U.S. Senator on Death of Vet Jobs Bill

September 28, 2012 |

Senator Patty Murray

Below is an official statement from Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, after the Veterans Jobs Corps Act was killed in the Senate last week.

“It’s both shocking and shameful that Republicans today chose to kill a bill to put America’s veterans back to work. At a time when one in four young veterans are unemployed, Republicans should have been able, for just this once, to put aside the politics of obstruction and to help these men and women provide for their families. 

“But this vote is stark reminder that Senator McConnell and Senate Republicans are willing to do absolutely anything to fulfill the pledge he made nearly two years ago to defeat President Obama. It doesn’t matter who gets in their way or which Americans they have to sacrifice in that pursuit, even if it’s our nation’s veterans. 

“It’s unbelievable that even after more than a decade of war many Republicans still will not acknowledge that the treatment of our veterans is a cost of war. Today they voted down a fully paid for bill that included bipartisan ideas to put veterans in jobs that will allow them to serve their communities. Jobs that would have helped provide veterans with the self-esteem that is so critical to their successful transition home. 

“Today Senate Republicans told the less than 1% of Americans who have spent the last decade serving and sacrificing for the other 99% of Americans that they are not willing to honor that sacrifice with new investments in their well-being when they return home.”

The following are Senator Murray’s remarks on the floor of the Senate prior to the vote:

“Mr. President, here is what a vote to support this point of order says – plain and simple: ‘We have spent enough on our veterans.’

“A vote to support this point of order says that despite the fact that we have paid for this bill, despite the fact that one in four young veterans are out of work, despite the fact that veterans suicides are outpacing combat deaths, and despite the fact that more and more veterans are coming home, we are not going to invest in these challenges. We have done enough. 

“Mr. President, this point of order puts a price on what we are willing to provide our veterans and it says ‘not a penny more.’

“It’s a point of order that will not only kill our ability to pass this bill. But that could also affect nearly every effort we make to improve the lives of veterans going forward. 

“In fact, just last week, I held a markup of the Veterans Affairs Committee, in which we passed a slew of bills in a bipartisan fashion. Bills that would improve mental health access, that would give students new tools to maximize the GI bill, and that would give those veterans who have lost their ability to start a family access to fertility services. 

“These bills could likely all be subject to this point of order – as would countless other veterans bills introduced by Senators on both sides of the aisle. And there is no end in sight for how long this point of order could be raised.  

“So we should to consider the lasting effects of this vote. And we should all consider the fact that veterans are watching this vote closely. 

“Mr. President, this is a bill that has been endorsed by the American Legion and by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. They know, as I do, that neither party has the magic bullet for this problem and that we should be taking good ideas from both sides of the aisle. 

“And that’s exactly what we have done with this bill. This bill includes 12 different provisions to help create veterans jobs – and eight of them are ideas that have come from Republicans. 

“In fact, to make this bill even more inclusive and more bipartisan we took Senator Burr’s entire alternative bill and added it to ours. At every turn, we have sought compromise. But instead of meeting us halfway, we have been met with resistance. 

“Instead of saying yes to the nearly one million unemployed veterans, it seems some on the other side have spent the last week and a half seeking out any way to say no. 

“But it doesn’t have to end this way for our unemployed veterans – we can join together to pass this bill.  

“You know Mr. President, our veterans don’t ask for a lot. My own father never really talked about his service. The veterans that I meet all across the country certainly don’t want to be seen as dependent on government. 

“But we do owe them more than just a pat on the back for their service. We owe them more than bumper stickers and platitudes. We owe them more than procedural roadblocks that will impede our ability to provide help now and into the future. We owe them action. We owe them real investments that will help get them back to work. 

“And that’s what this bill does. And it does so because putting our service members back to work is a cost of war. 

“Just like their health care and benefits. It is part of what we owe the less than 1% of men and women who sacrificed for the 99% that didn’t. 

“Mr. President, It’s no secret that this is not the easiest time of year to get this bill across the finish line. It’s all too easy to point to the calendar or to level accusations of politics against one another. 

