NRSC - Why is Jeanne Shaheen Holding Veterans' Funding Hostage?

October 11, 2013

Why are Jeanne Shaheen & Harry Reid Blocking
Bipartisan Veterans' Funding? 

Yesterday, the Senate finally followed the lead of the House of Representatives and passed a bill to provide death benefits to the families of men and women killed while on active duty during the government shutdown. It was the right thing to do.

But what about the other bipartisan funding bills that the House passed to fund critical portions of the government during the shutdown?

Granite Staters don't expect their elected officials to agree on everything, but surely Jeanne Shaheen – who touts her “independent voice”– should work to pass these bipartisan, important funding measures while the rest of the issues are worked out.  Why would Jeanne Shaheen and other Senate Democrats block more than a dozen different measures to fund key government programs and operations where there is unanimous agreement, such as:

  • Funding veterans’ benefits and services
  • Funding the National Institutes of Health, which is responsible for lifesaving medical innovations and cancer research
  • Paying federal employees that are working through the shutdown
  • Immediate funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Head Start funding for Low-Income Children

“If Jeanne Shaheen believes that these critical programs and benefits for veterans, families and workers should be funded, how can she defend blocking the legislation to do it?” asked NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen. “Veterans' programs could be funded immediately if Jeanne Shaheen and Senate Democrats chose to do it.  It is simply unfair, unsustainable, and juvenile to hold veterans' funding and other critical measures hostage until Jeanne Shaheen and Senate Democrats get 100% of what they want. If Jeanne Shaheen really is the independent voice that she claims, she'll break from Harry Reid and support these bipartisan measures, as Massachusetts Congressman Stephen Lynch has done.