Senate Republicans blocked a bill Wednesday that would have provided a billion dollars towards helping veterans find work. The reason? They cited the fact that the bill did not adhere to spending limits Congress had set in place last year. Democrats needed 60 votes to overturn this argument, according to the Associated Press, but were only able to get 58, losing the resolution by 2 votes.
With current unemployment rates at nearly 11 percent among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many say that it is time Washington step up to do more. HuffPost Live's Alicia Menendez discusses this issue asking why certain senators decided to block this bill.
"It shouldn't be surprising that Washington can't get anything done..." Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director and Founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) told HuffPost Live. "When it came down to it, this critical jobs bill would have provided much needed support for not just the 10.9 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are unemployed, but really all veterans. The bottom line here is this bill died..."
Apparently the bill didn't even come up for vote. According to Tom Tarantino, chief policy officer at IAVA said senators used an "obscure budget rule" to block the vote and table the resolution without even being able to vote on the bill itself.
"It's all about the bottom line." Liz Perez, Navy veteran, founder and president of GC Green told HuffPost Live. "We would all like to think these larger corporations want to do the right thing, but to be honest I was at Riverside yesterday, I'm not going to say which corporation I was talking to, but they said look its about the bottom line and that's it."
For real change to occur, it is "important to hold the people who are responsible accountable," said Justin Ford, founder of VetPack and veterans director for the Truman National Security Project. Ford says we "can't just blame congress as a whole. Instead we should hold individuals responsible and help veterans reintegrate, provide training, and give them a means to show they are capable workers."
What should Washington be doing to help veterans find jobs? Sound off in the comments section below.