“But in my two decades working on veterans issues here in the Senate, I have seen veterans issues rise above politics time and again, even when it seemed our backs were against the wall. I have seen Democrats and Republicans come together. 

“And they have done so because there is one group of Americans that doesn’t care about the calendar or how many days we are from an election – and that’s our unemployed veterans. What they care about is finding work in their communities, finding work that gives them self esteem, and finding work that helps them provide for their loved ones. 

“Mr. President, we can help do that today. I urge my colleagues to join with us in waiving this point of order. To join with us in telling our veterans that we are not done investing in their care and benefits – not by a long shot. Join with us in moving forward with a bill that is paid for, that won’t add to our deficit, and that shouldn’t be killed by procedural games. Join with us in putting veterans above political obstruction, and back to work.

About Ho Lin

Ho Lin is an editor at Military.com. His interests include naval history, the New York football Giants, and loud rock music.


  1. 1stSgt says:

    Ho Lin and Patty Murray are to say the least worhtless and very overt in their attempts to portray the Republicans as the root cause of all the problems this Government and worthless administration have. BOTH sides are to blame and they should be the ones taking the first cuts across the board before looking to hte veterans and others to 'foot the bill' of cuts to balance the budget they have FAILED to come close to passing for more than 3 years!!

    • Shakin my head says:


      Ho Lin is the writer and reporter who quoted the Senator's speech in its entirety. No sure why you would malign him. He did what I respect in journalists – He told the story without a bias spin. Kudos to you! Um, and since this congress has passed some 6 bills that support veteran hiring (including the VOW act, which was hugely popular with both parties), my question is: Why do we need yet another bill? And, why are both sides turning this issue into a political one? Makes me wonder about folks who have jobs that we gave them.

    • Jake says:

      You are a disgrace.

    • Roland says:

      No Both Sides are NOT Responsible. The Democratic Party and this Administration has been up front fighting with us Veterans and the Republican Party and the Republican Party alone have been obstructing the business of this administration and you know that. There is only one truth.

    • JRS says:

      Nice to see the administration erasing my posts as quick as I make them.

      I guess Obama never did anything wrong, Patty Murray is right and Ho Lin is an upstanding citizen.

  2. Earl says:

    The Republicans vowing to defeat Obama, in any/every way, shape or form, is what is keeping the U.S. from moving forward. We are in a stalemate and in my opinion the cause is very clear. The Republicans' unwillingnous to compromise or meet an opponent half way. Kinda like my 3 year old. Wants his way all the time and screams and cries when he doesn't get it. Maybe I should have named him Boehner?

    • Sgtsilk says:

      Boehner and Cantor hopeful he will be voted out of office. Some people are just stuck on Romney and his outsourcing of American jobs.

      Like Samuel L Jackson said Wake The F*(*& Up America.

      The GOP have prove that there only mission is to make Pres Obama a one term Pres at all cost. Romney Math will cut will put 800,000 homeless Veterans on the street and privatize the VA. His plans will $1 trillion to the debt on day one and he will give himself and others like him a hefty day.

      On the back of Us the Military that severed our country proudly.

      • Heath says:

        WTF! Homeless Vets??? Are these the 24 year old people I see standing at the intersections begging for hand outs with the sign 'claiming' they are vets?? No vet should be homeless. The military should have trained you to not only be self-sufficient in battle but in life as well. I've done hundreds of hours of volunteering at VA hospitals and my sincerest respect for ALL my fellow vets especially those that are disabled BUT WHY are you homeless?

        • Heath says:

          If your disabled to the point you cant work, what jobs are going to be created for them? I had SEVERAL jobs lined up BEFORE I got out of the military. Why, because I prepared for my transition back into the civilian sector because I knew I needed a job to survive! The military trains you and if you get out of the military and cant find at least 1 job then it's your own fault. I currently hold 2 jobs (and have for many years) and do side work occassionally to ensure that I can survive. I also volunteer, when I have time, at a couple different places.

