Showing posts with label Senate Veterans Bill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Senate Veterans Bill. Show all posts

Friday, July 29, 2022

"Ain't this a bitch!" Jon Stewart fights for veterans

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 29, 2022


Worse than we thought as GOP members of the Senate celebrated blocking this bill!

The bill that would finally provide some justice to the men and women we sent to Afghanistan and Iraq, was stopped from passing yesterday by the same people that voted for it weeks ago, GOP members of the Senate!

I've seen a lot of crap in my day and that was over a lifetime. My Dad was 100% Korean War veteran and my husband is 100% disabled Vietnam veteran. I remember what it was like to fight the VA for what their service cost then and our families. I also remember the 40 years of fighting so that veterans and families could finally see their service honored.

I've seen political games played by both parties on all sorts of issues. I have never seen a good bill being blocked to take care of veterans. Surely, politicians prolonged the passage so they could get attention for themselves, whine, moan and complain like a toddler, but in the end, there were enough votes to pass it.

This time, They needed just 10 Republicans to step up so the bill could be voted on. Only five showed up to do the right thing for veterans. So what happened to the other 55 Republicans that voted on it before passing it?
The House passed the PACT Act by a 342-88 vote on July 13, about a month after the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 84-14.
They claim it was because the House tweaked it and they couldn't stand that. I mean, the same crowd that kept repeating they support veterans and their care should never be subjected to budget cuts, is now something they want to use to take a temper tantrum!

Ever since the beginning of this nation, the leaders asked men and women to risk their lives for the sake of this nation. And ever since they returned back to this nation and home and families, they were forced to fight the same leaders to be compensated for what their service did to them. What is the most reprehensible thing of all is when they were forced to fight for what the nation did to them while they were serving and risking their lives.

Vietnam veterans fought for PTSD to be covered and treated, and that was a little easier to take on since it was due to combat. They also had to fight for being treated and compensated for what Agent Orange, sent by the government did to them and their families. Gulf War veterans were forced to fight for care after whatever the cause was for Gulf War Syndrome. And now this! Yet another thing the nation they served did to them with burn pits!


This post went up in 2008!

Troops sick from burn pits urged to contact DAV

“Anyone out there who thinks they may have had a long-term health effect ... needs to file a complaint” with the Department of Veterans Affairs, said Kerry Baker, DAV’s associate national legislative director.

Noting that it took Vietnam veterans 20 years to gain benefits for exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange, Baker said, “We don’t want to see these guys have to wait 20 years. We want to see Congress act right away.”
When will they do the right thing? When the American people demand it!

Watch the video and if you are not as angry as all these speakers are, don't ever say you support the troops or veterans with a straight face because the members of the GOP couldn't do the right thing when they had the chance, have been now seen for what they truly are and they are disgusting!

WATCH: Jon Stewart criticizes Republicans for voting down bill to increase care for veterans exposed to burn pits

Jul 28, 2022

“I’m used to the hypocrisy … but I’m not used to the cruelty,” Stewart said.

Former Talk show host turned veterans advocate, John Stewart joined a bicameral group of Democrats to call out Senate Republicans for failing to pass the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022.

In a speech riddled with strong language, Stewart criticized Republican senators for speaking in support of veterans, but then voting against the bill that would increase spending by more than $300 billion over the next decade and dramatically boost health care services and disability benefits for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I’m used to the hypocrisy … but I’m not used to the cruelty,” Stewart said.

The bill would open up Department of Veterans Affairs health care to millions of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans exposed to toxic substances during their service even if they don’t have a service-connected disability. The bill also would provide new or increased disability benefits to thousands of veterans who have become ill with cancer or respiratory conditions such as bronchitis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The measure has the backing of the nation’s major veterans groups and underscores the continued cost of war years after the fighting has stopped.
read more here 
Warning: This video contains strong language.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Senator Baucus sponsored another military suicide prevention bill

Senator Baucus sponsored another military suicide prevention bill
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
December 2, 2012

Don't count me among the people thinking another suicide prevention bill is a good thing. Some people in this country may be really hopeful over this but for me, I've been tracking all of this too long to gain any hope when they show no signs of changing anything.

