Senate Democrats push for passage of veterans jobs bill

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 PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul ‘concerned’ about Kavanaugh Rand Paul on Russia indictments: We should focus on protecting elections instead of 'witch hunt on the president' Sunday shows preview: Trump readies for meeting with Putin 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 Mauze BurrThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Trump seeks `home run’ candidate to succeed Justice Kennedy Hillicon Valley: Senate panel upholds finding Russia backed Trump | ZTE temporarily allowed back in business | Trump targets the NSA | Court rules Yelp can't be forced to remove bad reviews Senate panel upholds finding that Russia backed Trump, contradicting House 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 Mason ReidDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick The dishonesty of the deep state The SCOTUS nomination clearly demonstrates that elections have consequences 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."