They lived in the dilapidated Building 18 amid mold, leaky ceilings, rot, mice and cockroaches and described nightmarish tangles of red tape as they tried to secure ongoing care.As a reminder, the president at the time was George W. Bush.
Republican Sen. John McCain personally apologized for the conditions at Walter Reed:
Senator John McCain, the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee personally apologized today for what he called “unacceptable” conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, currently the subject of hearings on the Hill.Contrast that statement to Senator McCain's comments about the current problems at the VA:
“I will take responsibility for being a member of the Armed Services Committee and not knowing about it and not doing anything about it,” the Republican 2008 contender told a group of county officials from across the country today. “I apologize for my failure” to act, the Arizona Republican added. “I should be held accountable.”
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., himself a veteran and former prisoner of war, called Obama's statements "wholly insufficient in addressing the fundamental, systemic problems plaguing our veterans' health care system."Of course, this comes after the Republicans scuttled any additional funding for the VA system by filibustering a bill that would have provided additional funding to the agency. The reason for the filibuster? Follow below the fold for the answer.
“This bill proposes to spend more than we agreed to spend,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said before raising the budget point of order. “This bill creates new veterans’ programs and it’s not paid for — it’s all borrowed money.I am sick and goddamned tired of the GOP playing games with our troops and veterans. President Bush utterly failed both our troops and veterans in 2007. John McCain felt obliged to personally apologize for the horrid conditions our troops and veterans faced while trying to get treatment for their wounds. The VA has let our veterans down again; however, this time instead of senators apologizing for not doing anything about the shortcomings in care for these men and women who gave everything—and then some—to this nation, they lay blame on the president after they willfully blocked additional funding for the VA and for veterans programs because they would "bust the budget."
“We’re not going to use some bogus gimmick to justify busting the budget.”
The GOP found the money to send our sailors, airmen, Marines and soldiers into battle on foreign shores. But now they cannot find the money to care for our veterans? Before the GOP holds one hearing, before they turn this into the scandal of the week, they had better pass a bill in both the House and the Senate that allows the VA to hire the staff needed and to upgrade their facilities, ensuring that every veteran who needs care receives it.
Instead of pointing fingers and placing blame, Congress and the president need to work together to fix the problems at the VA. I am not holding my breath waiting for that to happen. If Congress can find the money to pay for the wars, they damn well better find the money to pay for its aftermath for the men and women who fought it. We veterans are nothing more than cannon fodder for the Republican Party and their wars, and then we're too expensive to care for when we come home.