In 2008 when most people in this country focused on the election of President Obama as the "first black President" in good ways as well as bad ways, I was focused on PTSD and military suicides.

For me that was the issue that matter to me the most.

In May of 2008 I broke my own rule about posting an entire report when I posted U.S. must battle against stigma of mental war wounds because all too often important reports are lost in the archives of newspapers. This one came out of The Billings Gazette. I just checked the link and it is not working, much like the rest of the things I hoped for have not worked.

Senator Max Baucus sponsored another suicide prevention bill along with Senator Tester. In his speech, Senator Baucus mentioned what Montana has been doing to get ahead of military suicides. It made me cry.
Baucus Secures Military Suicide Prevention Program in National Defense Bill
Senator Continues Longstanding Battle Against PTSD
Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012

(Washington, D.C.) - Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus secured an amendment to the National Defense Reauthorization bill that will create a comprehensive and standardized suicide prevention program for military service members. This is the latest step in Baucus' longstanding efforts to address Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. Baucus took to the Senate floor today to raise awareness of the need to provide mental health care and support for troops and veterans. The Amendment was also co-sponsored by Montana Senator Jon Tester.

"When duty calls, Montanans answer proudly. This is about taking care of these men and women, just as they have taken care of us. These people have put their lives on the line in the name of freedom. And we have a responsibility to do everything we can to help them return to their families and lives back home," Baucus said on the Senate floor today.

"Montana's military men and women make tremendous sacrifices on the battlefield, but too often they return home with wounds unseen," Tester said. "This measure makes sure we live up to our responsibilities to them and puts everyone on the same page when it comes to making sure our hard-working men and women get the care they earned."

Baucus also inserted a provision in the 2010 Defense Authorization bill that implemented a successful PTSD screening program at the Montana National Guard nationwide. This year's defense bill builds on that provision and advances Baucus' efforts to get Montana veterans and service members get the mental health care they deserve.

The amendment passed the week is known as the Mental Health ACCESS Act. The provision will:
·Create a comprehensive, standardized suicide prevention program within the Department of Defense;
·Expand eligibility for VA mental health services to family members of veterans;
·Create more peer to peer counseling opportunities; and
·Require the VA to establish accurate and reliable measures for mental health services.

This is who Senator Baucus was talking about.
What They Found in the Wastebasket
Suicide shocks Montana into assessing vets' care
Chris Adams
McClatchy Newspapers

HELENA, Mont. — Chris Dana came home from the war in Iraq in 2005 and slipped into a mental abyss so quietly that neither his family nor the Montana Army National Guard noticed.

He returned to his former life: a job at a Target store, nights in a trailer across the road from his father's house.

When he started to isolate himself, missing family events and football games, his father urged him to get counseling. When the National Guard called his father to say that he'd missed weekend duty, Gary Dana pushed his son to get in touch with his unit.

"I can't go back. I can't do it," Chris Dana responded.

Things went downhill from there. He blew though all his money, and last March 4, he shot himself in the head with a .22-caliber rifle. He was 23 years old.

As Gary Dana was collecting his dead son's belongings, he found a letter indicating that the National Guard was discharging his son under what are known as other-than-honorable conditions. The move was due to his skipping drills, which his family said was brought on by the mental strain of his service in Iraq.

The letter was in the trash, near a Wal-Mart receipt for .22-caliber rifle shells.

All across America, veterans such as Chris Dana are slipping through the cracks, left to languish by their military units and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The link to the above story still work so you'll be able to read the rest of this report.

Back then they were not reporting military suicide numbers. Think Progress has this military suicide report still up on their site. Take a look at what the numbers turned out to be when the DOD actually had to start reporting the suicides.