          • Heath says:

            It's time to nut up or shut up America, take responsibility for your actions and quit your d*mn 'boo-hooing' and depending on the government to supplement what you should already be doing for yourself. Democrats AND Republicans and nearly all politicians are POS. The sooner Americans wake up and realize that neither party in our government is what America needs the better off we will all be. Why isn't Senator Murray taking a pay-cut? Why isn't the Congress or other elected officials taking pay cuts to help get the country back on track? You people and your finger pointing cant see the forest through the trees!

    • William says:

      Boehner is in the House of Representatives… This article is about the Democrat controlled Senate.

  3. Denise says:

    Give me strength! "The Republicans" as you stated, are not keeping the
    U.S. from moving forward. There are many problems in this country. The elected officials in Washington, have failed to manage the budget properly, or at all in the last 3 years. The debt is climbing. Our benefits are decreasing. How about the countries that we have lent money to, actually are held accountable and have to repay that money. How about we don't lend them any more money until the loans are satisfied. How much money would that put back into our economy? Alot…..There are ways to go about making changes, without all the negative, and false, lies (ads) that are floating on the TV today. Let's meet. Tell the truth. State what each side can do. AND hold them accountable.

    • Alex says:

      So the elected officials in Washington have only failed to manage the budget properly in the LAST 3 YEARS? How about the 8 years prior, with two unpaid wars? And how about the tax cuts along with those unpaid wars? In previous wars, taxes have increased, ensuring all Americans paid the burdens of war, and not just the less than 1% Service Members. In his vast wisdom, the previous president did not feel it necessary to increase revenues to pay for those wars, and on top of that, granted tax cuts to the "job creators" who did not create any jobs and instead sent American jobs overseas. He left a huge mess for the incoming president. Yes, the deficit has increased, but to be able to pay our way out of something, money has to be spent… rather than the continous downward slope from the previous administration, at least, this downward slope actually has an upward slope on the horizon.

  4. Frank says:

    The Veterans Job Bill was not providing anything that the other 6 Veteran's job programs are not already providing! It is just another way to spend money that we don't have!! It was an effort to garner Veteran votes and anyone taken in by it is going through life with blinders on!

  5. Libertarian says:

    Want to put people back to work? End the draconian regulations and confiscatory taxation that keeps businesses–especially small businesses, where most people work–from hiring. And who put those regulations into effect? Here's a hint: Murray doesn't want you to know.

  6. Jerry says:

    Instead of trying to throw money away how about taking the money to actually attack the claims backlog and hire individuals who know how to read a claim

  7. bobsch1951 says:

    The only way the Government can create a single job is to take somebody else's money to pay for it. The best veterans job bill possible would be to get the government out of the way, send Obama back to Chicago, Malaysia or wherever else he'd obviously prefer to be anyway, and let the creative minds of this country do what they do best. Government can't create, it can only take or not take.

  8. Rich says:

    So, does this mean the new GI bill for older Vets (VRAP) is a crock? I got approved, but waiting to find a school to go to.

  9. JJMurray says:

    So why isn't this same Senator complaining about how they refused to take up HR 2433 which was passed a YEAR ago by the House and sent to the Senate? That's the bill that had almost everything in it President Obama was calling for out on the campaign trail while he was saying Republicans aren't doing their jobs. That's the bill that was sitting in Harry Reid's desk while he himself said Republicans don't want to help veterans and apparently while THIS Senator also sat back quietly. Now she's whining about how republicans didn't support this bill? How about checking you IN box and starting there?

  10. jim says:

    This country will continue to to decline on all fronts as long as Oduma is in office. Our economy will continue it's standstill because most people, myself included are not going risk investing as long as there is the threat of the democrats taking any gain away with their tax and spend policies. This administration has set the middle class back at least two decades. If oduma is reelected when can look forward to 4 more years of decline because the onlly protection we have is to stop any further oduma destruction of our country.

