Friday, September 28, 2012

Who Held Disabled Veterans Hostage, or is holding!

Which Senator Put a Hold on Veterans Benefits Bill?
all the oh so 'patriotic?' give those who served, magnetic ribbons till gone, lapel flag pins, flags, parades, welcome homes, and all with the words only, No Sacrifice By Them Demanded, 'Freedom is {absolutely} Free!!

Sep 27, 2012 - A routine bill for a cost-of-living increase for military veterans and surviving spouses just got delayed for months because of a secret hold by an unidentified Senate Republican.

In what appears to be an election-year stunt that quickly backfired, an unidentified Republican senator on Thursday briefly blocked disabled veterans and their survivors from getting a cost-of-living adjustment to their benefits, according to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

The Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) increase for Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, which typically passes the House and Senate without opposition, was cleared by Senate Democrats but placed on a “secret hold” Thursday by an unidentified Republican senator, Murray says.


After Murray released her statement, Republicans made what appears to be a hasty retreat. A spokesman for Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the ranking Republican on the Senate veterans’ committee, announced Thursday afternoon that the issue had been resolved and there was no hold.

Who originally placed the secret hold, and why? No one seems to know or wants to say.


“It cleared every Democrat in the Senate, but there was still a hold on the bill, so obviously it had to be from someone on the Republican side,” said Matt McAlvanah, a spokesman for Senator Murray. “It lasted until we adjourned, nearly 72 hours. We then went into recess, with the Republicans still having a hold on this bill. So we put out a release today saying someone should step forward.”

“Now we hear that Republicans are saying there is no longer a hold. That’s fine, but it does little good now because we’re not coming back until postelection. Now we have to pass this bill by the skin of our teeth just to make sure the VA can process the checks. It’s going to be a close call.”

Because of the delay, the Senate, which is out of session until Nov. 13, will have to vote on the legislation on the very same day it reconvenes in order for its payments to get out on time, according to a statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Should Congress pass the COLA after that date, VA would have to make complex programming changes to the system that could not be accomplished in time to pay the COLA increase on January 1,” according to the VA release. “Consequently, the December COLA increase would have to be paid retroactively.”

If the bill doesn’t pass that first day the Senate returns, the effects could be significant, especially for disabled veterans and their families on fixed incomes, says Paul Sullivan, a Gulf War veteran and former director of Veterans for Common Sense who now works at Bergmann & Moore, a law firm that specializes in VA disability law.

“We don’t want to scare our veterans. But delays can be harmful,” Sullivan tells The Daily Beast. “Veterans already jump through enough hoops to obtain disability benefits. Delaying what should be an automatic process increases uncertainty in the lives of our veterans, and that is wrong.” read more>>>

What we do know is they apparently weren't satisfied in just killing the Veterans Jobs Bill of 2012, only one in the long stream of not holding up the Countries Responsibility!!

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