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Web letter by Lori McBride: Republicans choose partisanship over support for veterans

With one vote the Republican Party disproved that it is the party that stands with members of our armed forces. In the Senate President Obama’s veterans’ jobs bill was voted down 58-40. With the exception of five, every Republican senator voted against this bill – including, much to the shame of Indiana residents, Sens. Richard Lugar and Dan Coats.

The veterans’ jobs bill would have given a tax break to companies that hire members of the armed forces already home and those returning home. Why wouldn’t they vote for this bill? I can think of only two reasons. One, and probably the most obvious, is because this bill was introduced by Obama. The second reason, according to Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla, the amount needed to pay for the bill ($1 billion) was too much.

Really? So, according to the Republican Party, $800 billion dollars on one war (Iraq) isn’t too much money. Which, by the way, was estimated originally at a cost of $80 billion, by a member of the Bush administration by the name of Mitch Daniels. But the cost of $1 billion to help our returning armed servicemen and -women is too much? These men and women went off to fight for this country with no questions asked. This is how we thank them?

Especially saddening was the fact that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., himself a war veteran and former prisoner of war, voted against this bill. We have reached a point in our country where it no longer matters what is wrong or right for the people of this country. What matters most, it seems, to the Republican Party, is that it block any legislation helping our returning veterans or ordinary citizens as long as Obama is in office.

Our armed service members, both men and women, deserve to be treated with respect and gratitude for their service to this country, not to be used as pawns in partisan power plays and politics. For the Senate Republicans to put partisan politics over helping our returning war veterans is despicable. Shame on them.

This bill, which by the way would have been already paid for, would have been one way to express some of our gratitude to servicemen and -women. Instead, the Republican Party reached out and smacked them in the face. We as a country have become so self-centered that we no longer care to thank our armed servicemen and -women for their service on behalf of this country. We as a people need to look into our heart and souls to find out what we believe in.

I know where my heart and soul stands. Right beside our returning war veterans! My question to you is, “Where do you stand?”

LORI McBRIDE

Fort Wayne

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