When does a measure to create a veteran job program (which we can all agree is a good thing) get controversial? When you’re dealing with the U.S. government, that’s when. to recap what happened this week: as reported by Businessweek, the U.S. Senate advanced for discussion a Democratic measure to create a job program for military veterans. The legislation authorizes $1 billion in spending through 2017 to help veterans find work as police officers and firefighters, and in conservation, historic preservation and national park projects.
The logical next step would be to debate the bill on the Senate floor and potentially push it through to the House of Representatives for a vote. But now the bill has stalled on the Senate floor due to a procedural vote, alongside complaints that the proposed legislation is only creating “temporary jobs.” In the words of one senator:
“What we’re really doing is passing a bill for political reasons that’s not going anywhere in the (U.S.) House so that we can say we’re doing things,” The Hill quoted Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., as saying on the Senate floor.
“We already have six veterans’ job programs. Not one of them has a metric on it to see if it is working. There has not been one hearing to see what the jobs program that we are running now are doing.
“Is this about veterans or is this about politicians?” Coburn said. “I suspect it is about politicians. I suspect it is about elections, not veterans.”
On that note, it’s been suggested that the bill is being passed “to help Florida Democrat Bill Nelson tout his efforts for the state’s 1.7 million veterans as he seeks a third term,” as reported by Bloomberg. And round and round we go, as you can also see from this Military.com article.
There’s still a long way to go, but what’s your take on the proposed bill? Sound off in our comments section below. And if you want to get in touch with your local elected officials on the issue, you can visit the Military.com Legislative Center.