You may have noticed last week that pundit Jon Stewart went on a self-righteous rant about how evil Republicans are because they voted against the PACT Act this week, would have helped veterans affected by burn pits.
‘If this is America first, then America is f*cked.’— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 28, 2022
Watch Jon Stewart’s full speech Thursday slamming Republican senators for stalling the PACT Act, which would expand health care for veterans affected by burn pits. pic.twitter.com/qMRUfdoFR4
Stewart, however, failed to explain why Republicans shot down the bill - which was passed in June with bipartisan support, but was then put up for a re-vote after the House made a change to the tune of $400 billion - shifting it from the 'discretionary' spending category to 'mandatory' - which Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said last week was "completely unnecessary to achieve the PACT Act's stated goal of expanding health care and other benefits for veterans."
The change would also exempt the $400 billion from annual congressional appropriations - essentially making it a blank check.
Enter (veteran) Jack Posobiec...
I literally wrote the book on the burn pits. Jack is right, everyone would have voted for it, if the Dems didn’t add 400 billion dollars in additional spending to the bill that has nothing to do with the burn pits. It was a political move in an election year.— Joseph Hickman (@JosephHickman0) July 30, 2022
Stewart doesn't care - calling Toomey's objections "utter nonsense."
"The difference between mandatory and discretionary...that's just a word salad that he's spewing into his coffee cup on his way to god-knows-where," the comedian then told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, adding "At some point we all have to live in reality. And what he's saying is just factually incorrect."
WATCH: GOP Senators stopped a veterans health bill after previously showing support. Sen. Cruz blamed a budgetary trick, though the bill didn't change.@jonstewart: "That's just a word salad that he's spewing into his coffee cup. ... At some point we all have to live in reality." pic.twitter.com/1bPSfYmSrG— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) July 31, 2022
VA secretary Denis McDonough, meanwhile, claimed without evidence that the $400 billion is included to ensure that "all the spending for this program is for the veterans exposed to these toxins."
As Axios notes:
- McDonough added that Toomey's amendment there would be a year-on-year cap on spending and that after 10 years the fund would "go away."
- "If his estimations are wrong about what we'll spend in any given year, that means that we may have to ration care for veterans," McDonough said.
Toomey hit back...
.@jaketapper, @SecVetAffairs is either misinformed about my proposed amendment or willfully dishonest.⁰— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) July 31, 2022
It would not reduce spending on veterans by one penny. It would not force care to be rationed. It would not end any veterans program.
More via the Post Millennial:
Posobiec cited Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, who said that his "concern about the bill has nothing to do with the purpose of the bill. It's not about about the $280 billion, approximately $280 billion of new spending that is meant to be required under this bill for the VA [Veteran's Administration] to cover healthcare, and other benefits for veterans who are exposed to toxic burn pits.
"What I want to change," Toomey continued, "has absolutely nothing to do with any of that." Toomey said that he expects that there would be 85 votes for the bill if the issue was remedied.
"The PACT Act as written includes a budget gimmick that would allow $400 billion of current law spending to be moved from the discretionary to the mandatory spending category. This provision is completely unnecessary to achieve the PACT Act’s stated goal of expanding health care and other benefits for veterans," Toomey said in a statement.
Jon Stewart continues to be a liar, meanwhile. Earlier this year he claimed he never called Harry Potter anti-Semitic and I caught him changing his YouTube video titles after the controversy went viral https://t.co/O045WPM3PR— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) July 30, 2022
That issue, he said, is "completely unrelated to the $280 in new spending, there is a mechanism created in this bill, a budgetary gimmick, that has the intent of making it possible to have a huge explosion in unrelated spending, $400 billion."
"This budgetary gimmick," he went on, "is so unrelated to the actual veterans issue that has to do with burn pits that it's not even in the House version of this bill. The fact is that we can fix this tonight."
Toomey urged his Democrat colleagues to remove the unrelated spending and get the bill passed to help veterans.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz echoed Toomey's points, saying "Jon, you're a funny guy and I appreciate your engaging on issues of public policy, that's a good thing. But if you're gonna do so, the facts matter.
"Listen, when it concerns the PACT Act, I support the PACT Act. I voted for the PACT Act, and I've advocated for it for a long time. We have an obligation to take care of our veterans, particularly those who were wounded or injured from burn puts or in other ways from combat."
Literally @tedcruz even said he’d vote for the PACT Act if the Dems take out the $400B in separate spending, and @JonStewart responded by screaming and insulting him— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) July 30, 2022
What gives, Jon? pic.twitter.com/6pPuU8utjj
"The issue here," Cruz continued, "is the Democrats included in this bill an accounting gimmick where they took $400 billion of spending, discretionary spending, they shifted it to mandatory spending didn't change the amount at all.
"But the reason they did that is it created a hole for $400 billion in new discretionary spending. Their objective? They want to cram $400 billion in unrelated spending into this bill that has nothing to do with veterans. Now given inflation that is skyrocketing this country, I think another 400 billion in spending is irresponsible."
"Let me be clear," Cruz said, "I support every single penny of the $679 billion dollars of funding for veteran's health care."
This reality was not something Stewart was aware of when he blasted those who didn't vote for the bill with the extra $400 billion in it.
Stewart freaked out for almost 10 minutes, saying that the GOP senators didn't care about vets. "So ain't this a b*tch?" Stewart said after the vote. "America's heroes, who fought in our wars, outside sweating their asses off, with oxygen, battling all kinds of ailments, while these motherf*ckers sit in the air conditioning, walled off from any of it. They don't have to hear it, they don't have to see it. They don't have to understand that these are human beings."
Posobiec ripped into another fabrication propagated by Stewart. "Earlier this year," Posobiec wrote, "he claimed he never called Harry Potter anti-Semitic and I caught him changing his YouTube video titles after the controversy went viral."
Read the rest here...