Sen. Tom Coburn Holding Up Key Veterans Care Legislation During all of the debates on supplemental funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I never once heard of Republican Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn questioning the cost of massive military operations that are creating a new generation of combat Veterans. This begs the question, why does Senator Coburn suddenly care about the cost of benefits for those Veterans? National Security Network made this statement in a report today: For years, conservatives have claimed the mantle of being more pro-military, pro-veterans than progressives. But their actions and record paint a different picture. From the Bush administration neglect of and cuts to veterans' health-culminating in the exposed tragedies at Walter Reed Hospital-to the underfunding and resourcing of our troops in the battlefield, it's clear that for years veteran and troop well-being wasn't a high priority for conservatives in power. Today, even as President Obama is trying fix these failures, conservatives are still preventing our nation's veterans and their families from getting the support and care they need. esterday, for instance, it was revealed that Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is using a Senate procedural hold to block the passage of the Veterans Caregiver and Omnibus Health Benefits Act. This legislation is crucial to providing much-needed health care, counseling and support to seriously wounded soldiers returning from the battlefield. But instead of honoring the sacrifices of these brave men and women by providing the care America owes them, Sen. Coburn would rather pursue partisan politics. But this isnt the first time conservatives have allowed politics to trump the needs of our military. Earlier this year, 34 Republicans tried to kill the Defense Appropriations Bill because it included language to expand hate crimes protections. Sen. Coburn has tried to block other key veterans health bills on purely ideological grounds. This troubling pattern is set against progressive leadership on veterans health. While President Obama has declared November Military Family Month, calling on all Americans to honor military families through private actions and public service, extreme conservatives continue to prevent veterans from receiving the care they need. A nations strength is exemplified by how we treat our war heroes. Sadly, some conservatives weak support for our veterans only dishonors the sacrifices of these brave men and women. Amid criticism from military and veterans groups, conservatives in the Senate block funding for veterans. The Marine Corp Times reported yesterday that Thirteen major military and veterans groups have joined forces to try to force one senator Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to release a hold that he has placed on a major veterans benefits bill. Coburn has been identified by Senate aides as the lawmaker preventing consideration of S 1963, the Veterans Caregiver and Omnibus Health Benefits Act of 2009, by using an informal but legal practice of putting a hold on a bill. Coburns staff did not respond to questions, but Senate aides said the first-term senator has expressed concern about creating new and unfunded benefits and wants the opportunity to amend the measure. The bill that Coburn is obstructing provides Enhancements in VA health care for female veterans, including new training for VA mental health providers to handle veterans who experienced military sexual trauma. Support to family caregivers of severely disabled veterans by giving them access to counseling, support and a living stipend Expanded mental health services to rural regions where veterans currently have to drive hundreds of miles to seek mental health care Improved traumatic brain injury (TBI) care [and] Additional programs for homeless veterans, according to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a non-partisan veterans advocacy organization.