Republicans Axe Veterans’ Jobs Bill, Prove Zero Interest In Job Creation

In a show of utter disregard for post-9/11 U.S. military veterans, Republican senators voted down the Veterans Job Corps Act, shooting themselves in the foot yet again as they deny jobs to thousands of unemployed vets.

The bi-partisan bill failed Wednesday afternoon in the Senate due to a procedural vote that sent it back to committee, where obstinate Republicans religiously bury any bill that (a) creates jobs or (b) allows Obama to follow through on his promise to create jobs.

The result of the callous Republican move will mean the 13.1% unemployment rate among post-September 11 military veterans will persist, leaving a quarter of a million vets unemployed after their service.

“I’ve been surprised at the many obstacles and weird arguments that have been thrown at us,” commented Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the bill’s co-sponsor and chairperson of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Murray worked with Republicans including Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) to incorporate GOP provisions before introducing it to the floor.

While the Senate voted 58-40 in favor of the bill, it fell 3 votes short of the three-fifths majority needed to override the objection of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) that the bill violated a budgetary rule because it will add to the deficit. The bill’s author argued that the budgetary rule doesn’t apply because the $1 billion bill creates new revenue to pay for itself over 10 years. Only five Senate Republicans voted for the bill, while all of the “no” votes came from GOP senators.

Supporters of the Veterans Job Corps say the program would be a win-win situation: unemployed vets would be able to provide for their families, while the government would be able to tend to a $10 billion maintenance backlog at the Department of Interior, in areas such as national park conservation and historic preservation projects. The bill included provisions adding police and firefighting jobs as well.

Does Republican obstructionism of yet another jobs bill – this time suppressing jobs for Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, get you angry as hell? If so, click here to search by state for your senators and send them a message.

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