Photo: Rolling Stone
It’s a one billion dollar expansion of government.That’s certainly one way the unanimous Republican “no” voters will cast the “Veterans Jobs Corps Bill” in their subsequent appearances on Fox News.
The bill needed 60 votes to pass, but only got 58, with a whopping five Republicans voting with Senate Democrats. The bill would appropriate tax dollars over a period of five years to go toward expanded payroll and preferential employment of veterans to government positions. These government positions, such as firefighters, police officers, park rangers and EMTs, often already give military vets preferential treatment because of their training and experience.
The bill would also provide training programs and further infrastructure, such as access to computers and internet, for vets to get reaquainted with the fickle private job market.
Senator John McCain, of all people, opted to vote no on the bill. McCain’s vote is especially odd since just a week ago he released letters from the CEOs of a dozen giant defence conglomerates appealing to Congress to avoid defence cuts. McCain’s reasoning to circumvent sequestration cuts was under the oft-flexed auspicouses of “supporting our troops,” maintaining a “strong military,” and, of all things, not losing more American jobs.
How is one form of military job spending “supporting our troops” but another form is not?
Lawrence Downs of The New York Times astutely pointed out:
“It’s probably useful to remind Republicans like John McCain (a “nay” on the jobs bill) that wounded, jobless and homeless veterans aren’t a fact of nature. They’re a product of the wars that Congress members voted for [and] the war debt they piled on.”
Currently, jobless numbers for vets aged 18 – 24 are approximately four times the national average at 30 per cent.
Obviously vets already have a hard time reintegrating into the private sphere, carrying Post Traumatic Stress and combat injuries into a post-financial collapse job market. Yet so-called military supporting, conservative Senate Republicans can’t seem to support anything Democratic.
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