Bernie Sanders Smacks Down Marco Rubio For Betraying Veterans On The Senate Floor

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) tried to play partisan politics with the VA on the Senate floor, and was hammered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for voting against veterans.

Rubio was trying to get the Senate to vote, without a hearing on the bill that House passed yesterday relating to speeding up the firing process for VA employees. Sen. Rubio tried to turn this problem into an attack on President Obama, but Sen. Sanders responded by pointing out the real Republican record on supporting veterans.

Video:

Sen. Sanders’ office provided the media with an unofficial transcript of the exchange. (Sorry for the all caps, but this is a directly from the source transcript):

SEN. RUBIO: SO YESTERDAY WE ALL WATCHED WITH GREAT ATTENTION AS THE PRESIDENT ADDRESSED THIS ISSUE AND EXPRESSED OUTRAGE, RIGHTFULLY SO, AT WHAT’S OCCURRING. AND WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID IS THAT OVER THE NEXT WEEK THERE’S GOING TO BE AN INITIAL REPORT AND THEN ULTIMATELY A REPORT AT THE END OF THE MONTH ABOUT WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO IMPROVE THE SYSTEM AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHO NEEDS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. AND I THINK THAT’S CRITICAL HE HERE, BECAUSE ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE’RE LEARNING IS NOT SIMPLY THAT THERE’S A SYSTEMIC PROBLEM IN THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, BUT THAT THERE’S BEEN A DELIBERATE EFFORT BY SOME WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATION, SOME WITHIN THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION TO COVER IT UP OR TO MAKE THINGS LOOK BETTER THAN THEY ACTUALLY ARE. AND THAT SHOULD TROUBLE US EVEN MORE, BECAUSE THE IMMEDIATE REACTION WHEN AN AGENCY IS CONFRONTED WITH A PROBLEM SHOULD BE, WE NEED TO FIX THIS.

AND INSTEAD THE REACTION BY SOME SEEMS TO BE, WE NEED TO COVER THIS. WE NEED TO MAKE THIS LOOK BETTER THAN IT REALLY IS. WE NEED TO DIMINISH THIS. THAT IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE AND PEOPLE NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO THIS. IF IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE, AMONG THE MEN AND WOMEN THAT SERVE AND WORK HERE FOR, SOMEONE WAS DERELICTION IN THEIR DUTY, THEY WOULD LOSE THEIR JOBS. IF THE PRIVATE SECTOR SOMEONE DID NOT DO THEIR JOB, THEY WOULD LOSE THAT JOB.

…….

MR. SANDERS: BUT THERE ARE VERY SERIOUS PROBLEMS IN TERMS OF ACCESS. THERE ARE SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH REGARD WAITING LISTS. THERE ARE SERIOUS PROBLEMS REGARDING THE POSSIBILITY OF HOSPITALS KEEPING TWO SETS OF BOOKS. AND WE’RE GOING TO GET TO THE ROOT OF THOSE ISSUES. BUT ONE THINGTHAT WE DO NOT WANT TO DO, MADAM PRESIDENT, IS POLITICIZE THE WELL-BEING OF AMERICA’S HEROES. LET ME QUOTE TO YOU FROM AN EDITORIAL IN “THE WASHINGTON POST” TODAY. “THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE SERVED THEIR COUNTRY IN UNIFORM DESERVE BETTER THAN DELAY OR DENIAL OF THE MEDICAL CARE THEY NEED AND HAVE EARNED. SO IT IS CRUCIAL TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT AT THE NATION’S VETERANS HOSPITALS. AMERICA’S VETERANS ALSO DESERVE NOT TO BE TREATED AS SO MANY PAWNS IN ELECTION-YEAR GAMESMANSHIP. BUT THAT SADLY IS APPROVING TO–BUT THAT SADLY IS PROVING TO BE THE CASE IN CONGRESS’S HYPERBOLIC RESPONSE. THAT THE EXTENT OF WRONGDOING IS UNCLEAR DOESN’T SEEM TO MATTER MUCH TO THOSE MORE INTERESTED IN SCORING POLITICAL POINTS. HOW ELSE TO EXPLAIN THE KNEE-JERK CALLS, MAINLY BY REPUBLICANS IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE, FOR THE OUSTER OF VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY ERIC K. SHINSEKI OR THE ILL-ADVISED LEGISLATION AIMED AT V.A. WORKERS.”

