Bernie Sanders Delivers Big For Vets As Senate Passes Veterans’ Healthcare Bill

bernie-sanders-student-loans-2

The Senate has passed the Sanders-McCain Veterans Bill that will allow vets to go to private providers if they can’t get an appointment at a VA facility, and fund the building of 26 with only three Republicans voting no.

The Republican brigade of senators who claim that the bill is too expensive was led by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) who claimed that bill creates a new unlimited “entitlement for veterans.” He said that three years worth of spending on vets is too much, and he demanded that the Senate offset the cost with spending cuts. Sessions said that he can’t suggest to his colleagues that the budget violation in the bill be waived.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) came to the floor and angrily told Sen. Sessions that this is an emergency and that the bill should not be delayed, and he urged his colleagues to vote against Sessions’ attempt to slow down the bill with a budget order. McCain also told the Senate to vote 100-0 for the bill.

In one of those politics make strange bedfellows moments, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) followed McCain and explained the data showing how big of an emergency this is for our vets. Sanders said, “If you want to provide timely care to veterans….it is going to cost money.” Sanders also pointed out that Congress funded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with emergency funding and the costs of the VA is less than 1% of what they spent on the wars.

A procedural vote to on the budget point of order passed with 75 votes, but 19 Republicans voted no. Sens. Colburn, Cochran, Sessions, Lee, Roberts, Flake, Coates, Corker, Paul, Shelby, Portman, Enzi, Blunt, Wicker, Barrasso, Thune, Risch, Crapo and Cruz all voted no.

After the Republican attempt to block the bill failed, the vote on final passage stands at 93-3.

The White House announced that President Obama will sign the bill via an OMB statement:

The Administration recognizes and appreciates the service and sacrifice made by servicemembers and veterans on behalf of the American people, and is committed to ensuring that we care for and honor our servicemembers, veterans, and their families. S. 2450 would make a number of changes to authorities related to, among other things, improving access to care, training and hiring of health care staff, health care related to military sexual trauma, and veterans’ education benefits. The bill reinforces a number of the Administration’s efforts to address the challenges facing today’s servicemembers, veterans, and their families. S. 2450 supports efforts to continue improving veterans’ access to healthcare, including for victims of military sexual trauma, and expanded access to education benefits for veterans.

….

The Administration strongly supports S. 2450 and looks forward to working with the Congress, and our veteran stakeholder community, to continue to promote the efficient use of taxpayer dollars while properly defining and implementing timely solutions to ensure that our veterans receive the care they’ve earned.

This bill is a real step towards getting rid of corrupt VA employees while importantly expanding benefits and providing funding to begin to fix the problems at the VA. The fact that only two Senate Republicans (Sessions, Corker and Johnson of Wisconsin) voted no is a sign that the VA scandal had shamed dozens of Republicans off of their stance against increased funding for veterans’ healthcare. The Senate passed bill will have to be passed by the House before it can be sent to President Obama to sign. Although there are some early signs of Republican resistance from the usual extremist House circles, if Boehner brings this bill to the floor for a vote, it will pass.

Bernie Sanders has worked tirelessly on behalf of veterans, and he showed a willingness to comprise by working with Sen. McCain to get the bill through the Senate. The McCain-Sanders bill increases funding for healthcare and care for our vets while also protecting years of future funding.

Sen. Sanders (I-VT) came through for the nation’s vets, who are closer to better access to much needed healthcare and treatment.

22 Replies to “Bernie Sanders Delivers Big For Vets As Senate Passes Veterans’ Healthcare Bill”

  1. This is the perfect time to hold Republicans feet to the fire and make them put their vote where their mouths are. Unfortunately, in America, it seems that it takes a crisis before anything gets done.

    These things should have been done as a matter of course with no need for a crisis to shame Republicans into doing what is right by our veterans.

    Not a day goes by that Republicans don’t show their true colors, I just hope enough sensible people are paying attention and are motivated enough to get out and vote.

  2. Hope vets in Alabama remember the Keebler elf with a drawl call the things they get for fighting America’s wars “entitlements”.

  3. I just got my VA appointment I will go in 90 days. Last year I got an appointment at BLDG.100 in Bay pines Fl. when I got there They said I was not scheduled for an appointment. Then I got a call on my cell phone asking where I was I said Bay Pines they said no you are suppose to be at the VA in Tennesse I said I told you where I live and you even gave me this address, She said we are so sorry about that.

  4. Now we will see if the Baggers in the house step up and vote for it. Methinks the orange one will say Hastert rule be damn and will get about 20 to 30 of his drinking buddies to go along with the Democrats to get it pass.

  5. I hate that McCain’s name is on it. He’s made a career of stabbing the military in the back.

    Well, people who like sausage and politics shouldn’t watch either being made….

  6. That ones a real crap shoot – the Senate is generally considered to be somewhat saner than the House, but it is an election year, and the Cantor defeat has got them all scared to do anything that could be looked at as bi-partisan in any manner.

  7. Boehner will once again cave to the tea crazies and not bring it up to a vote. The teahadist regime in the House must be voted out in November.

  8. That’s interesting seeing if and I do say if they hold the house then he will need their votes to continue as speaker

  9. If there were dissenters in the Senate from the do nothing side you can just about bet that Bonehead will decide NOT to put it up for a vote. I hope to hell I am wrong.

  10. We owe Sanders a big thank you! John McCain doesn’t care about us veterans Last February has he as always done in the past. John McCain voted against a veteran benefit bill. All McCain does vote for a CUTS in veteran benefits and wars

  11. As a Republican, I am MORTIFIED of a$$holes such as Sessions and his six dumb!@#$colleagues who opposed this bill. Our veterans deserve absolutely everything, even if the entire rest of the country has to go without.

    Kudos to Sens. Sanders and McCain for their unremitting fight to get this bill passed.

  12. Anything little johnny McCain wants for the American people, is suspect and if you dig deep enough, someone is going to take a shellacking.

    Hanoi was glad to rid their selves of little johnny…..and the US people have had enough of that gold digger too! Never anything to help his blue collar American citizen, but always something for the the money people.

  13. Seriously it’s not about the ‘loving’ concern for the Veterans with McCain or the GOP. It’s about ‘sham support’ so when Bernie Sanders (I really like his values and moxie) runs for President in 2016 it splits the vote for another Republican to easily slid into the Presidential office. Don’t forget the Election of 2000 that got Bush in due to all the votes going to Ralph Nader. Unfortunately, that’s reality in the game of politics in the USA.

  14. Seriously it’s not about the ‘loving’ concern for the Veterans with McCain or the GOP. It’s about ‘sham support’ so when Bernie Sanders (I really like his values and moxie) runs for President in 2016 it splits the vote for another Republican to easily slid into the Presidential office. Don’t forget the Election of 2000 that got Bush in due to all the votes going to Ralph Nader. Unfortunately, that’s reality in the game of politics in the USA.

  15. Wow ‘loving’ concern for the Veterans from McCain or the GOP. What a ‘sham.’ If there is any intelligence in the Repub Party they’re simply using Bernie Sanders (I really like his values and moxie) to split the Presidential 2016 vote for another Republican to easily slid into the Presidential office. Don’t forget the Election of 2000 that got Bush in due to votes going to Ralph Nader. Unfortunately, that’s reality in the game of politics in the USA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.