Saturday, March 22, 2008

McCain Ignores Webb's Bill To Support The Troops

Senator Jim Webb is a hard man to criticize when it comes to our nation's military. The Republicans love(d) to own the issue of who supports our soldiers more, but they are beginning to lose on the issue, even after years of getting away with doing nothing for our brave soldiers. Jim Webb (D-VA) has a bill in the Senate that will support our troops in terms of educational assistance (aptly named the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act). Now he is calling out Presidential contender John McCain to support him on it.

From The Hill:

“McCain needs to get on the bill,” Webb told reporters after a Christian Science Monitor breakfast meeting on Wednesday. He said legislation mirroring the post-World War II GI bill should not be considered a “political issue.”

Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Il.), the Democratic presidential candidates, both have signed on to the bill.

In a major coup for Webb, Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), the former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, signed on as a co-sponsor earlier this month. Warner is a close ally of McCain, who is the ranking member on Armed Services. Warner has often been the committee’s top Republican with McCain
busy on the campaign trail.

Webb’s bill has 51 co-sponsors, including nine Republicans. Webb, a former secretary of the Navy, said he may have to get 60 co-sponsors to ensure Senate passage, but then added that many more Republicans could vote for the bill if McCain endorsed it.

Not surprisingly, The Hill notes George Bush is advocating against it, saying that it will encourage Americans to leave the service while the military is having trouble enlisting people. It is a ridiculous argument, but then again, it is a ridiculous Presidency. With McCain's willful ignorance of the bill, it isn't hard to see what kind of President he'll be, despite his military record. With McCain, it is party before principles.

Oh and before anyone asks what is McCain's response to this....remember that Webb introduced this bill in January of 2007. If a Senator is silent on this for over a year and another Senator has to call you out publicly, that is a powerful response by itself.