Did you see how the numbers went up? I had such high hopes in 2008 when President Obama was elected because unlike McCain, he was paying attention to military suicides and PTSD. I still think he cares but with cold hard facts proving what they have been doing since 2008 have not worked at all, repeating another bill based on the same thing is heartbreaking.

Here are some facts you should know. These reports are from my blog.

Suicide death of Spc. Chris Dana causes change in Montana National Guard
Montana Guard confronts post-combat stress head-on in wake of suicide
Tribune Projects Editor

HELENA — Montana's National Guard is becoming a model of how to help service members adjust to post-combat stress.

"Montana has gone beyond the level of other states in the country, and I applaud that," said Capt. Joan Hunter, a U.S. Public Service officer who was recently designated the director of psychological health for the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C.

"They saw an emergency need, studied the problems and make some significant improvements," Hunter said Friday.

State Adjutant General Randy Mosley said that the effort stems from a former Montana soldier who didn't get the help he needed and who killed himself a year ago.

"We want to make sure we're doing everything we can to help our people and their families pick up the pieces for the problems that may have begun during their deployment in Iraq," Mosley said last week.

"The Guard has done an unbelievable job in changing," said Matt Kuntz, a Helena attorney and stepbrother of the late Spc. Chris Dana, who killed himself March 4, 2007.

In Billings, Obama blames GOP for veteran troubles
Billings Gazette

BILLINGS - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, speaking Wednesday in Billings, faulted Republican leaders for chronically underfunding veteran services for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I have some significant differences with McCain and George Bush about the war in Iraq,” Obama said. “But one thing I thought we'd agree to is when the troops came home, we'd treat them with the honor and respect they deserve.”

Several trends indicate veterans are not getting the health care and other benefits they need to succeed at home, Obama told a group of around 200 people during an invitation-only morning listening session in Riverfront Park.

Armed services veterans are seven times more likely to be homeless than Americans who don't serve. In Montana, roughly half the veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder go untreated for the psychological condition, Obama said.

Before speaking, the candidate met for several minutes with the family of Spec. Chris Dana, a Montana National Guard veteran suffering from PTSD who committed suicide in March 2007, several months after returning from Iraq. Dana's stepbrother, Matt Kuntz, became a vocal advocate for better treatment of PTSD after Dana's death.

Obama promises to repeat Montana's National Guard PTSD work nation wide
Obama Pledges Nationwide Use of PTSD Program
Eric Newhouse
Great Falls Tribune
Aug 28, 2008

August 28, 2008 - Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama promised Wednesday to expand Montana's pilot program to assess the mental health of combat vets nationwide, if elected.

The Montana National Guard has developed a program to check its soldiers and airmen for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder every six months for the first two years after returning from combat, then once a year thereafter. The program exceeds national standards set by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The pilot program was created in response to the suicide of former Army Spc. Chris Dana of Helena, who shot himself on March 4, 2007, days after being given a less-than-honorable discharge because he could no longer handle attending drills following a tour in Iraq.
Obama win also means PTSD work gets new hero
November 5, 2008
This is one of the biggest reasons I am so delighted that Senator Obama will be President Obama. In August, he visited the Montana National Guard because he heard about the great work they were doing on PTSD. He was so impressed that he promised to take their program nationally.

Up until now, PTSD has only recently become a hot topic. President Bush surrounded himself with people who either had no clue what PTSD was or denied it was real. This prevented years of research not being done and programs that could have been created sooner, to not even be dreamt of. Thousands of our veterans and troops, guardsmen and reservists died as a result, not by enemy hands but because of the enemy within them.

Military families and veteran families have a new hero coming to fight for them and I'm sure when you get to know exactly how much he does care, plans to act, you will feel the same way too. He's been on the Veterans Affairs Committee and has paid attention to all that is going on.

