Forty Republican members of the United States Senate betrayed veterans today when they decided that denying President Obama a victory was more important than spending $1 billion to create jobs for vets.
The Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012 would have spent $1 billion over five years to put veterans to work tending to federal lands, and in the nation’s police and fire departments. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) based her plan of FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), but Republicans opposed the bill because they said there is no proof that it would work.
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn claimed that there is no evidence that jobs for vets will work, “What we have is a bill that’s brought to the floor that has good intentions behind but shows the absolute laziness of congress in terms of really digging things out. issued their duplication report on the job training programs for veterans, four of them do exactly the same thing. None of them have a metric. So we don’t know if they’re working, and we haven’t held a hearing to find out if they’re working. But what are we doing?”
It doesn’t matter to most Senate Republicans that the CCC put 2.5 million people to work. When confronted with an actual jobs program for America’s vets, including the 220,000 who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the majority of Republicans claimed the plan, which was already offset, was too expensive.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) claimed that the bill would have pushed the VA over its spending limits, and gave forty Republicans a reason to vote no on jobs for vets.
The good news is that five Senate Republicans didn’t join with their party. Sen. Scott Brown (MA), Dean Heller (NV) Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Maine’s Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe all voted with the Democrats, but in the end the bill fell two votes short of clearing the procedural hurdle, and died in the Senate.
Here are the 40 Republicans who voted to keep America’s veterans unemployed,
Mark Kirk and James Inhofe did not vote.
If any two of the Republicans on this list would have decided to put our veterans first, this bill would have moved forward. Instead, Senate Republicans thanked veterans by denying them jobs.
Senate Republican leaders actually fled from the media and refused to take questions at their weekly press conference today. If you are represented by one of these senators, take the time to attend one of their events and ask them why they don’t want veterans to have jobs.
Between Mitt Romney’s secret videotape and today’s Republican Senate vote, it is clear where the Republican Party stands. I guess our returning veterans are also part of the deadbeat 47%, and the Republican Party decided to honor our obligation to those who served their country by denying them access to employment.
If this is what Republicans consider patriotism, I don’t want to be their kind of patriot. Our veterans deserve better, and our nation’s deserves better leadership than this.
Only 48 more days until we get to go to the polls and vote for candidates who truly do support our troops.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association