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Revive bid to put veterans back to work

Published: December 26, 2012 4:00 AM

Mr. President, please put our veterans' jobs bill back on the table.

Eager to shoot down President Obama's legislative agenda just weeks before the election, Senate Republicans blocked a measure that would have provided $1 billion over five years to help veterans find work in their communities. The measure, which would have potentially created jobs for our veterans, was blocked on a procedural point.

It's both shocking and shameful that Republicans chose to kill a bill to put America's veterans back to work.

At a time when one in four young veterans is unemployed Republicans should have been able, for just this once, to put aside the politics of obstruction and to help our service men and women provide for themselves and their families. Some Republicans, five of whom voted for the bill, also seemed disappointed about the failure of legislation that had the veneer of bipartisan support.

These men and women have worn our uniform, shouldered the burden and faced unthinkable dangers in forward areas during a very dangerous time.

This Congress let partisan bickering stand in the way of putting thousands of America's heroes back to work. Lowering veteran unemployment is something both parties should be able to agree on.

Frank Hairston, Ravenna Township

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anonymous Dec 26, 2012 1:50 PM

Frank, what your seeing is the Republican philosophy of "Harvesting", to acquire an asset, manicure the asset for extracting its value, extract the value, then dispose of that asset. In this particular instance the Asset are men and women who fought for our country, many times to their own determent. This means nothing to the Republican. The Republican believes the Soldiers got their three meals, what more do they want? A handout? Free things? Funny thing about that "free things", the Vet fought for our FREEdom and when it comes time for US to pay the full price the Republican wants to flee responsibility for the cost, the Republican effectively wants it for FREE.

anonymous Dec 26, 2012 12:27 PM

AMT makes good points. If harry worthless reid wanted to really help our economy he would have allowed house bills passed last August to keep current tax rates come up for Senate vote. but no so from dingy harry...he rules the Senate and nothing goes but what he says so.

anonymous Dec 26, 2012 7:04 AM

This was merely the usualDemocrat political stunt. from blog.militaryauthority.com: "Republican Tom Coburn also stated that the U.S. already has six jobs programs already earmarked for veterans and little accounting of how effective these jobs programs are.

Republicans also objected to the $1 billion price tag, coming at a time when other government programs were being rolled back.

Some GOP members objected to the provision in the law that exempted Vietnam-era veterans from consideration for the program.

Additionally, the Republicans also objected on procedural grounds, stating that the Constitution requires spending and budget matters to originate in the House, not the Senate. The law is not expected to pass the Republican-led House of Representatives.

And finally, Republicans also pointed out that the bill did not conform to the Budget Control Act of 2011, which imposes a zero sum game on all Senate committees for new spending. If any committee wants to add funding for any veterans program, it must strip that money from another veterans program.

According to Republicans, the bill violated budget caps agreed to by both parties last year. Republicans raised a point of order pointing out the violation of the Budget Control Act."