Should U.S. Senators Who Voted against Additional Funding for VA Hospitals in February 2014 Also Resign?

Filibustered VA hospital funding, from left: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Veterans Affairs Committee Ranking Member Richard Burr of North Carolina and Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake — all Republicans

With the drumbeat growing to hold VA Secretary Gen. Eric Shinseki accountable for the wait lists at hospitals in Arizona and elsewhere by forcing him to resign, perhaps the U.S. senators who voted in February to filibuster a bill that would have increased the VA’s budget by $24 billion should resign as well.

You’ll find a complete list of senators who voted to filibuster the VA hospital funding after the jump.

The list includes the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and the ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, North Carolina’s Richard Burr, along with every Republican member of the committee and the two senators from Arizona, the state where the wait lists were uncovered, John McCain and Jeff Flake. In fact, every Republican in the Senate voted to filibuster the additional funding, except for Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski who did not vote:

U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Thursday [Feb. 27, 2014,] that would have expanded federal healthcare and education programs for veterans, saying the $24 billion bill would bust the budget.

Even though the legislation cleared a procedural vote on Tuesday by a 99-0 vote, the measure quickly got bogged down in partisan fighting.

Supporters said the measure would have brought the most significant changes in decades to U.S. veterans’ programs. For example, it called for 27 new medical facilities to help a healthcare system that is strained by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars…

In December, Congress passed a two-year budget deal that included a reduction in veterans’ pension benefits. Weeks later, Congress did an about-face and repealed many of the cuts.

And early this week, with the initial 99-0 procedural vote on Sanders’ bill, the Senate appeared to be delivering a strong show of support for veterans, only to see the legislation die in the Senate with Thursday’s vote.

U.S. Senators Who Voted to Filibuster VA Hospital Funding in February

  • Lamar Alexander (TN-GOP)
  • Kelly Ayotte (NH-GOP)
  • John Barrasso (WY-GOP)
  • Roy Blunt (MO-GOP)
  • John Boozman (AR-GOP)*
  • Richard Burr (NC-GOP)**
  • Saxby Chambliss (GA-GOP)
  • Daniel Coats (IN-GOP)
  • Thomas Coburn (OK-GOP)
  • Thad Cochran (MS-GOP)
  • Susan Collins (ME-GOP)
  • Bob Corker (TN-GOP)
  • John Cornyn (TX-GOP)
  • Michael Crapo (ID-GOP)
  • Ted Cruz (TX-GOP)
  • Michael Enzi (WY-GOP)
  • Deb Fischer (NE-GOP)
  • Jeff Flake (AZ-GOP)
  • Lindsey Graham (SC-GOP)
  • Charles Grassley (IA-GOP)
  • Orrin Hatch (UT-GOP)
  • Dean Heller (NV-GOP)*
  • John Hoeven (ND-GOP)
  • James Inhofe (OK-GOP)
  • John Isakson (GA-GOP)
  • Mike Johanns (NE-GOP)*
  • Ron Johnson (WI-GOP)
  • Mark Kirk (IL-GOP)
  • Mike Lee (UT-GOP)
  • John McCain (AZ- GOP)
  • Mitch McConnell (KY-GOP)
  • Jerry Moran (KS-GOP)
  • Rand Paul (KY-GOP)
  • Robert Portman (OH-GOP)
  • James Risch (ID-GOP)
  • Pat Roberts (KS-GOP)
  • Marco Rubio (FL-GOP)
  • Tim Scott (SC-GOP)
  • Jefferson Sessions (AL-GOP)
  • Richard Shelby (AL-GOP)
  • John Thune (SD-GOP)
  • Patrick Toomey (PA-GOP)
  • David Vitter (LA-GOP)
  • Roger Wicker (MS-GOP)

* Member, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee
** Ranking Member, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee


  • Sue Cain
    May 30, 2014 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

    They most certainly should resign also! We, the American people, should expect no less from them!

