Yesterday, Republicans in the Senate blamed Harry Reid for cutting veterans’ pensions.
But the House of Representatives passed the legislation first. The GOP could have fixed it there had Speaker Boehner spent more time reading his legislation than attacking conservatives.
Once passed, the House of Representatives headed home for Christmas.
Had Harry Reid let the amendment through on Ryan-Murray, the Senate would have had to pass the legislation and the House of Representatives would have had to scramble back to Washington to repass the legislation they could have fixed the first time.
But the Republicans were not really interested in fixing the legislation. They just wanted to blame Harry Reid and play gotcha with the lives of veterans. In fact, Paul Ryan claimed the legislation would not affect veterans disabled in war, but that claim was not true. Paul Ryan and John Boehner attacked conservatives for criticizing the legislation without knowing what was in it while they claimed things were in the legislation that were not there.
In the meantime, veterans are pawns to the parties. But wait — once people pointed out the GOP could have prevented these cuts if they really wanted to, suddenly the GOP said they were not really cuts, just reductions in the rate of growth.
So why blame Harry Reid then? Why accuse him of these cuts?
There were plenty of things the GOP could have blamed on Harry Reid, but instead they blamed him for something the GOP itself did and could have stopped. Again, though the plan was bipartisan in drafting, the Republican majority in the House got first dibs on the vote.
The Republican Leaders in Washington are fundamentally not serious. But wait … there’s more.
Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have any intention of keeping these cuts. They had to put them in this legislation because they needed to claim the legislation reduced the deficit and saved other money. It was all an accounting gimmick that neither side intends to keep.
Both Paul Ryan and Patty Murray have already said they don’t want to keep the cuts that are not really even cuts. So why did they put the cuts in the legislation in the first place?
So they could make fiscal and budgetary claims and promises about the legislation neither party has any intention of keeping. They will keep the tax increases, they will keep the busted sequestration caps, but they won’t keep these cuts.
Again — both parties used veterans as pawns in their bipartisan game to lie to the American people as they undid the only true restraints on spending imposed in Washington over the past few decades.
Neither party’s leadership is serious about the financial health and wellbeing of this country. And the only people who want to rein it in are now being attacked by both the big government left and the Republican leadership.