She was advocating for it in today's hearing which was about various bills before the Committee.
She did so in a variety of ways but I thought the one that made the case best to those who might not pay as close attention to it (for example, those not interested in following veterans issues) was when she talked about how we "have invested a great deal of money in the training of these men and women as they go into the service. We want to make sure that we get a benefit from that and they get a benefit from that."
Money is spent. For a lot of us (myself included), we think more should be. But not everyone does. Which is why I thought Murray was especially smart. Money has been spent. Are we going to help veterans use the skills that money trained them in (say being a paramedic) or are we going tosay, "Oh, that was just for while you were in the service. We're happy to waste money"?
Murray drove this home especially -- how people with skills do not have the documentation (certification or license) they need to continue using those skills (as a paramedic, a truck driver, whatever) and can't get work as a result.
Do you now how much that ends up costing?
Actually more than that.
Murray explained that about $1 billion is spent each year on unemployment benefits for the Army alone.
Senator Murray's bill is about getting veterans employed and that will require training (in terms of learning how to market the skills they have) and licensing and certification for skills that the veterans already have. And Murray's made the case that it's already costing too much in terms of money right now. To continue it would be to just throw money onto a bonfire.
Again, there are other reasons to do what she's proposing (including that it's the honorable thing to do) but I thought her breaking it down in terms of the costs we already pay really drove it home.
Rebecca will be back tomorrow night.
And here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"