What Do the Blue Dogs and McCain Have Against Vets?
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The GI Bill for the 21st Century was delayed again last week, and for a change, it wasn't McCain holding up its passage (though I'll get to him in a moment). It's actually the so-called Blue Dog Democrats, 47 fiscally conservative Democrats in the House who have voted for Bush's war time and time again. House Democratic leaders attached the GI Bill to an emergency war spending bill, thinking Bush wouldn't be able to veto it, but now they must figure out ways to offset the costs of the GI Bill if they want to appease the Blue Dogs.
This is truly despicable, considering the Blue Dogs have favored hundreds of billions in Bush's supplemental costs for the Iraq War, not to mention the billions more that have gone to private contractors. Daily Kos has more, including contact info for you to hound your Blue Dog representatives.
Of course, this news comes on the heels of a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which found that McCain is, in fact, "full of it" on the GI Bill (told ya I'd get to him). McCain's excuse for not co-sponsoring Jim Webb's bi-partisan legislation in the Senate has been that it would cause a loss of retention because too many members of the military would use the GI Bill as an excuse to leave. Not so, says the CBO, which found that any loss in retention would be balanced by an increase in military recruits looking to take advantage of the new GI Bill educational benefits.
ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.