Why Sen. Enzi's delay of Blue Water Navy bill is bull$#%!

Phil Briggs
December 11, 2018 - 12:12 pm

C-Span.org

Y'want to know why politicians have such a low approval rating? 

Here’s one giant, flaming, dumpster-fire of an example:

Monday, December 10, 2018, the Senate couldn’t even agree to advance a bill [H.R 299> which helps Vietnam Veterans suffering from the effects of exposure to Agent Orange.  Specifically, because Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi chose to put a hold on the bill.

Yup, they couldn’t handle paying to help Vietnam veterans who served aboard ships downwind from a dioxin herbicide known to cause multiple forms of cancer, among other health issues.

Related: Blue Water Navy Bill Fails in Senate

But I don’t want to put words in Senator’s Enzi’s mouth.  Thanks to C-Span, here’s exactly how he justified screwing over some 90,000 so-called Blue Water Navy veterans — many of whom reside in his state.

C-Span.org

“On this bill, many of us have been made aware of the potential cost growth from the potential and the budgetary and operational pressures that would happen at the VA, (they’re having a lot of problems anyway).  But the VA’s analysis shows the cost could be nearly 5 times what Congress assumed it was when the House passed it.”

So it’s like that Senator?

You volunteer to serve your country, but if you get wounded you can only get medical treatment if the cost is low?

That’s bullshit.  Because as any veteran knows, you can’t exactly pick the assignments that are least likely to cost the federal government money.

Enzi went on to say, “And then a recent letter from the Congressional Budget Office estimated an increased cost from their first one, from about 1.3B dollars, so there’s clearly more work to do to determine the spending and the administration of this.”

Despite finding medical care for Vietnam veterans too expensive, Enzi still found a way to make it sound like he supports them.  “While we want to make sure that the veterans who are having problems get the solutions they need.”

Related: House approves benefits for Blue Water Navy Veterans

But shockingly Enzi’s very next statement seemed to again sound like he just won’t foot the bill, “Another concern I’ve heard from veterans is the pay for … an increase in the interest rate for housing for some veterans that are trying to buy a house, but that isn’t enough money to cover the renewed estimates of what this would cost.”

Well Senator, as a veteran who is currently using a VA Home Loan, you didn’t ask me.  And considering I bought my house with zero down payment, received an incredible interest rate and am not required to carry PMI, I gladly would absorb a tiny fee to help my fellow veterans.  (Though I would remind every Congressperson of my displeasure at the voting booth until that changed.)

Below: Senator Enzi's Twitter feed ... oversight or cutting costs at veteran's expense?

In closing, Senator Enzi's statement seems to indicate money matters more than military veterans' health, “ We need to get some way to justify the numbers that range somewhere between 60 thousand people and 440 thousand people … that’s a pretty big gap on who we let in.”

So, Senator Enzi, how do we “justify” who we “let in”

I think you justify it, by considering their service.  They fought in a thankless war, and have already endured having this right stripped away back in 2002.

The irony is that Enzi served in the Wyoming Air National Guard from 1967-1973. The frustration is that a Senator who claims veteran status needs further justification to do what’s right.

Making your fellow vets wait for another research report is bullshit.

You can find H.R. 299 here

You can reach Senator Mike Enzi’s office at:

379A Senate Russell Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Phone: (202) 224-3424

 

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