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Bipartisan failure: VA reform dies along with vets

Republicans are in charge of the House, but they can’t budge on VA reform. They want to be reelected, but why should they be? They have the ball and aren’t playing the game. The only thing to agree with them about is that this is “shameful”.

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Veterans are dying prematurely because they must wait too long for appointments. The President has hired a top notch executive to address the VA’s needs but Congress is stymied. For one thing, there are too few veterans in Congress.

One sure way for a politician to show his allegiance to the nation is to serve some time in the U.S. military. If they don’t do that, they lose on two counts: 1. missing the opportunity to demonstrate allegiance, 2. missing the experience from which to understand national defense firsthand. Failure to serve should be a strikeout against political futures. Who agree with that? Let’s hear it in the comment column.

The amount that they are debating is approximately equal to the amount that the President requested to process refugee children from Central America. If you had to choose: Veterans or Refugees, which would you take?

The cheap way to deal with refugees is to put them on an airplane and return them to their country of origin. Assist the country of origin in processing them on their turf, mostly for humanitarian disposition there.

As for our veterans, this is a national imperative. Want to pay for it? Cut oil tax breaks. Cut farm subsidies. Can you think of others?

Stop messing around. Congress doesn’t deserve a vacation for crying out loud. Incumbents surely don’t deserve being reelected, do they?

Our world is filled with crises at home and abroad while our nation’s leaders believe that they should have some time off. What do you think?

“VA reform hits stalemate

By BURGESS EVERETT and LAUREN FRENCH | 7/24/14 12:32 PM EDT Updated: 7/24/14 11:23 PM EDT

When revelations surfaced earlier this summer that the Department of Veterans Affairs provided poor health care to veterans — leading to some deaths — a genuine scandal erupted and Congress promised to impose big changes.

But staring down the August recess, the effort to overhaul the agency is on the verge of collapse.

The trouble doesn’t center on substantive policy differences. In fact, Democrats and Republicans agree on the core outlines of the bill. Instead, Congress is in the middle of another standoff over money.

Democrats and Republicans are struggling to agree on how to pay for legislation that could cost between $25 billion and $30 billion. That logjam is transforming the VA debate from one that united both parties to yet another fiscal fight, prompting the same type of partisan finger pointing that has become familiar after years of budget showdowns.

“They have walked away from it,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said of House Republicans. “It’s unfortunate, because we had a strong bipartisan vote, and that doesn’t mean much to the House.”

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said it was “shameful” that Senate Democrats refused to negotiate with the House. He was referring to a decision by Senate Democrats to boycott a hastily called meeting Thursday of the House-Senate conference committee charged with finalizing a bill.

“Senate Democrats refused to even show up and discuss bipartisan solutions, preferring instead to talk behind closed doors. That is shameful,” the Ohio Republican said.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/veterans-affairs-va-overhaul-legislation-collapse-109337.html#ixzz38U82Mfnm