On February 27, forty-one Republican senators blocked legislation that would provide improved veterans benefits. I found their action disturbing, so I made a comment on Facebook quoting Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT.), who said regarding the vote, “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, then don’t go to war.”
As expected, I received pushback from my Republican friends. They opined of President Obama’s lack of budgetary support for the military even though it has nothing to do with the issue. True to form, they pointed out the creation of 15 new government programs the bill would create and its estimated $24 billion cost. All of this while acknowledging the Department of Veterans Affairs’ backlog of thousands of claims. They concluded that the bill would be more inefficient and only add to existing problem.
Inexplicably, my Republican friends somehow failed to recognize that the bill would go a long way to alleviating those backlogs and existing problems.
Certainly, costs are a major consideration. However, Senate Republicans don’t offer an alternative either. Making sanctions against Iran part of the bill in order to force a vote on sanctions is not a solution.
Republicans would certainly fund a war with Iran regardless of costs or its funding.
But it doesn’t matter, Senator Sanders still raises a valid point. And the fact remains that all Senate Republicans voted against a bill of unquestionable merit, while all Senate Democrats voted for it.
“Support Our Troops?” Well, actions speak louder than all those great sounding patriotic words posted on Facebook by so many of my Republican friends.
We pay the costs in dollars and blood to conduct war. We find enormous amounts of money to find new high tech ways to kill and destroy lives. Yet we can’t seem to find the money to pay for the people costs associated with war in its aftermath.
Taking our country to war based on anything other than in our unequivocal defense is immoral in the first place. Not to provide care for those who went to war is irresponsible and morally wrong. I can’t understand why anyone would not find that to be a problem.