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Jon Stewart Rips GOP for Blocking Veterans’ Health Bill: “Fuck the Republican Caucus”

In response to 25 Republicans flipping their vote on the PACT Act, which expands healthcare to veterans exposed to toxic burn pits

jon stewart republicans veterans healthcare bill pact act toxic burn pits
Jon Stewart (C-SPAN)
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    Jon Stewart has slammed Senate Republicans after they blocked a bi-partisan bill expanding healthcare to military veterans exposed to toxic burn pits called the PACT Act.

    The former Daily Show host first ripped into the GOP senators on Wednesday, July 27th with a series of tweets calling out Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who urged colleagues to vote against the bill because of its allocation of discretionary funds.

    “Congratulations Senator Toomey. You successfully used the Byzantine Senate rules to keep sick veterans suffering!!!” Stewart wrote. “6 trillion for war- No guidelines or oversight…but for Veterans Healthcare?? Let’s play budget gimmick games. We live in the upside down.”

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    Later on, he added, “Fuck the [Republican] caucus and their empty promise to our veterans” before calling “bullshit” on a tweet in which Toomey wrote, “Tonight, the Senate voted to give us the chance to fix a completely unnecessary budget gimmick in the underlying text of the PACT Act. This gimmick allows $400B in spending completely unrelated to veterans care.”

    Stewart continued calling out Republicans by name at a press conference on Capitol Hill held on July 28th. “Ain’t this a bitch?” Stewart said, while opening his speech. “America’s heroes, who fought in our wars, outside sweating their asses off with oxygen [and] battling all kinds of ailments while these motherfuckers sit in the air conditioning, walled off from any of it.”

    He went on to point out the hypocrisy of Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who tweeted about making care packages “for our brave military members in gratitude of their sacrifice and service to our nation” after voting against the PACT Act. Stewart also claimed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell lied directly to veterans before flipping his vote and name-checked Toomey once again for not meeting with veterans groups.

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    “I’m used to all of it, but I am not used to cruelty,” Stewart said, before noting the bill initially passed through Senate in June with an 84-14 vote. Upon its arrival to the House of Representatives, there was a procedural issue that was corrected and the legislation was sent back to the Senate for final passage. On Wednesday, 25 Republicans flipped their vote.

    Watch Stewart’s full speech below.

    McConnell said the bill had an “underlying accounting issue” in a speech on the Senate Floor on Thursday and called for a vote on an amendment proposed by Toomey. Meanwhile, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, blasted his colleagues for their “11th hour act of cowardice,” adding “more veterans will suffer and die as a result.”

    Stewart has long advocated for US veterans. In addition to appearing multiple times on Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers to expand healthcare to veterans exposed to burn pits, he is the longtime emcee of the annual Stand Up for Heroes event that raises funds for the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which helps veterans and military families during difficult situations.

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