House Republicans became upset and stormed out of a committee meeting Tuesday after Democrats had to stop them from attaching “poison pill” amendments to the Deborah Sampson Act, which addressed unique needs faced by female veterans. Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano stopped debate on the amendments, which were clearly designed to make the bill impossible to pass, and Republicans left the room, refusing to vote on it at all.
“House Republicans just walked out on women veterans by refusing to vote on a historic and monumental bill to extend care and benefits included in the Deborah Sampson Act,” said Takano. “Instead of bringing forth meaningful, productive additions to legislation that will improve the lives of women veterans, they added toxic, partisan amendments—none of which worked to address how women veterans receive care.”
The bill would create a peer-to-peer assistance program for women who had recently left the military, especially for those who had experienced sexual trauma and/or who are at high risk of experiencing homelessness. Republicans tried to tack on amendments about things like firearm rights and didn’t like being called out on it. Navy veteran Andrea Goldstein called the walkout “devastating.”
This legislation was the result of **years** of collaboration between members and staffs on both side of the aisle, with continuous input from VSOs, community-based organizations, advocates, and individual veterans themselves. 2/— Andrea N. Goldstein (She/her/hers) (@AN_Goldstein) October 29, 2019
In spite of the walkout, the bill passed the committee without the toxic amendments and is moving forward. Meanwhile, Republicans get to look like horrible people who walked out on a bill designed to help female veterans who had survived sexual assault.
Today, @VetAffairsDems made progress for 2 million women veterans by advancing the bipartisan, bicameral Deborah Sampson Act to address the inequities at VA. Today’s poison pill amendments and GOP walkout are a shame. https://t.co/SJMvINNDgU— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) October 29, 2019
I am a woman veteran. There is NO EXCUSE for your petty little walkout today. We don’t pay your salary to watch you throw tantrums for the cameras when you don’t get your way. Get back in there, keep your seat, and #DoYourJob
— Kelly (@belikeaduck) October 29, 2019
House Republicans walked out on women veterans by refusing to vote on an historic and monumental bill to extend care and benefits included in the #DeborahSampsonAct.— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) October 29, 2019
This is disrespectful to everyone who served and especially to the women veterans.
This is a disgrace. pic.twitter.com/8bFgnKOdtG
WATCH: GOP get up and walk away from the @VetAffairsDems markup.— Peter Morley (@morethanmySLE) October 29, 2019
By walking out, they are turning their backs on 2 MILLION women veterans whose lives would be ENHANCED by this legislation. SHAMEFUL. DISGUSTING & UNPATRIOTIC!💔pic.twitter.com/QxwSvQkHBU
House Republicans WALK OUT on a bipartisan hearing about how the VA can help better female veterans’ lives, REFUSING TO VOTE.— Ryan Chase (@GunReformRyan) October 29, 2019
They don’t care about women. They don’t care about vets. They don’t care about their constituents.
VOTE. THEM. OUT.pic.twitter.com/GwJQyQgOPg
2020 is looking better and better.