On the eve of Veteran’s Day, Democratic Senators discussed their efforts to ensure veterans receive the care and benefits they have earned. Standing alongside Ed Edmundson, the father of U.S. Army Specialist Eric Edmundson — injured in an IED attack in Iraq in 2005 — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “as I think about the sacrifice of brave Americans like Eric Edmundson, I don’t know if we can ever fully repay the service that they’ve given to our grateful nation."
With the veterans’ caregiver assistance bill meeting opposition from one lone Republican, Senator Murray called for an end to delay tactics. “Caring for our veterans used to be the one area that we could all agree where political party fell by the wayside. But today because of an effort to score political points on issues that are far removed from the struggles of veterans, we are faced with delay…We can’t ask [our veterans] to wait any longer,” said Murray.
Despite outcry from Democratic senators such as Patty Murray, Republican Senator Tom Coburn has maintained his hold on the veterans’ benefits bill — a legislative tactic to prevent its passage. Coburn has asked that the cost of this legislation be offset by cuts elsewhere.
With wounded veterans returning home from ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Coburn’s obstruction of this bill has outraged numerous military and veterans groups. In one day alone, VoteVets.org, a veterans group and political action committee, collected more than 10,000 signatures for an online petition demanding that Coburn allow the bill to pass.
We hope Coburn will put an end to his obstruction of this critical piece of legislation and let Congress move forward.