Yesterday, Republicans in the Senate blocked a bi-partisan bill that would have helped put veterans back to work. Amazingly, some of those Republicans are the ones who worked to write the bill, which couldn’t proceed despite a 58-40 vote because it didn’t get the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster threat. That means it’s dead for this Congress. The GOP considers that a victory because it means Obama won’t get credit for it, but it also means they’re now on record as opposing aid for the men and women who’ve come home from multiple tours at war.Today on KTRS/St. Louis, I asked Tom Tarantino, chief policy officer for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, to explain why the bill failed, how it would have helped our returning veterans, how many of them have come home but been unable to find jobs, and what kind of jobs the bill would’ve helped prepare them for.We also talked about today’s one-year anniversary of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and a new study that says that all predictions to the contrary (e.g. John McCain’s claim that it would do “great damage” to the military, the Marine Corps commandant who said it would “cost Marines’ lives,” or that a quarter of our troops would quit in protest), there has been no overall negative impact on military readiness, unit cohesion, recruitment, retention, or morale.
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