ABC is reporting that Senate GOP-ers have blocked the veterans bill from moving forward to a vote. The bill needed 60 votes to proceed, but the final tally was 56-41.
Although agreement on the need to expand benefits for veterans is usually a bipartisan issue, it was the amount of spending in the bill that Republican senators had a problem with.
Additionally, Republicans are still pushing for increased sanctions against Iran – a move that the Obama Administration and many international observers warn would be poorly-timed – and wanted to include a measure targeting the Islamic Republic with the veterans bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid previously blocked the Iran measure from being included.
“Shame on the Republicans for bringing base politics into a bill to help the veterans,” Reid said Thursday.
According to ABC News, the bill would have “improved benefits for veterans, including better health care and dental services provided by the VA. It also would have guaranteed post-9/11 veterans access to in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities in any state.”