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 Weeks later, Congress did an about-face and repealed many of the cuts.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
* Member, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee
** Ranking Member, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee