Sen. Bernie Sanders blasted Senate Republicans today for trying to betray the nation’s veterans by attempting to kill the veterans bill with a demand for sanctions against Iran.
Sen. Sanders said, “I think there is widespread support across the country for this bill, and I frankly think there is a lot of support in the Senate for this bill. And what has happened for the same old stupid partisan reasons, Republican leadership says well, we want to attach to this bill Iran sanctions, and they know that this is something that the president doesn’t want. They know it’s something that the Secretary of State doesn’t want at this point. They know that the Democratic leadership doesn’t want it, and it’s a means to torpedo what is such an important piece of legislation for our veterans. I really get very upset.”
Sanders later said that the tactics that Republicans are using are part of what makes people so disgusted with Washington, “The average American says, you want to vote for the veterans bill? Vote for it. You want to vote against it? Vote against it. You have amendments improving the bill? Bring them to the floor. What does Iran sanctions have to do with the veterans bill? It has nothing at all to do with the veterans bill. That’s the simple truth.”
Sen. Sanders told those Republicans who claim that the country can’t afford the bill, “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.”
Every American, no matter what their politics, should be outraged by this sneaky and underhanded attempt to kill a bill that would improve veterans’ benefits. The bill restores the COLA for military retirees, provide more access to healthcare, expands healthcare services for vets, and provides in state tuition assistance for post-9/11 veterans.
Senate Republicans don’t want to cast a vote against veterans, but they don’t want the vets to have better benefits, so they are trying to add the poison pill of sanctions for Iran to the bill. Iran has nothing to do with taking care of veterans. The Iran sanctions demand is being used to hide the real reason why Republicans are doing their best to kill this bill. The truth is that Senate Republicans don’t want to support veterans.
Republicans are threatening to kill the veterans bill with obstruction if Harry Reid does not allow a vote on sanctions for Iran. They know that President Obama will never sign a bill that would destroy the current negotiations with Iran so Mitch McConnell and company are trying to set up a situation where they force a presidential veto, then claim that the president is not supporting veterans.
Sen. Sanders was correct. This is more of the same old dumb partisan game playing by Senate Republicans. They should be ashamed of themselves for what they are threatening to do to the nation’s veterans, but many congressional Republicans have no shame.
Mitch McConnell and company also lack the integrity and patriotism that would compel them to do the right thing for those who risked their lives for their country.
These same Republicans voted to send our troops to war, and now they are refusing to do right by our veterans. It is an embarrassing disgrace, but a million demands for sanctions towards Iran can’t hide the yellow streak that is running down Mitch McConnell’s back.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and 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