Friday, September 14, 2012

Senator Rand Paul and Tom Coburn blocking bill to put veterans back to work

How did things get so bad that Senators would vote against veterans?
Murray Blasts GOP for Blocking Vets Jobs Bill
Sep 13, 2012
by Bryant Jordan

Senators holding up a vote on a veterans jobs bill came under blistering criticism Thursday afternoon during a phone-in press conference with Senate Veterans Affairs Chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Ben Nelson, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The legislation, which is largely made up of provisions originated by or co-sponsored by GOP Senators, is currently being held up by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who says he will filibuster the bill until a doctor jailed in Pakistan for helping the U.S. locate Osama bin Laden is freed.

But other Republicans have offered different reasons for not letting the bill go to a vote, said Murray. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., justified not voting on the bill because the House of Representatives would block it, according to Murray.

"That's an argument that can be made about every effort we've made to create jobs there in the Senate," she said.

With Murray on the conference call was Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Neb., and Tom Tarantino, the chief policy officer for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Nelson called passage of the Veterans Job Corps bill "a moral issue."

He pointed out that unemployment among young veterans, those 24 and younger, is at 19 percent. That is more than twice the unemployment figure for all veterans as of 2011, according to federal jobs figures.

The five-year, $1 billion Veterans Jobs Corps bill would increase training and hiring opportunities for all veterans, but would include set asides for those whose military specialties might direct them to law enforcement, emergency medical technician, or firefighting, according to Nelson.
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