User Login    
 + Register
PDQ Cleaning
News : Vets Benefits Bill Should Win Initial Senate Vote
Posted by Randy on 2014/2/25 4:24:32 (230 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
2015/1/30 23:40:00 - Frericks, Michaelis Lead Mizzou To Win At Florida
2015/1/30 23:30:10 - Scotland County Rolls Milan in Tri-Rivers Sweep
2015/1/30 23:10:00 - St. Louis Area D-End Switches Commitment From Wisconsin To Mizzou
2015/1/30 21:38:30 - Mercer County 4-H/FFA Awards Day Planned For February 28
2015/1/30 21:32:48 - Chula Man To Appear In Grundy County Court, On Change Of Venue
2015/1/30 12:01:06 - Alden Steps Aside As Mizzou's Athletic Leader
2015/1/30 11:34:39 - Trenton Builds Momentum For Quad States Meet, With Stanberry Sweep
2015/1/30 11:21:17 - NCMC's Ketcham Center Closed This Weekend
2015/1/30 11:14:22 - Cold-Shooting Mizzou Falls To #1 Kentucky
2015/1/30 10:43:26 - Mercer Girls Hammer Meadville, Prepare For Saturday Night
2015/1/30 10:40:00 - Trenton JV'ers Sweep Marceline
2015/1/30 10:35:58 - Stanberry Bulldogs Crush Maysville, Move To King City Final
2015/1/30 10:25:14 - Chillicothe Hornets "Double-Up" In Cameron Tournament Title Games
2015/1/30 10:17:45 - Ladyhawks Cruise To Tournament Championship Game
2015/1/30 10:03:57 - Late-Game Surge Sends East Buchanan To Hamilton Title Game
2015/1/30 4:33:06 - Proposed Marijuana Legislation Sparks Discussion In Mid-Missouri
2015/1/30 4:26:55 - 'World's Poorest President' Stops His Car To Give Hitchhiker A Ride
2015/1/30 4:20:00 - Man Accused Of Beating Amputee's Face With Hammer
2015/1/30 4:17:58 - Missouri Man Found Guilty In Death Of 3 Year-Old
2015/1/30 4:11:10 - 48 Children Come Down With Mysterious Paralysis, 3 In KC
2015/1/30 4:08:06 - Five-Year-Old Topeka Boy Says Stranger Maliciously Set His Sister On Fire
2015/1/30 4:04:20 - Some Doctors Won't See Patients If Parents Refuse To Vaccinate Children
2015/1/30 4:01:43 - Meet Ida May Fuller Recipient Of 1st Social Security Check
2015/1/30 3:57:35 - Former KC Man Sentenced For Producing Child Porn, Possessing Thousands of Images
2015/1/30 3:52:56 - Columbia Woman Sentenced For $576,000 Mortgage Fraud, Embezzlement Schemes
2015/1/29 13:21:41 - Mercer Boys, Grundy R-5 Girls Rebound With Tournament Wins
2015/1/29 13:09:44 - Trenton Girls Experience "Deja Vu" In Loss To Polo
2015/1/29 10:21:27 - Grundy County Circuit Court News
2015/1/29 10:20:00 - Trenton High School Students To Participate In Polar Bear Plunge
2015/1/29 10:15:19 - Royals Name Merrifield, Binford As Minor League Players Of The Year



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM