Skip to main content

Sometime this week, military families and veterans hope to see the Senate vote on the Veterans Omnibus Bill, a fix for multiple problems in the veteran community. Senator Bernie Sanders has been working on this bill for a long time. The CBO says the overall bill will cost a mere $7.6 Billion in 10 years, a pittance compared to the numbers normally coming out of Congress.

Of course, Republicans have yet to show support for the bill because they disagree with the funding, the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund. For those of you who have never heard of this money, it is a fund set aside to pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The fund was a way for Congress to spend that extra money but escape finding an offset at the same time. Heaven forbid Congress figure out how to pay for two wars.

Senator Sanders believes that funding for the war should include taking care of our veterans. I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, funding future wars should always include the costs of taking care of our veterans so that 12 years after the war has started, we aren't second guessing benefits earned by our military service members. Front loading those expenses would clearly show future veterans that we have their interests at heart. It isn't just about the war but about the people we ask to fight it.

Today, we're needing to prove to the current generation of veterans that promises made in the past really do matter. This bill includes help for victims of military sexual assault, medical care for children suffering from Spina Bifida due to their parents' military service, a renewed contract to retrain veterans so they are more easily employed in the civilian workforce, and a restoration of full COLA to pensions of career military. And that isn't all.

The Senators that have co-sponsored the bill are:

  • Sen. Begich, Mark [D-AK]   
  • Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT]
  • Sen. Brown, Sherrod [D-OH]
  • Sen. Tester, Jon [D-MT]
  • Sen. Schatz, Brian [D-HI]
  • Sen. Landrieu, Mary L. [D-LA]
  • Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY]

You'll notice that they are all Democrats. We haven't heard of a Republican Senator willing to co-sponsor this bill nor who have publicly stated that they would vote for this bill as is. And you know what happens when amendments start to get added. We can guarantee that Senator Cruz will go Obamacare ballistic once again, even though the ACA has nothing to do with a Veterans' Omnibus Bill.

I'm asking you to contact your Senator. If they aren't on the list above, please call their staff and ask them to support S.1950. Let them know via Twitter and Facebook that their support is essential. And let them know that you're a civilian. It means the world to those of us in the military community when civilians are vocal in support of us. This single call is the ultimate thank you for your service. It means so much more than the yellow ribbons people place on the backs of their cars because it shows that you really understand the cost of service to our country.

And if you're lucky enough to have a Senator who has already co-sponsored the bill (or is Bernie Sanders himself!), then please call them and say Thank You. Let them know that you appreciate their support of veterans and that this military spouse is grateful for their hard work and dedication.

Originally posted to A Progressive Military Wife on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 07:08 AM PST.

Also republished by Military Community Members of Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site