Jon Stewart, Ted Cruz feud over bill to aid veterans exposed to toxic burn pits

   < < Go Back
from USAToday,

In an unexpected move, 41 Republican senators last week blocked what was seemingly a bipartisan bill expanding health care benefits for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits last Wednesday.

The bill, named the PACT Act, is designed to provide health care benefits for veterans who were exposed to burn pits during deployment – open-air trash sites that disposed of military waste through burning.

Related:Biden pivots to burn pits, veterans health care amid mounting crises at home and abroad

Comedian and former host of the “Daily Show” Jon Stewart has been a fervent advocate for the bill, now feuding with Republican senators that voted against the bill.

“I’m used to the lies. I’m used to the hypocrisy,” said Stewart, commenting on Senate Republicans at a Capitol Hill press conference last Thursday. “I’m used to the cowardice. I’ve been here a long time. Senate’s where accountability goes to die.(Republicans) don’t care. They’re never losing their jobs, they’re never losing their health care.”

The bill previously passed the Senate by a vote of 84-14 on June 16, but was sent back last month after the House addressed a technical issue in the bill and passed the bill a second time.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, one of the 41 Republicans who voted against the bill, said “The Democrats played a budgetary trick, which is they took $400 billion in discretionary spending, and they shifted it to mandatory.” Cruz, who voted for the bill originally, claimed that the bill would have allowed $400 billion in unrelated spending.

More From USA Today: