Republicans criticized how most of Sanders'?bill?was paid for: with phantom $21 billion "unspent money" from the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq?and the winding down of?American military involvement in?Afghanistan. The GOP says those are not real savings because no one expected those dollars to be spent as those wars ended. This made the spending essentially unpaid for. Republicans also objected to provisions making more veterans without service-connected injuries eligible for treatment at?Department of Veterans Affairs?facilities. The VA is set up to treat those who have borne the scars of battle, not those who were "in the rear with the gear." They said that would swamp an already overburdened system of healthcare and education. Democrats were unwilling to negotiate or accept amendments on either objection, demonstrating this as a cynical election year tactic to pretend to be for veterans, while really its all about politics. They needed 5 more Republican votes, which could have been obtained had Harry Reid wanted them. The vote sidetracking the?bill?was 56-41, with supporters falling four votes short of the 60 they needed to prevail. Sens.?Jerry Moran?of Kansas?and?Dean Heller of Nevada were the only Republicans voting to keep the legislation alive and the only lawmakers crossing party lines on the vote. Besides, if this was a serious spending bill, it should have begun in the House, as the Constitution requires.
There is often a disconnect between what they practice and what they preach. There are many Republican voters, but very few actual republicans. I draw a distinction between those who vote republican, and those who make and benefit from republican policies. Yes they want as many voters as they can get including veterans and anyone else they can get to vote for them. But when it comes time for action, only the wealthy and powerful benefit from their policy and to the detriment of everyone else. It's how they roll. No hand outs except hand outs for the rich. No bail outs except bailouts for the rich. No taxes except for the poor. They are in essence the reverse Robin Hood, the rob from the poor to give to the rich.
Elections are coming up. Both sides want to look good to voters, especially the Reps, so that's not it. . However, the real fight was not over the bill itself, since both sides agreed on increasing or restoring veterans benefits. -- it was over the amendments and riders that were attached to the bill but were unrelated to it. -- It was also a disagreement on where the $21 Billion would be taken from in the federal budget. . American Veterans executive director Stewart Hickey said in a statement that the bill would be "morally irresponsible and fiscally unsound" because of where the funding comes from.
Republicans have historically sounded very patriotic when it is time to send someone else's children into the maw of war. They sound very patriotic when it comes to spending money on war because the money primarily goes to their corporate friends who are making the products and providing the services necessary for war. And while they sound patriotic when it comes to the human element of our military, aka our troops, they really don't give a damn about them. Think about it. The troops are government employees. How do republicans think about government employees? They hate them.