Senate GOP blocks veteran benefits bill
WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans have blocked a Democratic bill that would enrich health, education and job-training programs for the nation's 22 million veterans.
Helping veterans is widely popular among lawmakers, especially with this fall's congressional elections approaching. The sweeping $21 billion measure would do everything from letting more veterans get in-state college tuition to providing fertility treatments for wounded troops.
Republicans complained that the bill was too expensive. And they were upset that Majority Leader Harry Reid prevented a vote on a GOP amendment cutting the bill and adding sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program.
The Senate derailed the legislation on a 56-41 procedural vote. Fifty-six senators voted to keep the bill alive, but supporters needed 60 votes to prevail.