discrimination · politics · racism

Refugees vs. veterans, what the hell’s going on with America right now

*image courtesy of, and slightly altered from here.

After the bombing in France, the Republican call to arms has essentially been:

We should not be taking in Syrian refugees, we should be worrying about our Veterans.

Then there’s also H.R. 4038: American SAFE Act of 2015 Which would expand background checks on Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Almost unanimously passed in the House by Republicans (except for two) and unfortunately helped along by 47 Democrats. Now it goes to the Senate.

So, if the Vets are so important, I’m sure that the Republican voting record on Vet help bills is great, right?

Wrong.

Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014: This was a bill introduced Feb. 3rd, 2014 by Senator Bernie Sanders. It included a total 10 year bill of $21 billion. It was what the name sounds like. A comprehensive health, education and external benefits bill including (for a full list click the link):
Expansion of health benefits for things such as: immunizations, TBI treatment, general wellness promotion, extension of the VA Health Professional Scholarship Program, mental health disorders, dental care and education of dental health, sexual trauma health care, employment training, employment itself, and career transition help.
It also included a repeal of the provisional reduction of cost of living adjustments for retirement pay for Armed Forces members under 62.
It was defeated 56-41, and only 2, yes you read that right, 2 Republicans voted for it, but why? Well, there was the sanctions on Iran that the Republicans tried to stick in there, but couldn’t get, as it had nothing to do with Veteran’s affairs. But the major complaint was cost, remember that $21 billion over 10 years? Well, let’s look at the cost. That’s 2.1 billion a year. The Federal Budget outlook for 2014 was about 3.8 trillion dollars. The total spending was 4.449 trillion. We’ll use the outlook though. So 2.1 billion is 0.00055% or 55/100,000 of 1% of 3.8 trillion. So really? Spending? We couldn’t take the equivalent of a couple pennies from the money we spend bombing the ever living piss out of other countries, and help at home? Apparently not.

The Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act of 2015:
This bill, introduced in 2015, which didn’t even reach the Senate floor, was rejected by Republicans because it would allow allocated monies to be spent at Planned Parenthood.
It would have allowed “severely wounded, ill, or injured veterans who had infertility condition incurred or aggravated in the line of duty and who is enrolled in the VA health care system…” to be able to get financial assistance with IVF, adoption expenses, and other alternative forms (including surrogates) of baby making or obtaining… So to speak.
This bill would have also facilitated research to improve long-term reproductive health care needs.

H.R. 5683 Veterans’ Job Corps Act (2012):
Proposed to provide employment for 20,000+ veterans costing about $1 billion over the course of 5 years. It did have a valid flaw, it wasn’t spelled out how it was going to be paid for, but rather than work with it, it was shot down by Republicans (Paul Ryan specifically, with support), who subsequently proposed an $8 billion raise in the military budget for 2013 alone…
With no specified way to pay for it.

Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans With Children Act (2010):
This bill, which was introduced by a Democrat,   sponsored by a Republican, and co-sponsored by 7 other Republicans,  and was passed by the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, was shot down on the Senate floor by the wider majority of Republicans. Their given reason? They said it should be paid for upfront, rather than over time, because apparently that was the only way it would ensure the help it proposed. (uh… okay…) And since that was unreasonable to request, they dropped the bill entirely. Which I’m sure helped a whole lot more than just passing the damn bill.

Not to mention an insane amount of filibusters, generally lead by the Republican party. You can gather the information through the amount (572) of Clotures (a vote to end a filibuster) enacted almost entirely by the Democratic party from 2009-now.

Now, I am also adding several other bills that died one way or another, either in the Senate or the House, but I would be lying to say that it was outright a Republican problem, the truth of it is that a lot of these, I can’t find the information for why they died. None-the-less, this is dismal regardless of who does it, and only adds to this ridiculous hypocrisy of this whole “fuck the refugees, we need to help the Vets” deal.

 

H.R. 466 – Wounded Veteran Job Security Act – Never passed in Senate
H.R. 1168 — Veterans Retraining Act – Never passed for in Senate
H.R. 1171 – Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization – Never passed in Senate
H.R. 1172 — Requiring List on VA Website of Organizations Providing Scholarships for Veterans – Never passed in Senate
H.R. 1293 — Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009 – Never passed in Senate
H.R. 1803 — Veterans Business Center Act – Never passed in Senate
H.R. 2352 – Job Creation Through Entrepreneurship Act – Never passed in Senate

And then there’s the 2016 GOP Presidential candidate’s rather crappy views on various military matters.

Finally, where was the call to stop and/or heavily monitor white Christians when Oklahoma City got the shit bombed out of it by Timothy McVeigh in 1995, killing 168 and injuring over 650 more? Oddly enough (or unsurprisingly, depending on how you want to look at it) the media shit storm right after was talking about a terrorist from the Middle East. We’ve had a stick up our ass about the Middle East for a long time now.

I know people are scared, but we should not allow our fear to make us inhumane to anyone. Our fear should not allow us, supposedly the land of the free and home of the brave, to become fearful and cowardly. We are running on fear, and it’s a fucking disgrace, I’ve had enough of the bullshit. These are people, these are real life men, women, children, families, mothers, fathers, brothers, daughters that you are telling to fuck off. In the name of what? Protecting our country? From what? The highly improbably chance that a terrorist will present themselves as a refugee and actually successfully get through our refugee intake process? Yeah, because it’s not like the process isn’t hell and a half to get through.

Now that that’s out of the way: As always, I hope you have a beautiful day sunshines.

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