From VCS AD Ben Krause’s Blog disabledveterans.org
In another shifty move by Senate Republicans, one Senator anonymously blocked the annual vote for the Cost of Living Increase for disabled veterans.
This serves as yet another blow to veterans legislation just on the heels of Senate Republicans voting down the Veterans Jobs Corps. Rachel Maddow did a great piece on the issues with the obstructionist techniques these Senators are suddenly employing.
Here is what basically went down according to the Beast:
“It cleared every Democrat in the Senate [Veterans Affairs Committee], but there was still a hold on the bill, so obviously it had to be from someone on the Republican side,” said Matt McAlvanah, a spokesman for Senator Murray. “It lasted until we adjourned, nearly 72 hours. We then went into recess, with the Republicans still having a hold on this bill. So we put out a release today saying someone should step forward.”
“Now we hear that Republicans are saying there is no longer a hold. That’s fine, but it does little good now because we’re not coming back until postelection. Now we have to pass this bill by the skin of our teeth just to make sure the VA can process the checks. It’s going to be a close call.”
Because of the delay, the Senate, which is out of session until Nov. 13, will have to vote on the legislation on the very same day it reconvenes in order for its payments to get out on time, according to a statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“Should Congress pass the COLA after that date, VA would have to make complex programming changes to the system that could not be accomplished in time to pay the COLA increase on January 1,” according to the VA release. “Consequently, the December COLA increase would have to be paid retroactively.”
Ironically, with the Veterans Jobs Corps, the Senate Republicans drafted part of that legislation despite not being in the majority. Still, they voted it down.
- Richard Burr, NC
- Roger Wicker, MS
- Mike Johanns, NE
- Scott Brown, MA
- Jerry Moran, KS
- John Boozeman, AR
Generally speaking, I am centrist on most issues. The same applies to veterans issues. I will fight tooth and claw for these and side with anyone who has the strongest platform to support veterans.
Now, I see Republicans filibustering legislation supporting veterans. This same legislation was written in part by the Republicans. It was paid for through offsets. Yet, when it came time for the rubber to meet the road, they vetoed the Jobs Corps bill.
This bill, the Jobs Corps Act, will need to wait until next year. Hopefully, they will sort out the coward Republican who anonymously blocked the vote on the COLA increase for disabled veterans.