Today the senate rejected a bill that would have created jobs for returning veterans:
As proposals go, this should have been a no-brainer. The Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012, sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), sought to lower unemployment among military veterans, giving grants to federal, state, and local agencies, which in turn would hire veterans — giving priority to those who served on or after 9/11 — to work as first-responders and in conservation jobs at national parks.
The bill was fully paid for, and entirely bipartisan — Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) had his own set of ideas for the bill, and Murray incorporated all of them into her legislation.
Unfortunately, the only no-brainers in the Senate seem to be the members of the Grand Obstructionist Party, GOP to you and me. The bill actually passed, 58-40, but nowadays a fillibuster-proof 60 votes is always required to get anything through the Senate. Missouri’s own Senate GOPer, Roy Blunt, who campaigned on a platform of job creation, affirmed his essential GOPness today in spades when he voted against this job-creating legislation. It might behoove some of the folks who voted for Senator Blunt to ask him why he won’t sign on to a upfront paid-for jobs bill for veterans, the folks who actually fought in the unpaid-for little wars he helped W. execute?
Just guessing, but it would fit the GOP profile if Blunt answered with some cockamamy story about forestalling that old GOP bugaboo, the culture of dependency, or growing government, or maybe with the implication that government jobs, in this case sorely needed policemen and firemen, are not real, or “solid” jobs. These guys, after all, insist that government doesn’t need to do anything for anyone but the rich guys who will then take care of creating our jobs.
Nevertheless, one wonders. Could it have been that Blunt also shares his party’s concern that the economy might perk up a little more before the election and undo all their hard work during the past four years? Nor will it necessarily be that good for the anti-union proclivities of those “small” business job creators Blunt touts, who, based on his legislative priorities, don’t seem to be that small, and who wouldn’t be able to depend on a totally desperate and malleable work force if veterans returned to good, public sector jobs.
Claire Mccaskill, by the way, did the right thing and voted to help employ returning veterans while providing for a community need. Of course, for McCaskill, it’s only one more manifestation of her ongoing support for veterans. She doesn’t just talk tough about the need for a strong defense when it comes to shoveling money to defense contractors, she’s there to support the guys who provide the defense.