I’M VERY HAPPY TO SEE THAT AS CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE. AND I WOULD SAY TO SENATOR RUBIO AND OTHERS THAT HE IS WELL-AWARE THAT THE VETERANS COMMUNITY FACES MANY, MANY SERIOUS PROBLEMS, ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT WE ARE HEARING IN THELAST FEW WEEKS WITH REGARD TO THE V.A. WE HAVE 200,000 MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE COME BACK FROM IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN, EITHER WITH PTSD OR T.B.I.U I WOULD ASSUME THAT MY FRIEND FROM FLORIDA ASSUMES WITH ME THAT THEY NEED TO GET THE QUALITY CARE THAT THEY DESERVE.

I WAS JUST — I JUST HAD THE PRIVILEGE, SENATOR RUBIO, OF BEING HONORED AN HOUR OR SO AGO BY THE GOLD-STAR WIVES. YOU KNOW THOSE ARE THE WIDOWS OF THOSE WHO DIED IN AFNTLE WE HAVE THE LEGISLATION WHICH I BROUGHT TO THE THE FLOOR WHICH RECEIVED 56 VOTES AND ONE SENATOR WAS ABSENT, WHICH WOULD HAVE GIVEN US 57 VOTES. BUT ONLY TWO REPUBLICANS SUPPORTED THAT BILL. THAT BILL WOULD MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR GOLD-STAR WIVES, WIVES WHO HAVE LOST THEIR HUSBANDS, TO BE ABLE TO GET A COLLEGE EDUCATION UNDER THE POST-9/11 G.I. BILL. I SUSPECT THAT SENATOR RUBIO AND MANY OTHERS SUPPORT THAT. THAT’S IN THE BILL THAT I BROUGHT TO THE FLOOR. WE HAVE RIGHT NOW, AS I’M SURE SENATOR RUBIO KNOWS, BECAUSE THE SENATOR EXISTS IN NEW YORK AND FLORIDA, WE HAVE 70-YEAR-OLD WOMEN, IN MOST CASES, WHO ARE TAKING CARE OF DISABLED VETS. THEY DON’T GET THE SUPPORT THAT THEY NEED. THEY’RE ON DUTY 24/7.

THEY SAVE THE GOVERNMENT MONEY BECAUSE THOSE WOUNDED VETERANS ARE STAYING AT HOME. THEY NEED SOME HELP, AND I WANT TO SEE THEM GET HELP. AND I WOULD HOPE THAT SENATOR RUBIO WOULD WORK WITH ME TO MAKE SURE THEY GET THAT HELP.

In February, Rubio was one of forty-one Senate Republicans who blocked a bill that would have improved veterans’ benefits. It is amazing that he and his fellow Republicans have the nerve to stand up and suggest that they care about vets, when they have done nothing but obstruct bills for veterans for years.

Republicans are offering nothing, but their usual knee jerk reactions and gimmicks to score cheap political points. Marco Rubio, who still laughably thinks that he could be president, was the first of many Republicans who will have their humiliating records of veterans issues revealed if they try to play partisan political games with this scandal.

Marco Rubio is a fraud, but vets have a true friend in Bernie Sanders.

23 Replies to “Bernie Sanders Smacks Down Marco Rubio For Betraying Veterans On The Senate Floor”

  1. Yes Bernie Smack that ignorant wet behind the ears hateful punk down!!! Rubio needs to get smacked down everyday along with the other misanthropes of the Reich Wing. Smack them down and remember never tread on a Tea Partier!!! STOMP on them!!

  2. Rubio is a pathetic joke. Bernie Sanders is a great, great man. i wish the voters would wake up and stop electing silly little people like Rubio who don’t give a rip about the average American.

  3. Bernie should have pointed out all the senators who voted against funding the VA and veterans benefits right on the senate floor and watch them squirm like the snakes they are.

  4. Bernie Sander smacks them down every time. He and Elizabeth Warren are two of the most effective voices for the people today.

  5. “Blast-them-Down Bernie” should be head of the Senate. He doesn’t take anybody’s crap and I think he gets pleasure cutting the GOP/Teabums to pieces. And he really doesn’t care if they like it or not. Go Bernie!!!

