On Thursday, Senate Democrats blocked the Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act. That bill, which sailed through the Republican-controlled House 390-33, fell in the Senate, with Sen. Bernie Sanders shrugging off the scandal by telling CNN that “People die every day.” Sanders is the Vermont socialist who caucuses with the Democrats.
So the Senate killed a bill that would have made it easier to fire negligent VA personnel. In the House, the only votes in opposition to it came from Democrats.
Today, the Democrats are closing ranks with the White House and blunting demands that VA chief Eric Shinseki resign, according to The Hill.
Senate Democrats are closing ranks behind Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and President Obama’s decision to keep him in the cabinet despite Republican calls for his ouster.
As of Thursday afternoon, not a single Democratic senator had called for Shinseki’s resignation.
And Senate Democrats have been slow to embrace House-passed legislation that would give Shinseki the authority to fire senior executives.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) questioned whether legislation could address the VA’s problems, noting “most of it has to be done administratively.”
Even if that’s true, the administration isn’t acting. Obama wants another report. Sanders wants another report. Only a handful of Democrats want accountability.
Here’s the truth: The fact the Democratic leadership is closing ranks with Obama on this scandal gives up the hard fact that they will not hold him accountable for anything. At all. Ever.
The Senate Democrats are prioritizing politics over the lives of veterans who need treatment. Nothing means more to them than political power.