You might think the Senate could agree to pass a bipartisan bill to fund job training for US veterans. But you'd be wrong, since the bill has drowned in the mud of a last-minute filibuster.
The hold-up came from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who filibustered the bill to demand that Pakistan release Shakil Afridi, the doctor who helped the US hunt for bin Laden. Pakistan is adamant they'll do no such thing, while Paul has promised to prevent the Senate from passing anything until the good doctor is freed.
Sen Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took the opportunity to make Paul look bad, asking emotively, "a vet job bill – does that deserve a fight? ...Couldn't we just agree on veterans?" He asserted that Republicans are only stalling the bill to damage Obama, and pointed out that GOP members have used 380 filibusters in six years.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) countered that the $1 billion Veterans Bill itself is a partisan effort, aimed to make Dems look good rather than help vets.
Veterans groups are, naturally, disappointed that the bill has fallen victim to Congressional politicking.
Section 7 - Levy on Payment to Medicare Providers and Suppliers
Under current law, the Treasury is authorized to withhold up to 15 percent of Medicare payments to Medicare service providers who have delinquent tax debt. Section seven increases this to 100 percent, resulting in faster payment of the tax debt. Once the tax debt is paid, the provider would receive full Medicare payments. CBO has in the past estimated this will raise $355 million over five years.
Section 8 - Program for Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas
This section repeals the authorization for the research and development program with respect to ultra-deepwater and unconventional natural gas resources as provided for in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. CBO has in the past estimated this repeal will save $98 million over five years.
Section 9 - Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Unpaid Taxes
Under current law, the State Department is authorized to refuse to issue or renew a passport if the applicant owes more than $2,500 in child support. Section nine provides for similar actions for people owing more than $50,000 in delinquent federal taxes if they are not making payments under an installment agreement or if collection actions have been suspended due to taxpayer appeal. CBO has in the past estimated this will raise $556 million over five years.
This is probably why Rand Paul is blocking it...especially for Section 8.
Way to go Sen. Paul .. nice way NOT to support our Vets as they struggle more than most already from public disinterest and apathy by the very corps and citizens they served to 'defend and protect' but now crap on them whenever the opportunity seems to present itself to a grand-stander! Hurt them some more since they obviously haven't experienced enough from others many call 'enemies'. Who is becoming the 'enemy' to our Vets HERE, NOW, as they attempt to survive in their own country?! There are many other methods to use to bring attention to your "cause" WITHOUT HURTING VETS!!!
Oh my God another Republican Teabagger holding something up. WHAT ELSE IS NEW? The party of No said No. What a surprise!! Throw him and McConnell out! Paul, a new jerk trying to make a name for himself. McConnell, an old jerk trying to hold onto his job. Ky. is soooo blessed. PASS IT! IT FOR OUR VET.S! YO KNOW THE PEOPLE WHO FOUGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY.
Sorry, I'm not following the Bush reference. However, I do get you on the volume of obstruction. Yes, the political machine has up'ed it's game. The players are nervous. But that's just a symptom of the seriousness of the real or root problem, And that problem is deep seated corruption that the industry thrives on. They since a change in the peoples tolerance for their antics and fear for their political lives. So the increase in the obstruction, is an indication that the politicians are in survival mode. Their perspective parties are their safety net.
@EnemyCombatant Got ya, thanks. Yes, it would seem your right. I would argue that the system that has worked, in various degrees of success for 230+ years , is no longer working for us but against. I'd like to see multiple parties represented, among many other changes to the core of our system of government.
More grandstanding from Paul at the expense of his constituents. The US Senate has no power to force the Pakistani government to do anything, it's ridiculous to hold up the business of our government over a publicity stunt. That's not to say Paul is wrong in trying to aid this man, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do things.
"Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) argued that his filibuster took “15 minutes” and was for a good cause – to call for the release of Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find bin Laden. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/811...
... And the Veterans Job Corp bill is proceeding in the Senate.
"Tuesday’s vote to bring the bill to the Senate floor was 95-1. Democrats led the effort, which came on the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Republicans agreed to begin debate, but it is unclear whether they will support final passage this week." http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-ve...
IOW-- Rand Paul's filibuster was a 15 minute plea for attention of a Pakistani doctor that is sitting in prison because he helped President Obama kill Osama Bin Laden that Harry Reid and Mary Noble used to accuse the republicans of not caring about veterans.
In regards to Dr. Shakil Afridi, why has our country abandoned him? He was instrumental in killing OBL and he is our ally. Will other informants we have around the world be affected by our present policy?
I thought that republicans were supposed to "Love our Military"?!?!? Guess not, huh?----I tell you that newest group of first term repubs. are messing up this country...always stopping, stalling, or shelving something that America needs for some stupid partisan objective...Sure hope we can get them all out of office soon!
While I support continued pressure on Pakistan to release Dr. Afridi, it's not the decision of our Congress to make. Pakistan will do what Pakistan does with or without our approval. There needs to be a new law stating that NO pork and NO conditions not directly related to a bill be attached. Congress has become one dysfunctional, convoluted cluster phuck!