Republican Senator Pat Toomey accuses Democrats of using ailing veterans to “sneak” unrelated spending into the PACT Act and unleashing “pseudo-celebrity” Jon Stewart to attack his opposition to the toxic cremation pit law
- Republican Sen. Toomey of Pennsylvania led the GOP’s opposition to the PACT Act, which would help expand health care for veterans affected by cremation pits
- Toomey claimed Democrats were hiding a “slush fund” in the legislation
- The bill passed 84-14 in June, but had to be voted on again due to a technical error that forced it back on the floor
- Just 55 senators voted in favor last week, five lawmakers just short of the threshold needed to move the law forward and overcome a filibuster
- Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who has campaigned for veterans and first responders for more than a decade, criticized Toomey for his opposition
- Stewart claimed Toomey wanted to limit the amount of money going to military members receiving health care for exposure to toxins in the Middle East
Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania on Sunday defended his vote against legislation that would have expanded access to health care for military veterans exposed to toxic burn pits, accusing Democrats of using military personnel as political pawns.
He also appeared to be targeting comedian and activist Jon Stewart, who singled out Toomey in his criticism of the GOP lawmakers responsible for sinking the legislation last week.
The PACT Act is designed to help veterans who were exposed to toxins in Iraq and Afghanistan and now suffer from a variety of health problems ranging from asthma to deadly cancer.
It passed the Senate by a staggering 84 votes to 14 in June but was pushed back to the floor by a technical error – where it fell five votes short of the 60-count threshold to overcome a filibuster.
55 senators voted in favor of the law, while 42 Republican senators voted against. Three MPs abstained.
Toomey, who led the GOP’s opposition to the law, told CNN’s State of the Union that he opposes the law this time because “a $400 billion independent spending spree has nothing to do with veterans and it’s not in the field.” of the veterans will lie”. ‘
The text of the bill had shifted spending from the discretionary category to the mandatory category.
“It’s the oldest trick in Washington. People take a sympathetic group of Americans — and it could be kids with an illness, it could be victims of crime, it could be veterans who have been exposed to toxic chemicals — come up with a bill to address their problems, and then sneak out something totally independent that they know could never pass on by itself and dare Republicans do anything about it,” Toomey said.
Republican Senator Pat Toomey led the opposition that defeated Congress’ attempt to pass legislation to support veterans exposed to toxins in the Middle East. The Senate will vote again on Monday
“We were promised that we would have the opportunity to offer an amendment to change that, and then… it was waived.”@SenToomey explains why he and other Republicans blocked legislation that would help provide health care for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. @CNNSotu #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/YsjOEXGctc
— CNN (@CNN) July 31, 2022
“They know they will unleash their media allies and maybe a pseudo-celebrity to fabricate false allegations to make us just swallow what shouldn’t be there.”
He also said he was working on amending the bill, which he vowed “won’t change a penny in spending on a veterans’ program.”
“My change, honest people will admit, will have no impact on the amount of money or the circumstances under which the money is spent on veterans,” Toomey said.
Toomey interviewed CNN host Jake Tapper, who sat down with Stewart just days ago as the comedian gutted the resigning GOP senator’s opposition.
Stewart continued his criticism Sunday, claiming that Toomey’s change is “really about capping the fund” during an interview with ABC News’ This Week.
“The Toomey Amendment does not change it from mandatory to discretionary. It’s still mandatory,” Stewart said.
“It’s about setting caps and giving him a 10-year sunset clause.”
Comedian-turned-activist Jon Stewart fumed at the GOP’s opposition to the law, accusing Toomey of trying to limit funding
He said Toomey’s amendment would do to the bill what a previous Senate did to the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, by phasing out the money. This has forced sick and dying 9/11 first responders to return to the US Capitol multiple times since 2001 to advocate for renewal after risking their lives to save others.
“What Toomey’s amendment wants to do is ensure our sick and dying veterans have the pleasure that our First Responders at 11 Halls of The Hill beg for money every year,” Stewart said.
Stewart said he would still “absolutely” support the law if it were passed with the amendment, but was at a loss when asked if he thought the law would be passed anytime soon.
‘I have no idea. I mean, the whole thing was — it’s so banana. Nothing has changed. So, I don’t understand any of that,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer conducted another vote on Monday for the bill.