So what was the reason that they chose to oppose it? Perhaps the bill didn’t go far enough, or maybe it didn’t have some special earmarks for their districts? Maybe it didn’t have an amendment for completely repealing the Affordable Care Act or perhaps they just couldn’t go on record as voting for anything that the president would sign? Nope, it was the cost.
Here’s what Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) had to say:
“This bill is moving back to the House where I hope they will more thoughtfully address the serious issues that have been uncovered in the VA and ensure the bill is paid for in a way that does not burden future generations with crushing debt so I can support it when it comes back to the Senate.” (Source)
And here’s some of Senator Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) defense of his “nay” vote:
“…just the first two years would cost $35 billion, and every year after that $50 billion.”
“Hopefully, we’ll come up with a bill that actually fixes the problem, that doesn’t mortgage our children’s future further…” (Source)
Yes, you heard that right and no, that isn’t the 2nd Friday afternoon margarita messing with your head. They actually thought that taking care of our veterans would be too costly. Seriously, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Here’s the most hypocritical of them all, and I’ll tell you why in a little bit:
Before passing the bill, senators voted 75-19 to turn aside objections to its cost raised by Republican Jeff Sessions of Alabama. “I feel strongly we’ve got to do the right thing for our veterans. But I don’t think we should create a blank check, an unlimited entitlement program, now,” Sessions said. (Source)
So how much was this “unlimited entitlement program” expected to cost? $2 trillion dollars with the final sum of up to $6 trillion over the next 4 decades? Yeah, that could really be expensive and I can see why a strong fiscal conservative might want to see how we could offset the spending with cuts elsewhere or raising additional revenues but… oh wait, that’s the cost of the Iraq War that Jeff Sessions voted for in 2002. But surely as a fiscal conservative, wouldn’t Senator Sessions have made sure we paid for that war, especially since we were already involved in Afghanistan? That’s going to be a big negative ghostrider. You see, he voted for the Bush tax cut in 2001, voted to authorize war in Afghanistan, and then voted again to authorize yet another war without funding. Ok, so perhaps after voting to lower taxes during a war and then voting to put yet another one on the credit card Senator Sessions would finally come to his fiscal senses? Again, negative ghostrider. In 2003, he voted for yet ANOTHER round of tax cuts.
But what about Senator Corker or Senator Johnson? While they’re certainly the scum of the earth for opposing a bill to fix the very VA hospital issue they wanted to turn into yet another scandal to pin on President Obama, they didn’t vote for the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. Although I’m sure they would have gladly voted for any military action (not anything sanctioned by President Obama, of course) at the drop of a hat, they weren’t in Congress at the time – but Senator Jeff Sessions was. Don’t get me wrong, their votes were reprehensible as well but the Senator from Alabama voted for 2 tax cuts and put two wars on the credit card, yet he has the unmitigated gall to vote against the VA bill which would help fix the problem he criticized the president for in the first place.
For this blatant hypocrisy and absolute disregard for our veterans, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Asshole) is the inaugural recipient of my weekly Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? award. You’ve certainly earned it, Senator.
What can you do to express your outrage? You can make sure to vote this coming November, and here’s what’s at stake:
—All 435 seats of the U.S. House of Representatives
—33 seats in the U.S. Senate
—46 State Legislatures
—38 State and Territorial Governorships.
If you’re tired of people like Jeff Sessions and others who put obstruction of the President above the needs of American veterans, then don’t just complain about it, spread their shame and get out the vote in November.
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