Embattled U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet is a little late to the VA Hospital accountability party. Today, he sent out a press release stating that a field hearing on the troubled hospital project as well as a site visit by the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee would move forward. Bennet’s quote from his press release:
“We appreciate the committee’s willingness to come to Colorado and devote time and attention to this project. Our veterans have waited long enough for the facility they were promised and have earned. And, workers at the site need certainty that construction won’t be halted. The visit and field hearing will help us hold the VA accountable, impress upon the committee the urgent need to finish construction, and build support in Congress for approval of the steps necessary to do so.”
This is all well and good, but let us not forget that Bennet was nowhere to be found last year when U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, unarguably a top champion for accountability in this project, already was holding field hearings in April 2014. Of course, Bennet, never one to let a good crisis go to waste, likely saw some opportunity to rack up political points among veterans and good government voters and jumped on the veterans bandwagon in 2015
after he saw his abysmal poll numbers.
PeakNation™, remember our criticism of Bennet back at the State of the Union, when he had several opportunities in 2014 to help veterans and ignored them at each turn. First, he could have called for VA Secretary Shinseki’s resignation when it was clear that he had mismanaged the department, but didn’t. Second, Bennet could have interceded in the VA hospital construction debacle early on, but sat on the sidelines. Third, Coffman passed a bill last year to reform VA construction, but the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate, including Sen. Bennet, couldn’t bother to take it up.
But, now that helping veterans could be a positive campaign message, it looks like Bennet is all about it. Veterans are not stupid (even if liberals may believe otherwise). They know who their champions are. And, Senator, you are no veterans champion.