Senate Democrats

Unexpected Guest, “Dr. No,” Blocks Veterans Bill

Democratic Senators Daniel Akaka, Jon Tester and Mark Begich held a press conference today calling on Republican Senator Tom Coburn to release his hold on a veterans’ health bill. The bill offers assistance and improves benefits to wounded veterans and their caregivers. In addition, the legislation will provide assistance to caregivers who, at times, have to give up their jobs to stay at home and care for injured soldiers.

On the eve of Veteran’s Day, Senator Akaka said, "Let us allow our deeds to speak for us." He continued, referencing Tom Coburn, "the senator who has been blocking parts of this bill since the summer argues that this bill is too expensive. I believe that when we vote to send troops to war, we have an obligation to take care of them."

In an unusual move, Senator Coburn arrived a few minutes prior to the start of the Democrats’ press conference.  Coburn seated himself in the front row among the press corps as his action to obstruct the bill was highlighted by Democrats.