“How is it that we can afford to allow 1 in 4 major corporations not to pay federal income taxes, but we can’t afford to help our veterans?” – Senator Bernie Sanders
I hope someone gives Senator Sanders the answer to that question because I would also like to know why our government continues to send our men and women into harm’s way and then refuses to hold up to their end of the bargain.
Bernie Sanders is the Independent Senator of Vermont who tried to pass S. 1982 this week — a bill for improved care for veterans. This bill would have given much needed care for veterans: education, job training and improved health care.
Yesterday afternoon, Sanders motioned to advance the bill (which means move it from the Senate to Congress and then to the President’s desk) and he won by a vote of 56-41, but then Republicans invoked a rule that requires 60 votes to proceed. The bill never made it out of the Senate.
So who should you be mad at? My good friend Angus King, the Independent from Maine, voted in favor of the bill. Every Democrat voted in favor of the bill. Only two Republicans voted in favor of the bill. Sadly, the bill only needed three more Republicans to vote yes for it to go to Congress.
This legislation was backed by the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and virtually every other veterans’ and military service organization in the country.
Senator Sanders is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, so believe me when I say this Independent had the veterans’ best interests in mind.
When the American Legion heard about the decision, their spokesperson commented: “I don’t know how anyone who voted ‘no’ today can look a veteran in the eye and justify that vote.”
What this decision tells me is that our country is still run by ChickenHawks. They were chicken when it was their time to go to war, but they’re hawks now – sending everyone but their children to fight, die, or come back mentally or physically wounded.
Remember people, this is an election year. Want to hold the politicians’ feet to the fire? Then call up your Republican Senators and tell them how you feel. Or call up those who voted in favor of the vote to express your support and gratitude.
And you know why you should call? Because Bernie Sanders isn’t giving up. He is going to push until he gets three additional Republican votes. Do you want to help him secure those three extra votes? Then do what we do best: call and annoy the hell out of them: http://www.contactingthecongress.org
This bill (S. 1982) would have improved health and dental care services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It also would have allowed the VA to open 27 new clinics and medical facilities. Educational opportunities would have been expanded for post-9/11 veterans. There would have been improved access to care and benefits for veterans who experienced sexual trauma while serving in the military. Also full cost-of-living adjustments would be restored for future military retirees. So all the things our military men and women need most– as well as help for the survivors of our fallen heroes — would have been addressed.
I’ll leave you with some words from Senator Sanders:
“The cost of war does not end once the last shots are fired and the last battles are fought,” Sanders said. “When members of the military lose arms, legs and eyesight fighting in wars that Congress authorized, we have a moral obligation to make sure that those Americans receive all of the benefits that they have earned and deserve. When American soldiers die in combat, we have a moral obligation to make sure that the spouses and children they leave behind are taken care of and do not live in abject poverty.”
We should be outraged! So be vigilant with me. Call these bums and complain! Here’s who voted against S. 1982: