You’d think this would be a slam-dunk for bi-partisan politics. Everybody wants the VA to be healthier, so reforming that system should be an easy win for both parties. Right?
Of course not. Our congress isn’t that functional. Senator Bernie Sanders watched Senate committee deliberations crumble after only four days as republicans demanded a “my way or the highway” approach to fixing that system. Had their reform actually done that, Sanders would have been on board to go ahead with it. However, these are republican legislators and so their bills tend to attack or aid correlative industries or individuals rather than addressing the problem from start to finish.
Much like Paul Ryan’s recent “Increasing Opportunity” plan, republicans have a real difficult time staying on task and tend to make all legislation a possible win for financial backers which got them the jobs or help keep their jobs. Senator Sanders is a bit of a liberal, sure… but he is also an Independent and a consumer advocate. If he believes that the extortion attempts to pass those bills were justified for their merit, he wouldn’t have gotten in front of the media to blast them for it.
While we are wasting $13 million per month on Perry’s “visual” deterrent to scare migrant children and giving up $600 billion in revenues over the next 10 years in making a tax loophole permanent… you’d think we are flushed with cash and have no worries about budgets. However, that is exactly what republicans don’t want. They don’t want to spend a dime more than is necessary to “fix” the VA. It’s reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s response and battle with congress over HIV research which their estimates of what it would take were night and day (Reagan turned out to be wrong and congress’s huge numbers were still short… and purposefully from some for a naive belief that AIDS was a “gay disease”).
Sander’s plan would cost $25 billion over 3 years and Senator Jeff Miller’s counterpropsal only allowed for a capped $10 billion in total emergency funding for the VA.
So, today, they are coming back together to see if they can come to a compromise, but I highly doubt that this negotiation over spending will help the VA in the long-run. This seems like a way for republicans to kick the can down the road rather than set up possible future budgetary changes to that antiquated system.
Republicans mean well by trying to limit the amount of money that is “wasted”… however, it would be so much more heart-warming if they would flush out actual waste rather than problems within other programs they don’t like. Fixing our government is no longer a republican concern. They are there to prove to Americans that the system is broken and we need to just give it all up to our business overlords… or possibly Illuminati lizard people. Whatever floats your boat.
If we are going to “overspend” on anything, shouldn’t that be veterans care? If we can afford to break them, we should be obligated to spend until we have helped them get fixed.
However, if Senator Jeff Miller can’t learn to get along with Senator Sanders, the VA might be stuck in limbo without any reform. I’m not sure that republicans even really want reform, and had Sanders not run to the press with his complaints about Miller’s negotiating, we might not be seeing this second shot at compromise.