  6. This Country needs more education about how Repubs vote when it’s about Veterans and their medical care. Keep hammering them with this info.

  7. The problem is that we have a dysfunctional media in this country, many of them not even smart enough to understand the effects of how the gop has harmed the military members and their families.

    The members of the so-called media who do understand will never report the facts for fear that they will not be invited to the annual gop barbecue and chicken fry.

  8. Senator Bernie Sanders…

    “Thank You for Standing Up for Veterans of Foreign Wars and America!!!”

    Keep Up The Great work you do Sen. Sanders!!!

  9. I don’t understand what was wrong the legislation. If the House passed the bill overwhelmingly maybe there was something to it(?)

  10. Wish we could clone Bernie Sanders. Rubio is a punk who,just keeps on enjoying the perks of the job. All mouth,no action. Time for voters to get rid of these obstructionists. When asked why I wouldn’t vote for anyone on the right,I always say “I read and I am not that dumb that I would shoot myself in my own foot”. The more I listen to the right wing politicians you see exactly how stupid they are. Rubio is a prime example.

  11. Nothing wrong with the bill but it’s straight hypocrisy from these guys. Remind you that more Vets would be covered if their Rep Govs would accept Medicaid expansion. These are the same guys who voted down everything against the Vets and now claim they support our troops. Interesting here in GA we still have thousands of homeless Vets…where’s the outrage??

    The VA needs more staff and money! Remember these guys voted a few years back to not allow more funds for VA.

  12. Here is why the Republican’s voted against the bill: “Republicans claimed that they blocked the bill because Majority Leader Harry Reid would not allow an up or down vote on an amendment that would have attached sanctions on Iran to the bill.”
    Folks, if our useless government, BOTH Democrat and republican do not wake up to the fact Iran wants to completely destroy us then we are done!
    Middle Eastern illegal alien Hezbollah terrorists have been entering the U.S and hiding in terrorist SLEEPER cells around our military installations, target and high value facilities since before 9/11 and neither the Bush nor Obama administrations have done a thing to remove them. WHY?
    Why won’t the House and Senate do anything about the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) threat? This will put us back to 1840 immediately.
    Iran has been working on a nuclear bomb and it is almost done, they already have the ability to launch it. Go to YouTube and watch: Club-K Container Missile System 2013. Wake up!

  13. I don’t care a bit about any of these politicians and what their issues are. Yes, I support Senator Sanders wholeheartedly but I support our veterans! They are the ones who are dying! I worked as a physician in the VA system and am on medical leave now due to a recurrent brain tumor. I had the honor of treating vets at the VA when I was in medical school, in residency and as an attending. I have seen the mountains of paper charts being reviewed for service-connected disability. This is UNACCEPTABLE! Why is the VA still functioning as if it is 1970? The computer system in the VA is the best I have ever worked on. They upgraded DHCP to a modern system, CPRS, & it is outstanding. Why is there this disconnect between computerized medical records and paper disability claims? This drives me insane! We made a promise to our vets that we would care for them and we are failing miserably.

  14. Great article as usual.

    Here’s a technical related suggestion. When you want to post an article that is all CAPS like the transcript above, use a word processing program to convert it to lowercase.

    For example in Word 2010:
    Select the text to change the case.
    On the Home tab, in the Font group, click Change Case.
    Choose an option from the dropdown list, which includes Sentence case, lowercase, UPPERCASE, Capitalize Each Word, and tOGGLE cASE.

    The first word in a sentence will be lowercase, but the text is much easier to read.

    Keep up the great work…

  15. It is more than just the media being dysfunctional. Almost 100% of our mainstream media in this country is now owned and operated by conservative Republican corporations. They diliberately keep us uninformed about serious news items like this but are more than happy to feed us crap like “The Bachelor,” etc. Getting the corporate money out of politics and busting up these media monopolies will go a long way to put this country back in the hands of “We The People.”

  16. Dana, thanks very much for your care of our veterans and for giving a damn. I truly hope that your own health issues will be resolved soon and that you can go back to work. We vets need caring medical professionals such as you.

  17. If they want a vote on Iran, then they should make their own bill on it and not attach it to an appropriations bill for our Vets just so they can play political games with both!

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