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Tags: jon stewart | veterans | burn pit | legislation

Jon Stewart on Newsmax Slams GOP Senators for Blocking Vets Bill

(Newsmax/"National Report")

By    |   Friday, 29 July 2022 12:17 PM EDT

Former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart slammed Senate Republicans who blocked a bill that would have given extended benefits to veterans who were exposed to burn pits while fighting overseas in the Middle East. 

Stewart appeared on Newsmax's "National Report" on Thursday before a planned Washington, D.C., press conference, where he ripped into the Republican senators as well.  

"This has to get done," Stewart told Newsmax.

"This is abject cruelty to vote against this bill. It's already passed 84 to 16. There was just a minor technical fix that had to be done on it. 84 to 16 bipartisan.

"And then yesterday, 42 Republicans decided to vote against moving the amended version forward, but the amendment was only one sentence, and it was not a material amendment.

"They've created distractions and hypocrisy."

Stewart also told Newsmax that it is "infuriating" when lawmakers say they support the troops, when instead, they "support the war machine."

"They'll spend trillions of dollars on these wars, but they will not spend the money on the consequences of those wars to the individuals who fought in them," Stewart said.

"Every one of those Republicans that voted against healthcare for veterans voted for the slush fund for the war.

"They don't support the troops. They support the war machine. And that's got to stop."

"I’m used to the hypocrisy," Stewart said during a press conference in Washington D.C., Thursday, where he was flanked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Jon Tester, D-Mont. "I'm used to all of it, but I am not used to the cruelty."

The Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, (PACT) failed on Wednesday to the get 60 votes it needed to advance in the Senate. The measure had appeared to be headed for bipartisan support, but Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., urged party members to vote against it on claims that the bill had a provision that he said would open $400 billion in spending deemed to be "unrelated to veterans' care."

Eight Republicans voted with Democrats to advance the bill, leading to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., casting a procedural  "no" vote in a move to bring the bill back for further consideration, reports Deadline.

The new version of the bill reclassified the $400 billion in Veterans Administration funding, changing it from discretionary spending to mandatory spending. 

Stewart further noted that veterans who traveled to the nation's capital to celebrate the passage of the bill were being put on hold again by the Republicans who voted against it.

He also called out several politicians, including Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who had said he was "honored to join @the_uso today and make care packages for our brave military members in gratitude of their sacrifice and service to our nation," and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and accused him of lying to veterans he'd met with. 

"The gut punch that's much more devastating is that these people all came down here so that they could finally tell the men," Stewart said. "Their constituents are dying.”

"Ain't this a b****h?" Stewart said. "America's heroes who fought in our wars are outside, sweating their a**es off with oxygen, battling all kinds of ailments, while these motherf*****s sit in the air conditioning, walled off from any of it. They don't have to see it. They don't have to understand that these are human beings.

"These are men and women, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers that we just let stand outside in the heat when they can't breathe." 

Tester also lit into Toomey, saying the GOP lawmaker has an issue with spending money on the nation's veterans. 

"If you have the guts to send somebody to war, then you better have the guts to take care of them when they get home," he said. 

Burn pits are used to incinerate hazardous material, jet fuel, and waste, and troops who have been subjected to the fumes report a range of illnesses. Even President Joe Biden suggests that the brain cancer that killed his son Beau could have been linked to the pits from when he was serving in Iraq and Kosovo. 

Tester, who chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, further called the late opposition to the bill an "11th-hour act of cowardice" and said that "more veterans will suffer and die as a result."

Gillibrand also spoke out angrily at the press conference, calling the blocking of the bill "total B.S. This is the worst form of over-politicization I have ever seen."


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Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart on Thursday cursed Senate Republicans who blocked a bill that would have given extended benefits to veterans who were exposed to burn pits while fighting overseas in the Middle East. 
jon stewart, veterans, burn pit, legislation
Friday, 29 July 2022 12:17 PM
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