|ThinkProgress has the update on the shameful attempts by Senate Republicans to block passage of the G.I. Bill, this time, by spiking a bill intended to aid America's first responders:
Even Captain Wide Stance has gotten in on the act:
Today, the Senate debated the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007 (H.R. 980), a bill strengthening the collective bargaining powers of firefighters, police officers, and first responders.
At noon, the Senate quickly “devolved into a procedural mess” when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) attempted to attach Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) watered-down GI Bill — which is strongly backed by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) — as an amendment. McConnell also immediately seconded his measure, but then filed cloture, “prohibiting Democrats from filing their own version of the proposal.”
This amendment is a poison pill. It not only kills the Public Safety bill, but also blocks Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) more generous GI Bill from being considered. In one swift maneuver, conservatives trampled over first responders and veterans. In a fiery speech, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) responded on the floor:
We have seen this parliamentary gimmick that has taken place offered by the Republican leadership that is a slap in the face to every firefighter and police officer and first responder in the country. […]
We’re saying to the firefighters of this nation and to the police officers of this nation and the first responders of the nation: Your interest, the safety and security of our communities across the nation, should be put aside in favor of some political gimmick by the Republican leader here in the United States Senate.
Huffington Post reports that Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) “quietly created presidential campaign ripples on Tuesday” when he “announced that he would offer an amendment to the forthcoming Iraq war supplemental that would strip the legislation of Sen. Jim Webb’s [D-VA] GI Bill.” v
Way to support the troops, boys. Of course, John McCain's little buddy, Miss Lindsey, has offered her own, watered down G.I. bill, and McCain's emissaries have begun scampering around Jim Webb's ankles looking for an embarrassment-avoiding compromise. Here's hoping Webb and the Dems (and their Republican supporters on the bi-partisan bill) stand strong. Don's we at least owe the men and women George sent to their doom in Iraq a decent G.I. bill?
Labels: G.I. Bill, Iraq, Republicans, supporting the troops