User Login    
 + Register
News : Vets Benefits Bill Should Win Initial Senate Vote
Posted by Randy on 2014/2/25 4:24:32 (194 reads) News by the same author

WASHINGTON (AP) — A sprawling Democratic bill expanding health, education and other benefits for veterans seems ready to clear an initial hurdle in the Senate. Yet the election-year measure faces an uncertain fate as Republicans try to make it smaller and find ways to pay for it.

Click to see original Image in a new window

The legislation, which sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., says would cost $21 billion over the coming decade, could confront GOP lawmakers with an uncomfortable campaign-season test over curbing spending for the nation's 22 million veterans and their families. Most veterans groups support the legislation, and the voting bloc they represent is a potent one that both parties usually try to avoid offending.

"There's a lot of need in the veterans community," said Sanders, who chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

The Senate was expected to vote Tuesday to begin debating the legislation. Republicans seemed prepared to provide enough support for the measure to win the 60 votes needed to proceed.

After that, the path is uncertain, and some Republicans consider the measure a campaign season ploy by Democrats to force them to oppose helping veterans.

"It's all about the elections," said Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, top Republican on the veterans panel.

Republicans were demanding a chance to offer amendments. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has blocked such votes on some bills, concerned that GOP senators would use them to embarrass Democrats on politically divisive issues like rolling back President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The House has approved some of the benefit improvements in Sanders' bill, but Republicans who run that chamber say they oppose parts of the Senate bill and want better ways of financing it.

The bulk of the bill's costs would come from money left unspent from the end of U.S. fighting in Iraq and the phase-out of American forces in Afghanistan. Republicans consider that phony savings since those wars were already winding down and there were no real plans to spend that money on fighting.

Sanders' bill would let many uninsured veterans without service-connected injuries get coverage from the VA health care system.

Burr said he was writing a GOP package that wouldn't let those veterans get VA medical coverage and would not rely on unspent war money for its funding.

The Democratic bill would also make it easier for veterans to qualify for in-state tuition at public universities. Jobless programs would be extended and states would be pressured to make it easier for veterans to get truck driver's and other licenses.

The measure would provide fertility treatment and coverage of adoption costs for veterans whose infertility sprang from service-related injuries. It would also expand VA counseling and treatment for sexual assault victims and increase the agency's chiropractic care, dentistry coverage and alternative medicine, such as using yoga to treat stress.

A two-year program would pay for fitness center memberships for overweight veterans who live more than 15 minutes from a VA fitness facility.

The bill also erased a 1 percent cut in annual inflation increases for veterans who retire early from the military that Congress enacted late last year. Legislation signed this month by Obama ended that cut for most early retirees, so Sanders now wants to end it for those who joined the military beginning this year.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/10/24 10:13:53 - Unionville Man Injured In Accident South Of Unionville
2014/10/24 4:42:51 - 5 Ways To Tell If Someone Is Cheating On You
2014/10/24 4:29:07 - Six Bodies Identified After Decades In Oklahoma Lake
2014/10/24 4:24:30 - Peyton Manning Rips Broncos' Scoreboard Operator
2014/10/24 4:20:18 - How To Teach Kids To Be Nice Online
2014/10/24 4:14:12 - Police: Missouri Inmate Who Attempted Suicide Dies
2014/10/24 4:09:40 - 1 Taken To Hospital After Being Hit By Train
2014/10/24 4:05:48 - 8-Year Old Scores Touchdown, Team Fined $500, Coach Suspended
2014/10/23 10:42:45 - Disaster Declaration Requested For North Missouri Counties
2014/10/23 10:38:01 - THS Marching Band And Color Guard To Hold Recognition Program
2014/10/23 10:35:23 - Snow Removal Bids Sought
2014/10/23 6:38:04 - Trenton Chamber Ambassadors To Hold Annual Halloween Trick Or Treat Night
2014/10/23 6:30:41 - Chillicothe Firefighters Respond To Vehicle Fire
2014/10/23 6:26:35 - Meadville Teen Hurt In Accident East Of Laredo
2014/10/23 6:23:59 - Spickard Man Injured In Accident East Of Gallatin
2014/10/23 4:46:44 - Giant Gold Nugget To Be Sold In San Francisco
2014/10/23 4:30:00 - The Worst Things To Buy At Walmart
2014/10/23 4:17:35 - Iowa Man Pleads Guilty To Missouri Bank Robbery
2014/10/23 4:09:49 - UK Man Faked Coma For 2 Years To Avoid Court
2014/10/23 4:04:17 - Wife Of Wade Davis Forks Over World Series Tickets As Tip To Server
2014/10/23 4:00:50 - FBI Confiscates Hot-Selling Royals Panties
2014/10/22 6:42:06 - Missouri Livestock Symposium To Be Held In Kirksville December 5th
2014/10/22 4:52:49 - Dead Babies In Winnipeg Storage Unit 'Tragic Beyond Belief'
2014/10/22 4:43:12 - Two Sunken Vessels From World War II Were Just Found Off The North Carolina Coast
2014/10/22 4:34:36 - Partial Solar Eclipse to Darken US Skies Thursday
2014/10/22 4:26:06 - Homeless Man Victim Of Knock-Out Game Attack
2014/10/22 4:23:10 - Missouri Officer Charged In $37,000 Theft
2014/10/22 4:19:06 - Man Arrested For Rape At Hospital Where Victim Being Treated
2014/10/22 4:10:43 - Trenton Resident Arrested On Probation Violation Charge
2014/10/22 4:00:45 - Area Students To Receive American FFA Degree



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM