GOP Comes Out Strong for New GI Bill
The Senate this morning voted overwhelmingly to pass Sen. James Webb’s (D-Va.) proposal to expand education benefits for post-9/11 vets. Twenty-five Republicans bucked the White House to support the bill. (The final vote was 75 to 22).
Two things are significant here: First, the strong show of support from Republicans means the White House veto threat is meaningless, at least as it pertains to the upper chamber. (The House passed the bill last week by the non-veto-proof count of 256 to 166, putting pressure on House leaders to start cutting some deals and twisting some arms if they want this thing to pass this year.)
And second, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), likely to be the GOP’s presidential nominee, was noticeably absent from the vote. McCain’s camp will surely say the senator was busy on the campaign trail, but he also opposes the Webb bill, and has every reason to elude being on record voting against a veterans benefit in the year of the election.
Not that this issue is going away anytime soon…