Newsflash: Senate Republicans Block Benefits to Homeless Women Veterans

Senate conservatives blocked the Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans with Children Act on Tuesday, following an objection from Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK, left), who spoke out in opposition to the bill. The $3.4 billion bill, introduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), would have provided special benefits to homeless women veterans (as well as to homeless male veterans with dependent children).

The defeat comes at a time when homelessness among women veterans has dramatically increased. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the number of homeless women veterans has nearly doubled over the past ten years. The trend is even more apparent among homeless veterans under 45; one in ten is a woman. What’s more, the increase in the number of homeless women veterans has coincided with a drop in homelessness among their male counterparts, according to Peter Dougherty, director of homeless veterans programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Women returning from war have unique risk factors for homelessness, such as trauma from sexual assault while in the military and lower earning potential than men. According to the Vietnam Veterans of America:

Homeless women veterans present different needs with reference to privacy, gender-related care, treatment for physical and sexual trauma, and care for dependent children. Due to these compounding issues, very few programs are available to serve and appropriately meet the needs of this particular homeless population.

So as hundreds of thousands of veterans return from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Veterans Affairs struggles to accommodate their most basic needs. And as the number of women serving in combat continues to grow, so will the need for specialized assistance for women veterans. Passage of the Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans with Children Act would have been a start.

Blocking the bill is a puzzling move on the part of conservatives, for whom talking about things like Christian compassion, family values and supporting our troops is a cherished pastime. Must be the whole doing something thing that makes them squeamish.

Tell your Senator that supporting homeless women veterans and their children is the patriotic thing to do.

ABOVE: Photo of Sen. Tom Coburn from Flickr user SenateDemocrats, under CC 2.0


  1. This is just… bizarre.

  2. This is so ridiculous. I just don’t know what else to say.

  3. Charlotte says:

    I’ve become absolutely convinced that republicans are covert Satanists. You think I’m kidding? It doesn’t really matter if they actually are Satanists; their acts make them what they are. They are self-serving and completely lacking in compassion.

    Just look up some of the tenets of the Satanic church and tell me that it doesn’t sound like republicans.

    Now, I obviously do not mean all republicans (I live in Texas, that would be like, 70% of everyone I know), but the general movement of the party is nothing short of hateful.

    How strange that so many of them loudly proclaim to be following Christ, yet an atheist acts more in line with their religious patriarch than they do.

    • Heather says:

      Actually true Satanists believe only in harming someone if they’ve been done wrong by them first. How would a Veteran have done harm to these politicians? Except maybe the ones who dare to speak out and voice their opinions against wars they don’t believe in, this doesn’t seem applicable.

    • Barbara Johnson says:

      I feel the same way! Evil is the word that comes to mind. They go way beyond not caring and not wanting to help those in need, to actively working to destroy lives! A little bit of power in the wrong hands can be a frightening thing.

    • Yes, I completely agree.

  4. This shows the true colors of the Republicans. So blinded by ideology that they won’t even pass a bill that helps homeless veterans and their children. Humiliating to me as an American.

  5. Veterans and homeless. two things that should not be in the same sentence!! Veterans should be well taken care of not disregarded, these men and women put their lives on the line everyday for this country and what do they get? a slap in the face. Soldiers returing from over seas are being foreclosed on,can’t find work, unemployment is next to nothing. Men and women who serve this country deserve the highest respect and yes this country should take care of all their needs. This is disgusting and shameful.

    • I agree with you! And someday this country will need soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and I hope the young people remember how these veterans were treated and perhaps they will turn THEIR backs on the USA. I’m a mother of two veterans (son and daughter) and I think the country should take care (and I don’t mean welfare) but care for the needs of the folks who risked their lives for our country and our freedoms.

    • Unfortunately, this is nothing new. General John “Blackjack” Pershing led federal troops against Civil War vets who had come to Washington to protest their treatment before the First World War. He later went on to command the US forces in Europe in WWI. Some of those very same troops formed the Bonus Army in 1932 which marched on Washington, D.C. to agitate for their promised bonus. General MacArthur attacked their camps. Some of the troops he led became homeless. And the saga continues to this day. The US has to keep fighting wars to keep its populace’s attention diverted from the gross economic inequality in our country instead of providing real jobs to the everyday citizen. It’s class warfare and the wealthy are winning.

  6. Kimberly Douglas says:

    I am beyond completely disgusted. Those silver spoon fed sewer rats have their JOBS because women like me had bigger balls then they do! We served. We put our lives on the line and this is how they react? A classic F-U Bitch! Well pal we hired you revolting ass.. we’ll fire you too and next time you enjoy that right to go the church of your choice, talk freely or know that your dirty backdoor deals are safe because you are secure in your own home remember us.. remember this because everyone no voting this is going down next election you can all kiss my 8 year serving U.S. Navy Woman Veteran ass!

  7. ethanallen says:

    Thank you for your service. Now get lost. (Well, we all know what the Senator really meant to say.)

  8. Ridiculousness says:

    But while they’re over there getting shot at they’re generating revenue for all sorts of companies and industries, whereas when they’re needing help and services as a result of the inherent hazards of running at gunfire instead of away, they’re draining that revenue. Of course, understanding the simplicity of their thought process doesn’t make it any less horrible. You’re only useful as long as you profit them, and simultaneously you will be tossed aside and even demonized if it suits their purpose. Hence, the labeling of returning vets as “potential domestic terrorists,” that way any who point out they’re being screwed over can be easily marginalized as “extremist,” which is a funny word, since most of the time things like peace, diplomatic solutions involving mutual compromise and nuclear disarmament are given those names. So, in short, people who call homeless vets potential terrorists and peace activists “extremists” are themselves “moderate” in that they only call for more war, conquest, invasion, crushing global debt enslavement and environmental poisoning. When you put it that way, doesn’t sound very moderate at all, does it?

    • Ridiculousness says:

      Heh, used “they’re” to refer to two different groups in the first and second sentence, but I think everyone figured it out.

  9. dick burns says:

    For republicans support for the troops means sending cookies to Iraq, and putting yellow ribbons on their pickups– everything beyond that costs too much.

  10. I think we missed the big picture here- this bill was aimed at helping WOMEN who served in combat. This is more of a ‘well they fought to get into combat, and NOW they wanna whine about the results’ thing.

    Repugnantans will always support their military personel as long as they stay in uniform. Just don’t have the bad taste to get out after your 3rd stop loss, or to be a /womna/ and they’re behind you 100%

    • oh and if you happen to have the bad taste of failing to be carreer military AND a woman, and then to top it off with bieng HOMELESS? Well, that’s just tacky.

      sorry if there is a bit of sarcasm overdose going on here. I’ll try to tone it down when I’m feeling less disgusted.


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