    • etg says:

      JIM: decided not to avail yourself of the VA education benefit? Logical examination appears to escape you. Moreover, 2008 was the year all this miasma started. But a good lie will stand upfront from truth @ any/all times.

  11. Dwayne says:

    I was of the impression that the vote for cloture on this bill failed and that it had been tabled until the Senate reconvened whereupon it would go through the normal debate/vote procedure. This is what was reported. It was further said that the reason many GOP (and Dem) Senators did not support fast tracking the bill was lack of answers to simple fiscal questions. Murry is just, like many of her ilk, trying to spread dissent.

    • Front Towards Enemy says:

      What's this "I was of the impression" crap? Either you know or you don't!

      I know her version of events and now I know what you are guessing 'might' have happened. Why would you post a comment basically calling her a liar and a propagandist without really knowing the facts? Don't include us in your folly. Learn and speak facts before accusing and post a link to back up your accusation next time. Other than that you are what you accuse her of… lying and spreading propaganda.

  12. USMC VET says:

    I think if we got our troops out of all the wars we are currently involved in there would be PLENTY of money to, **** cut taxes fund the va or social security for a Long time to come. The cost if the war is far greater than non veterans could know. Suicide, ptsd, missing Lomba and tbi destroy lives and livelihood of many veterans. It took me almost 10 years to get It togather enough to carry on. Give us an upper hand. Like the report said 1% of the population is a small number of people in the bug Picture. We dont have It that bad But why not emprove the lives f theprotectors of freedom. I agree there are tio many bills and to much debt. STOP THE WAR AND FIX OUR PROBLEMS FIRST.

  13. D.Hart says:

    You fucking people….quit talking politics and start saving the vets..the sons and daughters… who are committing suicide every day of every year…if it wasn't for them…you wouldn't have the right to speak openly about anything. An example would be PTSD, unexplained cancers, birth defects, etc. These are invisible wound's that effect every moment of a vets life but, they will never show it unless they are near the end and take a bold step forward and ask for help that not even combat training prepared us for..we were trained not to show weakness, overcome any obstacle…step into our shoes for one day…I can guarantee you will never be the same again. Or, is the American public really that ignorant and cowardly? The public will never know the true cost of war because they do not have to live with the memory's of the Total cost…just what they see on TV. How friggin convenienant for the ones who never believed in thier country enough to put thier ass on the line but still talk shit like they know something about being a vet. You people disgust me.

  14. Richard W. Lewis II says:

    If you had a cue about what us Vets do and how you and your completely out of touch person in the white house you would know that the reason this was shut down is because you libel non common sense please get out of office as soon as possible people are not capable of spending the money you are given to help the vets.

    I pray the Holy Spirit that you are removed asap from any government position

  15. John says:

    Whenever I drive into Portland, Maine, there is sure to be a homeless vet on many street corners asking for help. I have been lucky to have been able to use the VA to get training as a Clinical Medical Assistant. It has been over a year and I am still applying and looking for a CMA position. In the meantime I am working as a phlebotomist.
    As a retired veteran remembering the terrible job market in our area as I returned from Iraq in 05. My civilian job had disappeared and I could have used all the help available to a veteran. Any assistance to a vet to help them get on their feet is good for the economy and more than deserving of that 1% that helps keep us Americans safe.

  16. Nicole says:

    Again. the blame game continues with no real solutions from anyone. This two party system is to blame. All politicians love to through bands on our country's issues instead of treating the problem. Blaming Bush for the two wars that Congress indeed allowed to happen will not solve anything. What about the fact that Obama controlled the Congress in 2008. Whatever Vets thinks Obama or Romney cares about them is very misguided. Obama cut the break pay from the GI Bill and the GI Bill came from Bush. Obama also only gave 1% raises, raised Tricare premiums and wants to cut 200,000 troop jobs. Obama wants all Americans depend on the government ad veterans no better than any citizen that our government does not know what it is it is doing. And the republicans who had the chance to nominate Ron Paul who served for over 30 years, gave us Mitt Romney who says whatever he is scripted. Veterans are the true 1% ofthe country that should never be ignored.

