I’m laying down a marker: The media will downplay or outright ignore the fact that Obama once again has ruined any chance of bipartisan compromise by demanding new spending for a bill.
This time it will be over some much needed reform to Veteran’s Affairs which, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know has been plagued by scandals. Veterans have been complaining for years about incompetence and lack of treatment at the VA for years. The problem came to a head earlier this year when it was learned that the VA, at several locations around the country, had been cooking the books in order to keep the bonuses flowing. Veterans were delayed treatment and in many cases never received treatment and died. This is a national disgrace.
Given all this, one would think that now would not be the time to push for more spending on an agency that is clearly off the rails. The VA is not lacking in funds. It has more money than it knows what to do with. It is going to spend over $4 Billion on IT alone this year. Money is not the problem.
Cutting to the chase. The House and Senate were well on the way to getting a reform bill done. There was real momentum going. Anyone paying attention figured it was really a no-brainer and that a deal would be reached to start addressing the issues at the agency.
Then this happened:
Boehner on @VA bill: I thought we were making great progress. Then the WH rolls in with a request for more spending.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 24, 2014
Once again, the White House comes in at the last minute to demand something that is 1) not necessary and 2) guaranteed to be rejected by the House. It happens every single time hot-button legislation is being negotiated, but you wouldn’t know that if you relied on the media to tell you what’s going on consistently. I could have written a post a couple of months ago predicting it. Alas, I did not.
I will, however, predict that the media will not explain this to the country. When the cries come, and they will come, about Congress failing to act – fueled by the very White House who torpedoed the negotiation – the media will only say the talks broke down, if they even address it. I’m sure there will be some reporters who cover it fairly, but the vast majority will not.
Because they SUCK.
The White House is responsible for any failure of this legislation. It will be media malpractice if this is not made crystal clear to the public.