Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) unloaded on Speaker of the House John Boehner for his suggestion that America should be troops on the ground in the Middle East.
CUOMO: Well, you know what my answer is going to be, Senator. You guys do something about it and we’ll cover it. You know, listen to speaker Boehner, though, on what your big concern is about not wanting kids from Vermont to wind up having to fight this war. Boehner is singing a different tune. Listen to what the speaker had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And if no one else would step up, you would recommend putting American boots on the ground?
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), OHIO: We have no choice. These are barbarians. They intend to kill us. If we don’t destroy them first, we’re going to pay the price.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: George Stephanopoulos asking the obvious question. Now, I have the speaker of the House giving an answer that, yes, he would have to commit U.S. troops. You guys won’t even debate the issue, and he’s already making a decision?
SANDERS: But don’t be you, guys. You know, Chris, it’s not you guys. Some of us are prepared to debate this issue. What Boehner is saying basically, people should hear carefully, is perpetual warfare in the Middle East, billions and billions of dollars of American taxpayer money, the loss of lives while the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia laughs all the way to the bank with their oil money? So this senator does not agree with that. And maybe Mr. Boehner also, before he said – talks about sending American kids into the Middle East might want to raise the minimum wage, might want to deal with pay equity, might want to ask his billionaire friends to start paying their fair share of taxes.
Sen. Sanders was right. Boehner was calling for perpetual war in the Middle East, when there are so many more things that our government should be doing at home. It is important that the debate over this issue not get too caught up the black and white argument of war or no war. A better question to ask is why the Republicans consistently vote for sending billions of dollars in military aid to Middle Eastern countries while at the first sign of any conflict their default position is to put American citizens in harm’s way?
Speaker Boehner was more than willing to spill more US blood in the Middle East, but he won’t expand veterans care so that troops who have fought for this country can get the medical care that they were promised. Boehner’s big solution is to privatize the VA, because we all remember how well turning war over to private corporations worked out when Republicans did it in Iraq.
Only Republicans want troops back on the ground in the Middle East. John Boehner is willing to send young Americans off to die in a foreign land, but he isn’t willing to guarantee them a living wage when they get back home. If Republicans in Congress want troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria, they should go first.