Shameful: Republicans Block Bill to Expand Healthcare and Education for Veterans

bernie-sandersOne of the biggest problems I have with Republicans is their blatant hypocrisy.  They’ll portray themselves as the party of “small, fiscally conservative government” while advocating for laws which are the complete opposite.

Their rallying cry of “we support our troops” is another that’s a clear misnomer of exactly what policies they support.  Republicans frequently support sending our troops off to war and often oppose funding for programs which helps our troops when they’re not deployed to war.  To say Republicans “support our troops” is a blatant slap to the face of every man and woman who has served our country.

Hell, even their push to cut SNAP benefits impacted millions of families of those serving in our military.

Granted, the Republican party does overwhelmingly supports massive defense spending, but that’s not the same thing.  Defense spending favors big defense contractors far more than anything or anybody else.  When it comes to supporting spending for programs that actually help our brave men and women in uniform or those veterans who honorably defended our nation – Republicans are often much more hesitant to do so, or demand something else in return for doing so.

See, they’ve misled their voters into believing that massive defense spending is the same as massive spending to support our military.  Which isn’t true at all.

A perfect example of this was how Senate Republicans blocked a bill supported by Democrats called the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Pay Restoration Act.  This bill would have expanded healthcare and education programs for veterans.

By a vote of 56-41, with only two Republicans siding with Democrats, the bill failed to advance thanks to Republican opposition to the bill.

Essentially Republicans opposed the bill because, while helping our veterans is important, they were more concerned with how much it might grow our deficit.

Some also seem to think this is the Republican retaliation for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refusing to allow a vote on new Iran sanctions in the midst of ongoing nuclear peace talks with the Iranian government.

Because nothing says “we support our troops” quite like playing politics, or worrying about a ridiculously small deficit increase, instead of helping them with the funding for programs they need.  No matter which excuse Republicans want to use, it’s absolutely reprehensible.

I don’t care if it increases our deficit or not.  Helping our active members of our military, or our veterans, should never come with the question of, “Well, how much will it cost?”  These people put their lives on the line to protect us – I don’t care what it costs, help them! 

And if it is because of their push for new sanctions on Iran, shame on them.  To blatantly block a bill that would help our veterans because you felt like throwing a temper tantrum over pointless Iran sanctions that stand no chance at passing is absolutely pathetic.

Thankfully Harry Reid didn’t let this disgusting display by Republicans go without having a few choice words:

“I hope all the veterans groups have witnessed all the contortions the Republicans have done to defeat this bill.  Shame on Republicans for bringing base politics into a bill to help veterans.”

Sadly, I doubt many conservatives will care about this.  I’m sure Fox News will spin it against Democrats, and being that conservatives typically watch no other news but Fox, they’ll never know the truth as to why a bill to help veterans was blocked.

That’s if they report on it at all.

This is just another example of the party of hypocrisy, the Republican party, contradicting yet another one of their key talking points to play partisan politics.

Because when it came down to supporting our veterans, or supporting the Republican party’s own self interests, Republicans chose themselves.

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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