Senate Republicans block vote on vet jobs bill

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., raised a point of order against the bill on Wednesday Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., raised a point of order against the bill on Wednesday J. Scott Applewhite/AP file photo
Senate Republicans effectively killed a measure to find jobs for unemployed veterans on a procedural vote Wednesday, after several attempts by Democrats to keep the bill on the table failed.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., raised a point of order against the bill on Wednesday, citing alleged violations of Senate budget rules. Since three-fifths of the chamber did not vote to waive the rules, the legislation cannot move forward.

The point of order was the latest in a string of obstacles designed to derail the bill, which would have created the Veterans Jobs Corps by setting aside $1 billion in federal grants to give veterans priority for jobs that might require military skills, such as in law enforcement or fire safety. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., briefly filibustered the legislation last week in an unrelated attempt to withdraw aid to Pakistan.

Paul's move came after the bill's sponsor, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., agreed to incorporate an alternate version put forth by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., in a last-minute effort to make the bill as bipartisan as possible.

Veterans issues often enjoy bipartisan support in the Senate, but because this legislation was a major priority for the Obama administration and its main sponsor, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is stuck in a tough reelection fight, some Republicans objected to the legislation on the grounds it was another campaign talking point to boost Democrats in the polls.
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