I still think he's paying attention but the problem is the experts the congress has been listening to have not provided the relief these veterans need but instead of doing something differently, they repeat the same thing hoping for different results and leaving more and more families grieving by a graveside and blaming themselves.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Election over stalled Veteran Benefits Bill Passed By Senate

Veteran Benefits Bill Passed By Senate

WASHINGTON — The Senate sent the White House a bill on Tuesday giving nearly 4 million veterans and survivors a 1.7 percent increase in their monthly benefit payments next year.

Democrats said the normally routine measure was delayed for weeks because an unidentified Republican senator objected to it.

Republicans were not given enough time to ensure that all senators were okay with the bill, said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. He said the clearance process was completed soon after Congress adjourned for the elections and that Democrats could have brought the bill up if necessary.

When the Senate returned this week, it acted quickly to ensure that checks issued beginning in January reflect the adjustment for the higher cost of living.

The House approved the measure in July. The bill now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.
read more here

Saturday, October 27, 2012

In veteran-heavy states, military issues magnified

This is an easy one to explain. Stop listening to what they say and start looking up their records. That's the only way to figure out what they will end up doing. Romney will cut the VA and privatize it. Aside from the Ryan budget he approved of we have his record in Massachusetts. He cut state VA funds, ended hiring preferences for veterans and cut public employees, most of the were veterans. Remember, veterans enter into law enforcement, fire departments and public service more than they return to the private sector. They always want to give more and serving makes them happy.

John McCain proved that it is not what they say but what they do as well. Look up his record on everything from the GI Bill, which he not only voted against but fought against it and go all the way back to when he was first sent to the Senate. He loved to say he was "one of us" until we weren't looking.

For President Obama, even the most staunch Republicans I know have admitted he has done a lot for veterans and to right some wrongs done against them. Gulf War veterans and Vietnam veterans were included in on all the changes for the better when the media was just paying attention to the newer veterans. Think of how many years that went on and no one did anything. Then think of the new veterans bill the Senate tied up that would have trained the OEF OIF veterans to be police officers and firefighters and you get a good picture of what is really going on.

In veteran-heavy states, military issues magnified
Associated Press
(AP) The far-flung swing states that have the most sway in the presidential election have something else in common a large share of military veterans who are getting special attention from the fiercely dueling campaigns.

In a White House campaign this hard-fought, no interest group can be ignored. But veterans are an especially prized group since so many live in battlegrounds including Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia.

Backing those who have served the country also sends a feel-good patriotic message to the electorate at large. And although veterans traditionally lean Republican, both candidates see an opening to win over veterans this year.

The next president will face U.S. troops returning from Afghanistan and a continuing budget crisis with veterans benefits under scrutiny.

Navy veteran Rob Meurer fears for his own livelihood at a northern Virginia aerospace manufacturer if military spending cuts are enacted during a second administration for President Barack Obama. Defense cuts "could devastate our military and our business," Meurer said.

At the other end of the state, Hampton Roads area Air Force veteran Lawrence Ewing fears the quality of his health care will suffer should the government privatize benefits under Republican Mitt Romney.

"We simply cannot afford cuts to the VA," Ewing said.
read more here

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Senator Scott Brown Exaggerated Afghanistan Military Service

Scott Brown Exaggerated Afghanistan Military Service, Says Man Who Inspired Medal Bill Huffington Post
Ryan Grim
Michael McAuliff
Posted: 10/18/2012
When I returned, it was not as a U.S. Senator but as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army National Guard, sent to complete my annual training at a military base near Kandahar. I dressed in fatigues and battle armor, carried a side arm in my holster, and lived, worked, ate, and slept alongside fellow U.S. soldiers and Guard members.

WASHINGTON -- The man who inspired Sen. Scott Brown to write a bill making it illegal to falsely claim military honors said he thinks the Massachusetts Republican is stretching the truth when he claims to have "served in Afghanistan."