    • Front Towards Enemy says:

      Wait – did you miss the part where the Bush Administration LIED to Congress to get us into Iraq. Hello… thats what all the WMD crap was about. And whats this about Bush giving us the GI Bill??
      Almost everything you said is so way off the mark… way off!… except the last two sentences.

  17. john says:

    Ask Harry Reid how many Congress bills he has been sitting on for the past two years because they came from a Republican Congress. Who is the one SITTING on bills so they can't be voted on…..Harry Reid.

  18. Donald says:

    It is amazing that on a blog intended for a 'united' community that there is such a broad spectrum of views and opinions about this topic. There is one undisputable fact which is that the Bill was not passed! Assign whatever reason or rationale you like; it was not passed. The impact is that there will be fewer resources for those individuals the bill was intended to support. The republican controlled Senate had an opportunity to demonstrate support for this community of former and current services members yet they chose not to do so. I personally don't care why the chose not to support it; the fact that they didn't speaks volumes.

  19. Jim Fields says:

    I hope that everyone can have an opportunity to read this before they do their voting this time. This is exactly what is going to happen to all vets if the republican party is voted in. Just watch, if you want to see your privileges go away and that will include programs for non vets who struggle through life. I am not trying to say anything to support either party but this sure as heck should open a few eyes.

  20. Front Towards Enemy says:

    The party that votes against our guys coming home is the party I vote against.

    Both sides are not equally responsible as some of you have been claiming. The Republicans should've at least tried to claim the credit …but don't kill the whole damn bill. That's just crazy. There is so much they're doing betting that no one is paying attention. And no one seems to be.

    And yes we do need another jobs bill. As long as vets are unemployed then there is always more that can/should be done. Bills that encourage more hiring thru new private sector partnerships, veteran entrepreneurship, family assistance, etc.

    And don't forget… this bill was already paid for, so it wasn't adding to the deficit. In her statement the Senator said the bill included …. "Bills that would improve mental health access, that would give students new tools to maximize the GI bill, and that would give those veterans who have lost their ability to start a family access to fertility services."

    Why would any of our elected officials vote against that?

    Like I said… The party that votes against our guys is the party I vote against. PERIOD!

  21. Ranger 6 says:

    First: the Democrats control the Senate. The Cloture vote is a work around the regular system and a "No" vote doesn't kill the bill it just makes it go through the regular committee review for a real vote when the Senate is in session. The bill most likely has Pork in it that the Republicans rightly said no to in order to get it reviewed. OBTW where is the money coming from to pay for the benefits? Do most of the bloggers here even know what is in the bill other than "Money and Jobs for Veterans"? More bad legislation even with nice names doesn't fix anything.

  22. richard daniels says:

    I could care less if this is a republican, or democrat problem…Somehow we as americans look to pass blame as opposed to fixing a problem…As a matter of fact not even a C.I.A. operative could look you in the face and lie as well as everyone in the military and veterans disability system…Just a few:Plenty of jobs will be available to 100% disabled veterans…BULLCRAP…You will be able to travel and recieve your medications at other VA hospitals or clinics…MAYBE IN THEORY BUT NOT LIKLEY IN REALITY…At 100% service connected you will get the best care available. I'VE BEEN ASKING FOR A PSYCHOLOGIST FOR OVER 6 MONTHS….Cost of living raises will let you be able to maintain your standered of living…MY COMPENSATION IS WORTH AT LEAST 25% LESS THAN 2005…Observation there is way to many people in pencil and paper unnessery jobs, ones that serve no real purpose except to drain our economey and make GETTING HELP IN THE VA SYSTEM PROBLAMATIC….And you and others wonder why the suicide rate is alarmingly high…Can you say FRUSTRATiED,IRRITATED,and just plain stressed out…LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THE ENTIRE CONGRESS AND SENATE..THEN LOOK IN THE MIRROR>>>

  23. Devonshea Smith says:

    I am curious. Please email me at devonsheasmith@ymail.com.