Yet Another Depressing Act of GOP Obstructionism
Congress just wasted a golden opportunity to boost employment. The Veterans Jobs Corps Bill would have created an estimated 20,000 new positions specifically for current and former members of the armed forces.
The unemployment rate for veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq is at a distressingly high 10.9 percent. This bill would have gone a long way in helping them land a steady paycheck.
Oddly enough, one of the bill’s chief opponents was Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of America’s most famous veterans. McCain argued the bill would add to the national debt — even though one of the core, undisputed moral obligations of the federal government is to provide for the nation’s fighting forces.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) also opposed the bill. According to Coburn’s crass articulation, the Veterans Jobs Corps Bill is “exactly the same kind of, pardon my word, crap that Congress has done for years that says one thing and does another.”
It’s no wonder Congress has done so little to fix the employment market. What else should we expect from an institution filled with politicians who so flippantly dismiss important jobs legislation?
Of course, Coburn, McCain, and the rest of the GOP have made zero effort to propose an alternative to the veterans jobs bill. Apparently, they’re perfectly content to sit on the sidelines while the brave men and women who’ve helped protect this country suffer the vicissitudes and humiliations of sustained joblessness.
Coburn wants to blame the Democrats for Congressional inaction on jobs. He says his colleagues are suffering from “cowardice.”
This just doesn’t fit the facts.
The Democrats have tried — repeatedly — to harness the power of the public purse to inject capital into the American economy and get people back to work. And the GOP has — repeatedly — blocked them, while completely refusing to present anything that even remotely resembles a coherent legislative alternative.
Come November, let’s remember which party is actually trying to improve the employment situation — and which one has left workers out in the cold. Be sure to join our new effort: BeeMad @ theGOP! We’ve committed ourselves to pointing out the many ways that Republicans are failing working Americans.