Republicans love to talk about how much they support the troops, never missing an opportunity to step in front of a microphone and bloviate about their commitment to America’s veterans. However, the actions of GOP politicians tell a different story. After all, this is the group that feels that health care for military members is too expensive and that VA hospitals should be handed over to private investors.
On the other hand, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has spent his entire career passionately fighting for the well-being of the nation’s troops. In fact, no other legislator has introduced more bills that benefit U.S. veterans in the last 30 years than Sanders. The Veterans CHOICE Act is one of his most recent and impressive bills. Introduced after the VA scandal in 2014, the bill targets the bureaucratic issues that caused delays in medical care for veterans. It also expands vets’ access to health, reproductive and dental care and offers educational and employment opportunities for military members once they leave active duty.
On top of that comprehensive reform bill, Sanders has sponsored or co-sponsored close to 70 bills aimed at improving the lives of U.S. veterans. Some of the highlights include:
- HR 695, which introduced the Guard and Reserve Family Protection Act of 1991;
- an amendment to HR 2684 in support of efforts to improve rural health care services for veterans in 1999;
- S.1326, which was the Comprehensive Veterans Benefits Improvements Act of 2007;
- an amendment to HR 1585 to provide an additional $15 million for research, testing and evaluation of Gulf War illnesses in 2007;
- S.1583, which introduced the Mental Health Support for Veteran Families and Caregivers Act of 2013
- S.1581, which was the Survivors’ of Military Sexual Assault and Domestic Abuse Act of 2013.
In addition to those bills, Sanders sponsored dozens more that protected veterans from homelessness, provided their families better mental health care and other benefits and offered assistance to those with disabilities. America’s brave veterans give their lives, limbs and overall health to keep the nation safe and free. While Republicans love to talk about offering them the support they need and deserve, it is Sen. Bernie Sanders who actually has a history of coming through.