In a 56-41 vote Thursday, the motion to waive a budget point of order against the bill failed, as Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to overcome the Republican roadblock.
GOP Sens. Dean Heller (Nev.) and Jerry Moran (Kan.) voted with Democrats.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) refused to allow a GOP substitute amendment to get an up-or-down vote because it included Iran sanctions, which he said were unrelated to veterans’ issues.
“I hope all the veterans groups have witnessed all the contortions the Republicans have done to defeat this bill,” Reid said Thursday. “Shame on Republicans for bringing base politics into a bill to help veterans.”
Amazing. Here's what the GOP blocked:
Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) bill, S. 1982, would have expanded veterans' healthcare programs, given veterans in-state tuition rates at all schools across the country and provided advanced appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
It also sought to permanently fix a cut to the growth rate of veterans' pensions. Earlier this year, Congress passed a bill to avoid a cut in the growth rate for current service members and veterans, but anyone enlisting after 2013 would still see a cut. Sanders’s bill would have eliminated that cut as well.
Nope, can't have that. Gotta have the Senate minority run our foreign policy instead of the President and State Department, because Obama Derangement Syndrome.