Veterans' Benefits Bill Blocked

Feb 28, 2014

Lawmakers in the region are upset a bill to expand veterans benefits was defeated in the U-S Senate.

The veterans bill would restore a cost of living pay increase for veterans, expands health care services and pays for reproductive services for troops wounded in recent wars.

Now it’s back to the drawing board after Senate Republicans opposed the $21-billion cost of the bill, which Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine says is a setback.

Kaine is a cosponsor of the measure. He says the new benefits included in the legislation have already been promised to the nation’s veterans and now Congress needs to back it up.

“These are important changes. The veterans population which will really burgeon at the end of the Afghan war has a lot of very particular needs some of which we didn’t plan for but we nevertheless promised that we would try to meet so these are the kinds of things we should be doing for our veterans community and not doing it will be bad.”

Kaine says the effort isn’t dead yet. He’s hoping the two parties can find a compromise over how to pay for the measure.