U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today after the Senate rejected his amendment that would have helped all wounded veterans, not just those injured after September 11, 2001, and financed the program by redirecting funds that would have gone to the United Nations (U.N.). The Coburn amendment failed by a vote of 32 to 66.
"I support keeping our commitment to the veterans who have selflessly sacrificed for our nation and I believe Congress should prioritize funding for their care. However, I am opposed to sinking our grandchildren in debt and jeopardizing the sacrifices of those this bill intends to help," said Dr. Coburn. "Our wounded veterans have demonstrated tremendous courage, yet members of Congress are searching for a backbone. This vote shows that Congress is still refusing to make the hard choices between competing budget priorities every family in America makes every day."
"Today, the Senate made a poor choice. We voted to send billions of taxpayer dollars to a corrupt organization that provides an international platform for rogue dictators rather than sending those funds to our wounded veterans. Congress should be sacrificing for our veterans and the next generation rather than defending an ineffective and corrupt organization," said Dr. Coburn.
Earlier this week, the Senate defeated a motion offered by Senator Coburn to provide funding for veterans caregiver assistance by eliminating congressional earmarks not requested by the Commander-in-Chief funded by the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act. (The vote tally is available here.)
"I voted for the final bill because I always supported the much of the underlying legislation. I intend to give my colleagues other opportunities to both pay for this bill and ensure that it covers all wounded veterans," Dr. Coburn said.