Mississippi’s Sen. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker joined Senate Republican in derailing a bill that would have expended $21 billion to enhance health care, education and job benefits for veterans.
The “nea” votes Thursday by Cochran, Wicker and all but two other Senate GOP members brought a harsh response from the American Legion.
“I don’t know how anyone who voted ‘no’ today can look a veteran in the eye and justify that vote,” said Daniel M. Dellinger, national commander of the American Legion in a Washington Post report. “Our veterans deserve more than what they got today.”
Republicans stopped the veterans bill from moving on a procedural vote, which needed 60 votes. The final tally was 56-41.
The bill contained provisions that would restore the COLA for vets, and protect them from losing their benefits in the event of another government shutdown. It also would have authorized the construction of 27 new clinics and medical facilities, and it would have provided tuition assistance to post-9/11 vets, Politico reported.