Senate Democrats

How it’s Playing: Republicans Block Veterans Jobs Bill

NY Times – G.O.P. Blocks Veteran Jobs Bill – Veterans won’t be getting a new, billion-dollar jobs program, not from this Senate. Republicans on Wednesday afternoon blocked a vote on the Veterans Job Corps Bill after Jeff Sessions of Alabama raised a point of order — he said the bill  violated a cap on spending agreed to by Congress last year. The bill’s sponsor, Patty Murray of Washington, said that shouldn’t matter, since the bill’s cost was fully offset by new revenues. She said Mr. Sessions and his party colleagues had been furiously generating excuses to oppose the bill, and were now exploiting a technicality to deny thousands of veterans a shot at getting hired as police officers, firefighters and parks workers, among other things. LINK

AP – Republican objections to spending in veterans jobs bill blocks election-year legislation –The Senate blocked legislation Wednesday that would have established a $1 billion jobs program putting veterans back to work tending to the country’s federal lands and bolstering local police and fire departments. Republicans said the spending authorized in the bill violated limits that Congress agreed to last year. Democrats fell two votes shy of the 60-vote majority needed to waive the objection, forcing the legislation back to committee. LINK

Roll Call – Senate GOP Blocks Veterans Jobs Bill – Senate Republicans today defeated Democratic legislation designed to help veterans get jobs, complaining that the measure violates budget rules and is meant to score political points rather than help veterans. “Americans don’t trust us,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee. “And why should Americans trust us when we keep using gimmicks and budget sleight of hand to hide more spending and drive the country further into debt.” LINK

National Journal – Senate Republicans Stop Vote On Vet Jobs Bill – Senate Republicans effectively killed a measure to find jobs for unemployed veterans on a procedural vote Wednesday, after several attempts by Democrats to keep the bill on the table failed.  Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., raised a point of order against the bill on Wednesday, citing alleged violations of Senate budget rules. Since three-fifths of the chamber did not vote to waive the rules, the legislation cannot move forward.LINK

Washington Post – Bill to create Veterans Job Corps fails to advance – Legislation to create a Veterans Job Corps suffered a major defeat Wednesday afternoon after Republicans successfully blocked the bill’s advance with a budgetary point of order. The Senate voted 58 to 43 largely on party lines in favor of waiving the procedural objection, short of the three-fifths majority needed. Republicans said the bill was in violation of the Budget Control Act, prohibiting new programs that would add to the deficit. LINK

The Guardian – Veterans’ bill voted down by GOP as Senate Democrats proclaim ‘new low’ –Republicans have voted down legislation that would have established a $1bn jobs programme to put unemployed veterans back to work as firefighters, police officers and in public work projects. They objected to the cost of the bill, which they said violates spending limits agreed to last year in Congress. Democrats and veterans groups say its cost are fully offset. The bill, which had bipartisan support in the Senate and would have given priority to post-9/11 veterans whose employment prospects are three points below the national average, fell two votes short of the majority of 60 needed to waive Republican objections. LINK