POLITICS
05/28/2014 04:31 pm ET Updated May 29, 2014

Bernie Sanders Hammers 'Hypocritical' GOP For Abandoning 'Wounded' Veterans

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) laid into Republicans Tuesday night for committing American men and women to battle without securing adequate funding for crucial veterans programs.

"If you are not prepared to take care of the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend this country, who came back wounded in body, wounded in spirit, if you're not prepared to help those people then don't send them to war in the first place," Sanders said during an appearance on MSNBC’s "Politics Nation."

Calling Senate Republicans "hypocritical" for blocking a bill expanding veterans’ benefits in February, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs accused the GOP of failing to "understand the real cost of war and what it means to the people who fight in these wars."

On Saturday, Fox News contributor Dr. Ben Carson described the recent scandal over delayed treatments at the Department of Veterans Affairs as "a gift from God" intended to illustrate the fundamental incompetence of big government.

"I think what’s happening with the veterans is a gift from God to show us what happens when you take layers and layers of bureaucracy and place them between the patients and the health care provider," Carson said on Fox.

Sanders dismissed Carson’s remarks, citing accounts from various veterans' organizations expressing satisfaction with the quality of care provided by the VA system.

"What they said without exception, and what independent survey after survey backs up, is the quality of health care in the VA is good to excellent," Sanders said. "The problem that we’re having is getting people into the system in a timely manner … and we’ve got to help them be able to do that."

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