The legislation, which would help train veterans and help them transition into police officers, firefighters and EMTs, as well as work in the park system, is mired in a political quagmire by Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulTrump, GOP fumble chance to govern GOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill Rand Paul takes victory lap on GOP health bill MORE (R-Ky.), who wants a vote on his bill to end aid to Pakistan before letting the Senate take a vote.
"Veterans are watching, and they have no stomach for political posturing," Murray said.
The lawmakers stressed that the bill is a collaboration between Democrats and Republicans and includes the bulk of an alternative bill offered by Veterans Committee ranking member Richard BurrRichard BurrDevin Nunes has jeopardized the oversight role of Congress Schumer: Trump must apologize for wiretapping claim Senate panel asks Trump ally Roger Stone to preserve Russia-related records MORE (R-N.C.).
"There's no reason Republicans shouldn't join us in passing this bill and quickly," Murray said.
While some lawmakers have questioned whether the bill can move in the House, Murray said she has a good working relationship with Democrats and Republicans and thinks the bill can be passed.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThis obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all Sharron Angle to challenge GOP rep in Nevada Fox's Watters asks Trump whom he would fire: Baldwin, Schumer or Zucker MORE (D-Nev.) said votes could slip into the weekend if an agreement is not reached on the veterans jobs bill.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly, 84-8, Wednesday night to proceed to bill — proof, Murray and Nelson argue, that the jobs bill has a majority of support in the chamber.
"The votes are a positive sign" Nelson said.
Tom Tarantino, chief policy officer at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), said he was "surprised by the lack of perspective" around the bill, and called it "disheartening" that veterans are being "held hostage by gamesmanship in the Senate."
"I'm hoping to see a sea change today and that the Senate comes together and gets down to work together," he said.
"This is our priority."