In an effort to reduce federal spending, Senate Republicans derailed legislation that would have provided $21 billion in health care, education and job-training benefits.
The bill was stopped from moving forward with a procedural vote that needed 60 votes. The final count was 56-41, with Idaho Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo supporting the block.
"About 6 million disabled veterans are being provided for by the veteran administration in a system that is about to collapse because of those large numbers. The bill would have added an additional 16 million non-disabled vets, rendering the entire system inoperable," said Risch.
Crapo's staff released a statement that said, "Senator Crapo supports veterans’ programs but this bill was not paid for and would have added to our existing 17 trillion dollar debt. It would have added non-service-connected participants to an already over-burdened system. Democrats denied any amendments to the bill, including language enforcing sanctions against Iran, and the bill failed as a result."
But local Idaho Falls veteran David Tudor said these reasons aren't good enough, especially for a homeless veteran like him. He said veterans try hard every day to rejoin American society.
"They need to start passing the programs that are in front of them instead of voting them down for one reason or another," said Tudor.