Sanders Supports Veterans

The Senate on Thursday approved an amendment by Senator Bernie Sanders that would stop the Department of Veterans Affairs from docking veterans' benefits when it rounds down disability payments. The amendment "addresses a concern within the veterans' community that the United States government is nickel-and-diming veterans in an absolutely shameful way," Sanders told Senate colleagues.

The Senate on Thursday approved an amendment by Senator Bernie Sanders that would stop the Department of Veterans Affairs from docking veterans' benefits when it rounds down disability payments. The amendment "addresses a concern within the veterans' community that the United States government is nickel-and-diming veterans in an absolutely shameful way," Sanders told Senate colleagues.

The amendment would stop the Department of Veterans Affairs from pocketing the change when it calculates benefits. For example, Sanders said, a veteran due $200.99 a month now gets a benefit check for $200.

While the short-term impact on individual veterans is relatively small, Sanders said the issue "is enormously significant to the millions of men and women who have served our country in war, and it is especially relevant to disabled veterans."

The long-term, cumulative impact of the accounting practice "substantially erodes the value of compensation," according to veterans' organizations, and "robs monies from the benefits of some of our most deserving veterans and their dependents and survivors, who must rely on their modest VA compensation for the necessities of life."

Sanders' amendment would add $20 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs budget to cover the full amount of benefits veterans have earned.

The provision was supported by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, the Disabled American Veterans, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, and AMVETS.

To hear Senator Sanders discuss his amendment, click here.

To view the Senators floor speech click here.