Bill To Reduce VA Backlog Passes Easily With No Help From Tennessee’s Senators

Sen. Bob Corker speaks to reporters at the U.S. Embassy in Moldova. Since the most recent problems with VA wait times emerged, Corker has criticized plans to solve the problem because they add to the country's deficit. Credit: U.S. Embassy Moldova via Flickr

Sen. Bob Corker speaks to reporters at the U.S. Embassy in Moldova. Since the most recent problems with VA wait times emerged, Corker has criticized plans to solve the problem because they add to the country’s deficit. Credit: U.S. Embassy Moldova via Flickr

Tennessee’s senators did not support the massive bill meant to battle problems within the Department of Veterans Affairs. It passed Thursday night – 91 to 3.

Sen. Lamar Alexander did not vote. He’s currently on a 35-city bus tour ahead of the Republican primary. Previously, he has backed the bill that passed, calling it “the first big step in giving veterans the same choices for their health care that our country has given them for higher education since the G.I. Bill was enacted in 1944.”

The legislation gives veterans who live far from VA facilities the ability to go see private doctors.

Sen. Bob Corker was one of the three Republicans to vote no.

He released a statement to explain. Corker says veterans “deserve solutions” but they also “deserve a Congress that has the discipline to pay for legislation it passes.”

Corker was joined by Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who have opposed the $16 billion bill to reduce wait times at VA clinics and hospitals because of how much it would add to the federal deficit.

Please keep your community civil. Comments will be moderated prior to posting, and Nashville Public Radio reserves the right to approve them at its discretion. Comments containing links promoting goods, services - even noble organizations - will not be published. Your comments may include external links, but all comments with links will be delayed as they are reviewed. Comments containing profanity will be rejected.