Brown made the Afghanistan declaration in his recent debate with his Democratic opponent for the Senate seat, Elizabeth Warren.

But Brown's service in Afghanistan was not combat. It was part of his annual two-week stint with the National Guard, in which he requested, in a highly unusual move, to serve in Afghanistan.

"It sounds to me like we just got another Blumenthal Connecticut, Mark Kirk type things there," said Vietnam veteran Doug Sterner, referring to exaggerated military claims two years ago by now-Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)

"I thought it was seriously misleading," said Sterner, whose website outing heroes was the basis for Brown's "Stolen Valor" bill. Sterner's criticism echoes a Boston Globe editorial published Thursday morning.

"I think it does go to an issue of personal character and that concerns me," added Sterner, who earlier this year broke with Brown and has endorsed Warren.
read more here

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Veterans React To The Second Presidential Debate

Romney says he knows how to create jobs. Then why did Massachusetts lose jobs when he was Governor? Why did the companies he took over end up going bankrupt? Why did those jobs leave at the same time his money left the country? Folks these are easy questions that need to be asked but so far, no reporter has really asked them.

The biggest question he needs to be asked is how he feels about the Senate Republicans holding up the Veterans' Jobs Bill instead of passing it and putting veterans back to work on the jobs they love. See, most veterans end up going to work as cops and firefighters, emergency responders, medical technicians and teachers. Most of these jobs have seen layoffs because of state budget cuts. As the Republican Party nominee for President, he needs to be asked if he approves of the block or not. If he says he doesn't approve, then why hasn't he come out and fought for veterans? If he does approve, then he needs to be honest with the veterans in this country.

Veterans React To The Second Presidential Debate At Hofstra
Posted: 10/17/2012

While veterans affairs were not at the forefront of the second presidential debate, a few issues that affect vets were mentioned in passing -- from President Obama's insistence on the importance of small businesses receiving tax credits for hiring veterans to Romney's belief that military service could serve as a pathway to permanent residence for children of undocumented immigrants.

After the debate, HuffPost Live's Mike Sacks asked veterans what they thought about the candidates' statements.

Justin Ford, a veteran in Washington, D.C., believes Obama was the one who brought the most attention to veterans during Tuesday's debate.

"Throughout the conventions and debates, he's certainly been the one to focus on veterans," Ford said.
read more here

Reaction at Fort Hood

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Almost all new firefighters in Newark OEF OIF veterans

When the Senate had a chance to do the right thing instead of what was political for them, they blocked the bill that would have put more veterans on the job as firefighters and cops. Congressman Calls Vet Jobs Bill Unfair, Wasteful

This report shows that it would not be unfair or wasteful.

Newark, NJ’s newest firefighters are almost all veterans of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan
By Associated Press
Published: October 9

NEWARK, N.J. — When Marland Lawrence entered the fire academy after coming home from the Navy, he was surprised to find out he was not the only veteran in his class. Almost everyone else had also just left the military.

Lawrence was one of 28 veterans in Newark’s 41st fire recruit class, which graduated Tuesday. Three civilians were also sworn in.

It is not a coincidence. New Jersey’s largest city has spent the past few years actively recruiting veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to serve in its fire department. It is the first time the fire department has recruited veterans since World War II.

“They bring that life experience, the camaraderie, the teamwork, and already knowing a quasi-military structure,” said John G. Centanni, the Newark Fire Chief. “They know rank and how to take orders. They bring all of that to the table.”

Newark runs a veterans program in its city hall in partnership with the GI Go Fund, a New Jersey nonprofit that helps veterans make the transition to civilian life.

“Veterans are perfect to do this job,” said Jack S. Fanous, director of the fund. “They’re not going to be afraid of this job when they come back home.”
read more here

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Congress has been playing political games even when it comes to our veterans

Congress has been playing political games even when it comes to our veterans.
In this week’s address, President Obama says that Congress should act to keep our nation moving forward by keeping taxes low for 98 percent of Americans, cutting red tape so responsible homeowners can save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage by refinancing at lower rates, and creating a veterans jobs corps to help our returning heroes find work.

