Senate Democrats block GOP filibuster

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FilibusterThe Washington Post is reporting this morning that the Democrats blocked a Republican effort last night to hold up a ‘must pass’ defense spending bill in the Senate that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in their effort to hold up health-care legislation.  What is so odd about this is that this is exactly what the GOP has hammered the Democrats for doing since the days of Eisenhower! And generally speaking it is the GOP that supports these wars, not the President’s own party.  How odd can things possibly get over there on the Hill?

That story, Senate Democrats block GOP filibuster shows how little active duty and veterans issues can mean to either party when their agenda seems to be threatened by other issues.  We need to draw a lesson from this.  Veterans are very easily forgotten by either party, as well as are the troops.  We are in effect, an afterthought.  The story tells all.

     

Here are some excerpts from the story:

"Senate Republicans failed early Friday in their bid to filibuster a massive Pentagon bill that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an unusual move designed to delay President Obama’s health-care legislation.

On a 63 to 33 vote, Democrats cleared a key hurdle that should allow them to approve the must-pass military spending bill Saturday and return to the health-care debate. After years of criticizing Democrats for not supporting the troops, just three Republicans supported the military funding……"

Unusual position

Republicans have provided the backbone of support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many have praised Obama’s troop increase in Afghanistan. When the House considered the same legislation Wednesday, 164 of the 175 Republicans present voted for it, so the Senate GOP plan to oppose defense spending Friday morning put them in an unusual position.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) cited the roughly 1,800 earmarks in the bill worth $4.2 billion in explaining his opposition, but most others were blunt in their rational for opposing the military legislation.

"I don’t want health care," Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) said Thursday evening. "

Do you see how crazy things can get when ideology from either party gets in the way of common sense? This is an every day thing here in this town.  Its absolutely crazy, and unless you live here you would never think your government could act like this.  Amazing.

We have to start thinking like a voting bloc.  Both parties have shown how quickly they can turn from "patriots" into something resembling whores when it comes to our issues of concern.  Obama is very quickly turning into the biggest political disappointment of my lifetime.  The Republicans always talk a good game relative to veterans issues but are a little light on their feet when it comes to spending the money we need to get things done.

I hated Dubya’s influence on the direction our government was taking in his administration.  But I have to admit, he was not afraid to spend big money on veterans’ issues.  That is a fact.  And he often did it in the face of opposition from his own party.   We need more of that from this White House.  I have not seen it yet.  This is getting real old, real fast.

They can start by revamping the pay scale for totally disabled veterans so that they can have a life that approximates normal.  They are being given grossly inadequate compensation at the moment.  This is a national disgrace. A  young man or woman is maimed for a lifetime and gets compensation that is a whole lot less than the salary for a New York City bus driver in a year?  I don’t think so.

We need real change real fast relative to veterans issues, especially severely disabled veterans.

I hope that the White House is reading this.

CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)

 

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