GOP Blocks Veteran Jobs Bill
By LAWRENCE DOWNES
Beaver County Peace Links via New York Times
Sept. 19, 2012 - Veterans won't be getting a new, billion-dollar jobs program, not from this Senate. Republicans on Wednesday afternoon blocked a vote on the Veterans Job Corps Bill after Jeff Sessions of Alabama raised a point of order - he said the bill violated a cap on spending agreed to by Congress last year. The bill's sponsor, Patty Murray of Washington, said that shouldn't matter, since the bill's cost was fully offset by new revenues. She said Mr. Sessions and his party colleagues had been furiously generating excuses to oppose the bill, and were now exploiting a technicality to deny thousands of veterans a shot at getting hired as police officers, firefighters and parks workers, among other things.
The vote was 58-40; the bill needed 60 votes to proceed.
It would be easier to admire the Republicans' late-breaking fiscal scrupulosity if their motives - denying the Obama administration any kind of victory this year, whatever the cost to jobless vets - weren't so transparent. It's probably useful to remind Republicans like John McCain (a "nay" on the jobs bill) that wounded, jobless and homeless veterans aren't a fact of nature. They're a product of the wars that Congress members voted for, the war debt they piled on, and the economy they helped ruin.
"It's unbelievable that even after more than a decade of war, many Republicans still will not acknowledge that the treatment of our veterans is a cost of war," Ms. Murray said in a statement after the vote.