Third, Congress needs to step up and pass my plan to create a veterans jobs corps to help our returning heroes find work as cops, firefighters and park rangers in communities across the country.

A few weeks ago, Republicans in the Senate voted that plan down.

Ask them why someone who fights for this country abroad should have to fight for a job when they come home.

In other words, ask them to get back to work and get these things done.

If we're going to keep this economy moving forward, there's no time for political games.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Coward Senator anonymously blocked COLA Veterans Bill

Update Hold Lifted

It takes a real coward of a Senator to block a raise for veterans and not do it publicly!
Which Senator Put a Hold on Veterans Benefits Bill?
Sep 27, 2012
AUTHOR Jamie Reno

A routine bill for a cost-of-living increase for military veterans and surviving spouses just got delayed for months because of a secret hold by an unidentified Senate Republican.

In what appears to be an election-year stunt that quickly backfired, an unidentified Republican senator on Thursday briefly blocked disabled veterans and their survivors from getting a cost-of-living adjustment to their benefits, according to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

The Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) increase for Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, which typically passes the House and Senate without opposition, was cleared by Senate Democrats but placed on a “secret hold” Thursday by an unidentified Republican senator, Murray says.

Under Senate rules, a single senator is allowed to anonymously keep a bill from advancing toward a vote with what is called a “secret hold.” The senator in this case has not been identified.
read more here

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Congressman Calls Vet Jobs Bill Unfair, Wasteful

The fact is Senator Coburn must not pay attention much. After all, the unemployment rate for veterans did go down but since most of the members of the military end up staying in public service jobs, this bill would have given them the chance to do it. It would have given them the chance to go into the line of work they love to do. Police officers/law enforcement, firefighters and EMT. They have it in their nature to want to do for others but killing this Bill just took that chance away from them and there is no excuse Coburn can use to explain what he just did to them when he could have done something for them!

Congressman Calls Vet Jobs Bill Unfair, Wasteful
Sep 25, 2012
by Bryant Jordan

A Senator who helped block a vote last week on the Veterans Jobs Corps bill says he opposed the law in part because it would have duplicated existing federal jobs programs and given post-9/11 vets an unfair advantage over other veterans in targeted fields. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said there are six veterans’ jobs training programs under the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor that should be consolidated under the VA. Coburn said the programs are not working, citing the Government Accountability Office’s conclusion that overlaps in various programs result in inefficiencies.

“Instead of creating a new program we owe it to our veterans and taxpayers to understand why what we are already doing isn’t producing results,” Coburn said.

Under an amendment to the bill offered by Coburn, the six programs – the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program, the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Project, the Local Veterans Employment Representative Program, the Transition Assistance Program, the Veterans Workforce Investment Program and the Vocational Rehabilitation for Disabled Veterans Program – would have been placed under the VA and reviewed to ensure they’re working.

However, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the majority leader, would not allow amendments, Coburn said.
read more here

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Screwing Private Ryan

Thursday September 20, 2012
Screwing Private Ryan
Senator Tom Coburn led the GOP charge against America's fighting men and women as 40 senators voted to block the Veterans Jobs Corps Act.

Senate Republicans block Murray’s $1 billion veterans jobs bill
Posted by Kyung M. Song

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked Sen. Patty Murray’s $1 billion legislation to create a jobs corps for veterans, invoking a budget rule to kill what they contend is an unproven and unaffordable program.

The 58-40 vote to waive a procedural budget motion fell two votes short. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had already postponed the vote from last Friday, when Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said the bill violates the Budget Control Act.

Five Republicans sided with all 53 members of the Democratic caucus to override the GOP objection, but that was insufficient. Sixty votes were needed.