  • Joan
    May 30, 2014 - 5:17 pm | Permalink

    A resounding yes, I wrote Richard Burr and told him he should do the right thing and resign, I just wish we could get a movement or a petition for everyone to sign. Of course the republicans are now blaming everything on the president, they really are disgusting!

  • Paula
    May 30, 2014 - 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Yes, yes, yes!!!!!!!!

  • Joan
    June 1, 2014 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I now understand, from an item by a veteran that this policy
    of two lists for treatment has been in place since the 70s
    and he says there were deaths then, if this is the case I think it must have been known to all of the politicians and it is said the Bush 2 knew about it.

  • Robin M. Pettit
    June 2, 2014 - 7:36 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this article. I had this thought in the back of my mind since this whole scandal erupted. I am just a little surprised there weren’t a few Democrats. Usually you can find a few defectors. BTW, Yes, they should resign.

  • Nek
    June 21, 2014 - 5:27 pm | Permalink

    A few notes. The VA sends about 2 updated status reports every year to congress and they have been doing it for decades. Congress had known full well the extent of things – republican GOP has lied and has personally made sure out vets suffer and die.

  • Ken Cooper
    June 23, 2014 - 4:31 pm | Permalink

    And they want to blame Shinseki and Obama’s leadership! Resign, YES. Another example of how the GOP (in their obsession to discredit Obama) has harmed our vets, and our country. If a party is forcing its views on us against our will, isn’t this treason?

  • Daniel Martin
    August 3, 2014 - 10:59 am | Permalink

    I am totally disgusted with all these so called senators, especially with John McCain.I had the utmost respect for him but not any more. I am a combat veteran of the Vietnam war and I resent what these so called senators did. They all should be ashamed of themselves. Dan Martin

  • gwen mugliston
    October 1, 2014 - 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Yes, resign. The whole lot. I can’t wait until we can make a constitutional amendment to make the Senate and House abide by minimum wage rules, having to use SS and if they can’t live on minimum wage they have to try and get public assistance. They have no idea and they mostly have not fought in any war so they don’t have any appreciation of what it must be like to fight and see friends die for absolutely nothing in Iraq, Afghanistan and any other friggin’ country we, the USA, decides to go to war against. And they voted for all those wars. They are evil little men with too much power. Get them out!!

  • March 5, 2015 - 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I can believe congress doing this to all those who have served in the armed forces. Especially Sentor John MCcain a veretan and POW and he turns his back on all his brothers and sisters of this great nation. Mr.MCcain is just another fat cat of Washington DC living and partying off our blood as Veretans he has just blowed smoke for to long going and kissing azz for both sides just to make money for himself. I had respect for him as a veretan no longer. Guess he is just like the rest of them going wild with our taxs dollars. Retired DAV US Army Infantry 1/5th Bravo Company. God bless all our Veterans espically those coming home now.

  • Judy Rauber
    October 4, 2015 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I believe they should leave the VET budget in tact…..but definitely take the $$ out someplace else……..the problem is the government BUDGET is simply staggering………that’s the real problem……decided just where to “chop” off $$…….everyone seems to be lobbying for a cause…………SS, Medicare, Prescription coverage………I guess a lot of the budget problems of some of these programs could be solved with a lot of US just dying…….and not living so long…….right?

  • Judy Rauber
    October 4, 2015 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Another comment……..perhaps having more productive WORKERS in the system to gain more ‘taxes’ for the federal government to have to FUND all the programs………..since what I hear is that 49% of our population live on ‘entitlement’ programs……which leaves only the other half of society ‘to bring in the dough”………..and a goodly percentage of that existing population who work/could work can’t find adequate jobs/any jobs…….something better change…………heading toward SOCIALISM……and other countries’ history shows that system won’t work either…….so let’s get the ball rolling with politicians who can do what it takes to get this country producing MORE jobs here in the U.S.!

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