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Slap in the face to veterans: Senate Dems block bill to hold VA accountable

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders
Alex Wong/Getty Images

On Thursday, Senate Democrats led by socialist Bernie Sanders of Vermont, blocked a bill that would make it possible for the scandal-plagued VA to fire employees based on poor performance, the Washington Free Beacon said. The move, Twitchy added, was described by one Twitter user as a "slap in the face" to veterans.

The bill passed the House with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 390 to 33 on Wednesday. All of the "no" votes came from Democrats.

It then moved to the Senate, where Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., asked for consent to have the bill considered. But Sanders objected and said he would hold a hearing -- in several weeks.

Sanders, the Free Beacon added, chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and has been a steadfast defender of the Veterans Administration. When confronted about the deaths related to delayed treatment by the VA, Sanders casually dismissed them as everyday occurrences.

"We know that people die every day," he told CNN's Chris Cuomo last week. "We don't know why they die. All right – anyhow, Chris, I don't want to argue that point until the cows come home. Here's what you've got: you've got a system that, by and large, I think, works reasonably well for veterans."

The move angered a number of people who noted that Senate Democrats were more interested in trying to force the Washington Redskins to change its name than veterans dying due to lack of treatment.

"Veterans are not getting proper medical treatment yet Democrats in Senate think the Washington Redskins name is a more important issue," one person tweeted.

"Veterans are dying because the VA wanted to pad its numbers. How do Democrats respond? The Redskins need to change their name," added "RBPundit."

"Conservatives are painted as a clown show but the Democrats think the name of the Washington Redskins is more important than dead veterans," another person added.

"The N.F.L. can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur," said a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that was signed by 50 Senate Democrats Thursday. "Today, we urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message the NBA did: that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports."

Among those signing the letter was Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders. The implication could not be more clear: Veterans who put their lives on the line defending America can die from neglect as far as Senate Democrats are concerned. But one had better not call a football team "Redskins."