Connect with us

Breaking: Senate GOP Kills Bill That Would Extend Veterans Benefits To Married Same-Sex Families

Published

on

The so-called “pro-family” “pro-military” wing of the U.S. Senate Thursday afternoon killed a bill that would have helped thousands of veterans and their families.

Take a stroll through the Facebook page of the U.S. Senate Republicans and you’ll see a swarm of patriotic posts promising no one supports America’s veterans and service members like the GOP.

Here’s a sampling:

2.jpg

3.jpg

4.jpg

6.jpg

7.jpg

So imagine my surprise when this afternoon Senate Republicans killed a bill that would have extended some federal veterans benefits to married same-sex couples and their children who live in states that do not recognize their legal marriages.

Apparently, the Senate Republicans only care about heterosexual veteran and service members.

Currently, for most purposes, the federal government recognizes all same-sex marriages based on the state in which the couple were legally married, as opposed to the state in which they reside. So, if a same-sex couple marries in New York but moves to Texas, their marriage for federal purposes is recognized.

Unless on or both members of that couple are in the military or might be entitled to veterans’ benefits, thanks to an outdated federal law.

Democratic U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today tried to pass an amendment to the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act that merely would have changed federal law to be consistent across the board and recognize all same-sex marriage at the “place of celebration” instead of where the couple resides.

Jennifer Bendery at the Huffington Post reports Shaheen’s “amendment failed 53-42, seven votes shy of the 60 votes needed to pass. None of the Senate Republicans running for president voted for it. Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) opposed it, while Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) did not vote.”

All Democrats that voted voted for the bill. Eight Republican Senators, according to Roll Call, “joined Democrats: Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Rob Portman of Ohio.”

“Veterans served their country bravely, and yet some are deprived of the very rights they risked their lives to protect,” Sen. Shaheen told Bendery in an email. “The impact of this discrimination is real. Monthly benefits are less; spouses and children are not eligible for medical care at the VA; and families are not eligible for the same death benefits.”

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

'WORSE THAN NOTHING'

‘Basically Outlaws Responding to This Pandemic’: Texans Blast Abbott for New ‘Right to Infect’ Order

Published

on

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is under fire after signing a wide-ranging COVID-19 executive order Thursday that bans any mask or vaccine mandates, bans anyone requesting or requiring proof of vaccination to obtain goods or services, but promotes “personal responsibility” as the means to control what is quickly becoming a new Delta variant-fueled wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the CDC Texas has had over 47,000 new COVID cases and 240 new COVID deaths in the past seven days, with a huge 15%-19.9% positivity rate. Since the start of the pandemic Texas has, under Governor Abbott’s leadership, seen nearly 3.1 million coronavirus cases and almost 52,000 deaths. Texas reports just 52% of its population 12 and older has been vaccinated.

Abbott’s executive order says, “There are no COVID-19-related operating limits for any business or other establishment,” and “no person may he required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face covering.”

“Texans are strongly encouraged as a matter of personal responsibility to consistently follow good hygiene, social-distancing. and other mitigation practices,” and vaccines “will never be mandated by the government,” although “it is strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive one.”

The order also overrides and voids any “COVID-19-related limitations imposed by local governmental entities or officials.”

One local Texas NBC affiliate reports, “Abbott pushes personal responsibility over government mandates as pandemic surges.”

Here’s what some Texans are saying:

 

 

Continue Reading

News

Dozens of House Republicans Refusing to Wear Masks March to Senate Side for ‘Taste of Freedom’

Published

on

After falsely blaming Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the newly-announced mask mandate on the House side of Congress, dozens of Republicans Thursday afternoon engaged in a performative protest, not against the coronavirus but against efforts to end the pandemic. What appeared to be 50 or so House GOP  lawmakers marched over to the Senate side of the Capitol Hill building for what one called a “taste of freedom.”

The Attending Physician of the United States Congress, following updated CDC guidance this week ordered anyone on the House side of the Capitol to wear a mask if in a group, regardless of vaccination status, but did not make the same order for the Senate side.

While Dr. Brian Monahan did not explain why the rules were different, at last cxount only about half of the Republicans on the House side have said they are vaccinated. Almost every Republican on the Senate side is. All Democrats on both sides are fully vaccinated. Dr. Monahan’s office announced fines and possible removal for repeat offenders.

Among those in the maskless pack making their way to the Senate side were Reps. Madison Cawthorn, Lauren Boebert, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Chip Roy.

Roll Call’s Chris Cioffi and The Hill’s Scott Wong posted video:

Continue Reading

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING?

Far Right Republican Concocts Fundraising Scheme to Bail Out Mask Rule-Breakers — but the Cash Goes to His Campaign

Published

on

Right-wing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is asking for donations so that he can pay for the fines for Congressional members and their staff who refuse to wear a mask in the Capitol. But when clicking the link to donate, it takes you to his campaign page.

Typical members of Congress are paid $174,000 annually, so it’s unclear why they would need donations to cover their own rule-breaking. Staffers certainly make much less, however, Washington, D.C. has mandated face masks in public places again. So, they would be in violation of the Capitol rules as well as D.C. rules. It’s unclear if their Republican members would be willing to pay their fees themselves if the staffer follows their boss’s lead.

While the Capitol has instituted fines, the Capitol Police released a statement that seemed like a veiled threat to those anti-maskers refusing to follow the rules.

“Regarding the House mask rule, there is no reason it should ever come to someone being arrested. Anyone who does not follow the rule will be asked to wear a mask or leave the premises. The Department’s requirement for officers to wear masks is for their health and safety,” said the statement.

See Cawthorn’s fundraising tweet below:

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.