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Watch: Maddow Dares Romney To Support Veterans Bills GOP Has Obstructed

by David Badash on September 28, 2012

in News,Politics

Post image for Watch: Maddow Dares Romney To Support Veterans Bills GOP Has Obstructed

Rachel Maddow last night dared GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to actually take a position on the Republican Party’s obstruction of two bills for veterans — cost of living adjustments for families of soldiers who die at war, and the veterans jobs corp bill — on which the GOP has anonymously placed holds and blocks.

The GOP is actually obstructing a bill to help our veterans get jobs when they return home, and blocking a bill that would increase the payments to mothers, fathers, and children left behind because their loved one gave their life to serve their country.

Seriously.

The GOP is all about “support the troops!” when that means, “Give more money to military manufacturers!” But ACTUALLY support the troops? To hell with that — don’t even let the bills be debated on the floor!

“You’re the leader of this party — do you have anything to say on this?”

“Do you think the Senators from your own party should stop blocking the Veterans Jobs Corp bill?”

It’s a bit long — over 16 minutes — so if you don’t have time skip ahead about half way. But it’s worth every minute.

Romney is the leader of his party — despite his poor leadership — and, as someone trying to become the Commander In Chief, one would hope he would actually support the troops.

Maddow knows this topic well. Her new book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, “argues that we’ve drifted away from America’s original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails.”

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{ 3 comments }

cissy4454 September 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Hi Rachael I watched your show last night.I am always astounded as to the things going on that the majority of Americans have no idea of what is happening.The subject was the VA bill you said you were wondering who the republican was that put a stop to the bill going through.I tried to find out who it was and this is what I found.Please keep this subject prevalent in your show.If you could steer me in the right direction I would like to keep veterans abreast of who is standing in there way.Again Thanks for all you do to keep us informed.

Opinion: Congress neglects veterans’ needs
by Preston Peeden, Associate Editor
Fri Sep 28, 2012

There are many issues coming up in the election cycle that are of vital importance. Social issues, the economy and foreign policy are all issues that are deserving of the attention they are receiving. One issue, however, is not only being ignored, but also neglected. That issue is the mass of unemployed veterans in our country, who have recently been ignored again by our government.

For those unaware, on Sept. 19, a bill was stalled in the Senate that would provide one billion dollars in funds over five years to help unemployed veterans find work in their communities. Based off of FDR's Civilian Conservations Corps from the Great Depression era (a group which planted trees, built parks and constructed dams), the bill would have covered its costs in part from fees on Medicare providers and suppliers who are late on their tax bills.

The final vote was 58 to 40; 60 votes were necessary to waive Republican objections.

At first glance, this would seem to be one of those few no-brainers that grace our Senate's floor. There are over 700,000 unemployed veterans in this country, 220,000 of which didn't serve in the military until after September 11, 2001. Those men and women took up the charge of serving in our military to protect the values, ideals and freedoms that our nation espouses. And now, once they've left the service, they have essentially been forgotten and neglected by the people they risked their lives to serve and protect.

By no means was this bill a perfect piece of legislation. There is no clear instruction for finding the billion dollars, the plan itself is in no way unique (there are already six other programs with similar agendas in effect right now, with their success or failure being hard to quantify) and the current deficit in this country is at such a high level that "fiscal responsibility" needs to become a more commonly used term in our nation's vocabulary.

With all of those objections being said and understood, the fact still remains that this bill would have created jobs for over 20,000 veterans, a group in our population that has been severely ignored, mistreated and disrespected on a nearly continual basis since the post-WWII years.

Republicans like Tom Coburn opposed the bill under the banner of fiscal responsibility, stating that with our economy the way it is, this spending would be unnecessary. But where was this cry for tighter wallets when we started spending the money that made over a third of these men and women veterans in the first place (a total which as of yesterday is upwards of 1.3 trillion dollars)? Shouldn't a billion dollars be a drop in the hat compared to that already enormous sum? And if this bill is so deplorable, where is the Republican Party's alternative suggestion? There is no counterargument to try and fix what is a huge problem in this country. How can we help these men and women?

Ultimately, this vote is a reminder of the promise that Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell made four years ago. Republicans are ignoring the possibility of bipartisanism for the sake of hurting Obama's standings in the coming election.

Our nation is not meant to be polarized—no political system is. Like a child stuck in between feuding parents, the only people being hurt in this dispute are the people being neglected by the argument, which in this case are the veterans and their families who would depend on the jobs created by this bill (which also stands as another reminder to the fact that both parties have used veterans issues as pawns in their machinations for decades).

This bill was one of the last opportunities for our veterans to receive support from Congress this year. So with the election cycle about to take precedence in our country, over 700,000 former servicemen will be put on the back burner for another year. And that is a disgrace.

Unemployment is a huge problem in this country, and the mass unemployment of veterans is an embarrassment. Instead of taking a step to rectify this, our Senate has instead decided to wage a partisan-fueled game of chicken that has left no one better off than how they were in the beginning. And for that, I am embarrassed. Governments exist to serve their people, not their own self-interest.

— Preston Peeden is a senior in history. He can be reached at ppeeden@utk.edu.

rubellapox September 28, 2012 at 9:30 pm

dang, you go rachel.. wow what's up with some of our representatives? seriously? why would you make our soldiers feel worried about their futures when they come back.. or worried that their families are going to be taken care of if anything should happen to them.. that's just so wrong….and creepy…

cissy4454 October 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I don't think there is a need to worry if you listen to that 47% tape again he is going to kick the ball down the road should anything happen with Israel & the Palestinians outside of that you would have to give him a GPS to find these other places.He is ill equipped to deal with foreign affairs.That is why it is so important he doesn't win.Otherwise his kids will be off to the beaches in France just like he did during the Vietnam war.You can see the yellow streak when it comes to conflict.That is when he does his best BS.Please kick him down the road.

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