RIECKHOFF: Barack Obama gets a “B,” Joe Biden also gets a “B.” But 50 folks in the Senate did get “A’s.” Overall, it was a very good year for Congress. They passed a largest funding increase in 77 years and they passed the historic G.I. bill.

But for McCain and for Obama, the most critical issue here was attendance. McCain missed six of nine of our key votes. And Obama actually missed four of nine. Senator McCain missed more votes than Tim Johnson who was in a coma, OK? Senator Obama and Senator McCain both missed more votes than Senator Ted Kennedy who had a brain tumor.

So, it’s about showing up. You can’t support vets if you’re not there to vote on their key issues. And unfortunately, Senator McCain was absent for six of those nine key votes.

MADDOW: And talk about a key issue, one of the votes that he

missed, that Senator Obama did not miss, I should point out, was the new G.I. bill. Senator McCain had a sort of unusual role on the formation of the G.I. bill this year. He did, in the end, try to take sort of credit for it. He was thanked at the outset at the signing ceremony, but he was not involved as an original co-sponsor on this legislation, isn’t that right?

RIECKHOFF: Correct. There were 53 original co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle. Eventually, right-wing folks like Senator Warner got involved with folks on the left like Senator Webb. Every major veteran services organization in the country supported it, more ¾ of the House. So, this was kind of a legislative locomotive. And one of the only blocks along the way consistently was Senator McCain.

So, it’s not a partisan issue here. The G.I. bill had tremendous support. And he was just really behind this legislative issue. Now, he’s made attempts to go back and say he was holding out for transferability. Transferability, being able to transfer your G.I. bill benefits to your family members. It was already in the law. It was at the discretion of the Department of Defense.

So, it’s kind of a red herring there. But the reports are out there now. Everybody can check the vote. Go to VeteranReportCard.org, you can check their votes and everybody else who’s up for reelection this year.

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