The Veterans Jobs Corp Act would have trained and employed veterans for jobs in forests, wildlife refuges, parks, cemeteries and other public lands. Murray proposed paying for the $1 billion tab over five years in part by collecting delinquent taxes from Medicare providers and suppliers and from individuals with more than $50,000 in unpaid taxes.

Speaking on the Senate floor before the vote, Murray said the GOP’s motion in effect told veterans the nation has spent enough money on them. The Washington Democrat, who chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said the bill incorporated many ideas from Republicans to improve its chance for passage.
read more here

Here are the jerks that killed the Bill
Alexander (TN)
Ayotte (NH)
Barrasso (WY) - up for reelection
Blunt (MO)
Boozman (AR)
Burr (NC)
Chambliss (GA)
Coats (IN)
Cochran (MS)
Corker (TN) - up for reelection
Cornyn (TX)
Crapo (ID)
DeMint (SC)
Enzi (WY)
Graham (SC)
Grassley (IA)
Hatch (UT) - up for reelection
Hoeven (ND)
Hutchinson (TX)
Isakson (GA)
Johanns (NE)
Johnson (WI)
Kyl (AZ)
Lee (UT)
Lugar (IN)
McCain (AZ)
McConnell (KY)
Moran (KS)
Paul (KY)
Portman (OH)
Risch (ID)
Roberts (KS)
Rubio (FL)
Sessions (AL)
Shelby (AL)
Thune (SD)
Toomey (PA)
Vitter (LA)
Wicker (MS) - up for reelection

Remember all of them when they want you to vote for them when they couldn't be bothered to vote for veterans in need of jobs!

Don't forget that John McCain yet again voted AGAINST VETERANS!

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.
read more here

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Senator DeMint gives in and votes for veterans' jobs

Congress passes veterans employment bill
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Nov 16, 2011 19:17:24 EST
A landmark $1.7 billion package of veterans employment aid has passed Congress and is on its way to the White House, where President Obama has vowed to sign it into law.

Passage of the bill — filled with new programs and tweaks in old ones in an effort to help veterans find work in a difficult economy — is a sign that even in a year filled with partisan bickering, there are some issues that transcend politics, said Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the House Veterans Affairs Committee chairman, who ushered the bill through the House.

Called the Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, the bill passed the House on a 422-0 vote Wednesday.

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., voted against the package Nov. 10 when it was passed as an amendment. On final passage, the Senate approved the measure on a 95-0 vote.
read more here

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Pro-Vets Act

Coalition Seeks to Raise Awareness and Help Returning Veterans

by Molly Line | May 16, 2011

Sen Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

In the coming weeks, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., will introduce new legislation that calls on the Veterans Affairs Department to be more proactive in informing and providing veterans with the services they're entitled to receive.

The legislation is called the Pro-Vets Act and would require the VA to offer each service member a thorough assessment of benefits and the materials they need to apply. Service members leaving the military would be automatically enrolled in VA health care. Gillibrand's office says that even though they are eligible for up to five years of free care, many never claim the benefit.

The senator is also calling for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which offers incentives to companies that hire veterans, to become permanent. Gillibrand is pushing for businesses to be permitted to write off 40 percent of the first $6,000 paid to returning troops.

Severe storms in New York prevented Sen. Gillibrand from leaving Washington to reveal the details of her plan at a roundtable discussion, but veterans' advocacy organizations, the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, New York City leaders and corporate interests joined together to talk about ways to better coordinate care and services for veterans. They're working to create a community of support for soldiers returning from the battlefields, many of whom are struggling with depression, unemployment, homelessness and post traumatic stress.

Nearly 76,000 American veterans were homeless on a given night in 2009. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, experts believe up to 20 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan will suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. On average, 18 veterans commit suicide every day. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says unemployment for vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan now stands at nearly 11 percent, roughly two points above the national average.

Read more: Coalition Seeks to Raise Awareness and Help Returning Veterans