obligation that we’re violating, we have to fix it,’” she said. “Sounds great. Print it, put it on a campaign ad, right? But when it comes to actually doing it, when it comes to actually putting your money where your mouth is, apparently so far the answer is, ‘No, we don’t actually want to spend the money.’”


When the VA scandal was all Fox News could talk about, every Republican in this country was blasting the president for being incompetent and ignoring our veterans.  They went on and on about how it was inexcusable and something had to be done.  

That’s when then Senate did something that actually addresses multiple problems. But like always, if there’s something getting in the way of passing something in Congress, look no further than the Republican party.

Watch Maddow’s segment below via MSNBC:

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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  • Avatar

    That means Boehner doesn’t have any rights to file lawsuit against Obama!!!

    • Stephen Barlow

      He never did, but ABSOLUTELY NOT now!

    • Stephen Barlow

      Obama should have him indicted for treason. At least ANNOUNCE that the DOJ is launching a priority investigation into PACs and Sedition.

      • Avatar

        The problem is that as of right now, America is seen as absolute weak and joke from other countries. Why? We haven’t indicted Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, and even W. Bush for war crimes and over abused the powers of offices. We practically green lightened the corruption and reckless handling of the power. It’s impossible to indict any government officials for treason of any kinds.

      • Stephen Barlow

        IN a good part YES. But also because we used up the entirety of our volunteer Military to give 6 corporations control of Iraq’s oil industry. Most people didn’t notice but until ISIS was threatening to take an oil refinery, not one legislator cared one whit.

        But as soon as those 6 precious Corporate interests were threatened, BAM, 250 troops BACK TO IRAQ!!! Now were up to 750 and daly air strikes. We are pleadging $500 million to train 5000 troops to defend what A FULLY SUPPLIED 280,000 STRONG AMRY WITH TANKS AND MISSILES AND PLANES COULD NOT DEFEND?

        Putin grabs land like Stalin and we don’t even bring up a resolution before the UN?

        Dozens of Russian tanks crossing the border in satellite images, missile launchers shooting down civilian aircraft and RUSSIAN TROOPS mining the road to the crash site so they can destroy the evidence.

        America has not been WEAKENED by BUSH/CHENEY/RUMSFELD! We have been castrated and are now IMPOTENT. Putin can take whatever he wants because Europe refuses to act without America leading the way with men and money and machines.

        Just wait until Christmas when Putin cuts off the gas supply west of the New Soviet border…

      • Avatar

        When ISIS’ main executor murdered (so far) four westerners, our own government didn’t bat the eyes until the oil refineries were taken then skies over oil refineries are roaring with jet engines and whizzing of bombs hurling toward ISIS and civilians.

  • Stephen Barlow

    This is the BIG hot button issue for the fall election. NO AMERICAN is AGAINST caring and spending on care for our troops. EXCEPT John Boehner and the Republican House

    EVERYTHING else, the hobby lobby decision, PPACA, tax and immigration reform, How many cup holders on the F-35… are all debatable.

    Even Sandy relief from FEMA Welfare States like Kansas wanted to deny funds for Sandy even though Kansans live on FEMA cash.

    Even guys like Me who think death penalties should apply to Rummy, and Cheny and Bush… demand our vets get the red carpet finest care this nation can muster!!!

    The DOD denials about Agent Orange and Gulf War poisonings… are the most shameful events of our time. More so than Watergate, selling arms for drugs and Death Squads in Central America.. more than even the WMD Fraud. Certainly more than a blowjob between friends.

    SO I URGE Democrats to find for ONCE, the wisdom to UNITE behind this issue and pummel the rEDS out of minority cntrol in the Senate and any control in the House.

    And THIS TIME. for the last 2 years of Emperor Obama’s reign, let NO COMPROMISE be negotiated with the RED Terrorists who backstabbed the American voters at every opportunity for the last 6 years.

    • surfjac

      Um, I’m curious…isn’t the discussion and details of any bill mostly hammered out in committee without the President present? How has the President failed to act or compromise but then again, he won the popular vote, he has the mandate of the people so any concessions should all be shouldered by the right and yet nothing is g

    • Stephen Barlow

      The only thing we can do is VOTE THEM ALL OUT!!

  • Phil the observer

    How many members of the House have ever served in the military??? If they had, then they would back this bill…..It is becoming clear to me, that if you have not served this country, then perhaps you should not be allowed to hold an office that has the right to make decisions that effect those who have.

    • Stephen Barlow

      HOw many Legislators got their EDUCATION through the GI BILL? I mean over the history of Veteran’s Benefits.

  • OldCowboy

    In the book, “Starship Troopers,” Robert Heinlein proposes that the only people who have the right to vote should be those who have completed a term of Military Service.

  • Brian_pdx

    The republicants are completely crazy. Anyone who votes fro them is crazier.

  • Brian_pdx

    The GOP senators voted for it only because they knew the GOP controlled House wouldn’t even vote.