Shortly before President Obama’s inauguration top Republicans held a secret meeting to plot their strategy to regain power. (Pete Hoesktra was in that group.)
During a lengthy discussion, the senior GOP members worked out a plan to repeatedly block Obama over the coming four years to try to ensure he would not be re-elected.
To this day Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is enforcing that planned obstructionism. These Republican leaders, putting their party power before the greater good of our country don’t care who they hurt. As a popular saying on the Internet states, they are willing to keep millions of Americans unemployed simply in order to put one man out of a job.
Legislation to put veterans to work preserving and restoring national parks and other federal, state and local lands was defeated Wednesday afternoon when Senate Republicans successfully blocked the bill’s advance with a budgetary point of order.
The largely party-line Senate vote of 58-40 fell two votes short of the three-fifths majority needed to overcome the procedural objection.
In other words, there was majority support for the bill. A few Republicans even crossed over to vote for it. But because of the ongoing Republican abuse of the filibuster blocking procedure, the Republicans prevented the bill from ever reaching the floor where they would have to go on record with their votes against it.
The price tag for this bill, which would have given our returned military members much needed decent paying employment was a mere $1 billion price tag over five years. In other words, it would cost a couple hundred million a year. Republicans claimed they voted against it because it would add to the deficit, but that’s not even true. There were “budgetary set-asides [that] would pay for the bill.”
And why would Republicans act so heartlessly against our troops? This woman Cassie sums it up well:
Here’s what I think, and here’s the conclusion I believe anyone who takes a really good hard look at the situation will reach. I think they voted against it to keep the unemployment numbers as high as they can. I think they voted against it because they cannot stand the idea of the current administration having a success. I think they voted against it because they will brazenly put their party ahead of our country…ahead of the men and women they had a hand in sending off to war. These are the same Senators who are quick to stand at a podium and call for all of us to support the troops. Quicker still when it comes to pointing out an opponent’s perceived failure in supporting them. But when they had the chance to actually DO something real and tangible to support our troops, they turned their backs on them.
Sadly, that’s not the only way Republicans slapped our military service people in the face recently. A single Republican put a secret hold on a COLA increase for disabled vets. The bill would have provided “more than 3.9 million veterans and their survivors with a cost-of-living adjustment to disability compensation.”
The hold has since allegedly been removed but not in time for a vote before the Senate recessed. With the election barely a month away, it won’t be taken up before then. Chances are they won’t be able to pass it afterward in time to avoid an expensive and time consuming bookkeeping problem, which will likely delay any payments if Republicans do manage to put aside their partisan ploys long enough to allow it to pass.
As President Obama has often said, no one who has served and fought for our country should have to fight for a job when they get home. And I’d add those who were injured beyond being employable should not be asked to suffer and sacrifice even more than their health and limbs simply so Republicans can continue to play their partisan games.