Senate Rejects Coburn's Amendment to Veterans Bill

Monday, November 16th 2009, 8:34 am
By: News 9

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate rejected Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn’s amendment to Veterans' benefits legislation.

Coburn has been under fire for blocking Senate Bill 1693, the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2009.

Coburn placed a hold on the bill because he said it restricts the majority of the benefits for only veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He also said the $3.7 billion price tag is not funded.

Senator Coburn said he would have removed the hold if Senators approved amendments he proposed. Coburn's changes would have provide funding for the legislation and expand the benefits to veterans of other wars before 2001.

Coburn's amendment calls for paying for the bill by eliminating earmarks for Defense projects not requested by the president or reducing contributions to the United Nations.

"Once again the Senate chose to fund its own parochial projects instead of helping our nation and our veterans in need," said Dr. Coburn in a statement. "If our veterans are willing to sacrifice for our nation, surely Congress should be willing to sacrifice for our veterans. Unfortunately, as this vote demonstrates, members of Congress are not willing to sacrifice their pet projects for any reason, including caring for disabled veterans."

More on this story: Sen. Coburn Criticized for Blocking Veterans' Aid Bill