So, this is another bill John McCain has no interest in seeing pass, I guess. Here's the gist:
In April, Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) introduced legislation named after the late soldier meant to provide more resources for suicide prevention to Reserve members. The House in May incorporated it into the National Defense Authorization Act for 2011, but it was stripped from the final version, and Holt is pointing the finger at the lead Republican negotiator on the Senate legislation, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).(H/t to John Cole.)
"Twice now, the Senate has stripped this legislation from our defense bill," Holt told The Huffington Post Tuesday. "It's hard to understand why. I know for a fact, because he told me, that Sen. McCain doesn't support it. Whether he's the only one, I don't know. But there was no effort to try to improve the language or negotiate changes; it was just rejected, and I think that is not only bad policy, but it's cruel. It's cruel to the families that are struggling with catastrophic mental health problems."
"He [McCain] said having these counselors check in with the Reservists every few months this way overreaching," continued Holt, relaying a phone conversation he had had with the senator. "I asked him in what sense it was overreaching. Surely he didn't think there wasn't a problem, did he? I must say I don't understand it."
So you gotta ask, who is next? Because he's dissed gay and lesbian service members, mostly Hispanic undocumented youths who want to participate in the American dream--lawfully, might I add, 9/11 responders suffering from the catastrophic and debilitating health issues from that event--which they heroically faced with direct action from a commitment to duty and patriotism that you kind of thought McCain would empathize with....but no.
And then there's just this provision to have people who have served this country be notified that there is a network that has their back if they need some outreach and help with any issues that they might face. It doesn't sound invasive or like "overreaching" to me. If someone was doing well, they could just answer a few questions and whatever--at least they know the resources are there, and sometimes that knowledge is what makes the difference for people who might genuinely be at risk of self-harm. They know they matter, are valued, and can count on other people to render aid. And something like this seems to be needed, because the statistics are really grim.
If it seems to easy to pin this program getting stripped on McCain, it's because of McCain. And this is, after all, a veteran's issue that you'd think he would care a bit about, because of, I don't know--being a veteran who was exposed to some seriously traumatic stuff in the course of his service? And yet, with all of these genuinely valid concerns that could be addressed that a lot of people could get behind on an emotional level--he's just "No way. Not me. Gave at the office. Like to you help you son, but you're too illegal to vote. Wish I could do something, but I'm only in the senate, after all--" and of course "Piss off, humanity, I'm feeling angry!"
It's sad. What is he in the senate for?