Jon Stewart Unloads on GOP After Burn Pits Bill Failure

'I am not used to the cruelty'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2022 12:33 AM CDT
Jon Stewart Unloads on Republicans After Burn Pit Bill Failure
Mark Twain Prize recipient Jon Stewart is introduced at the start of the 23rd annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, April 24, 2022, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

A military burn pits bill failed to pass the Senate Wednesday, and Jon Stewart on Thursday unloaded on the Republicans who blocked the bill's passage. The bill would have expanded healthcare and disability benefits for veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits during their service (read the tragic story of one of them here). While it initially easily passed the Senate with bipartisan support, the Senate needed to vote on the bill once again after the House made slight changes to it. The second time around, GOP Sen. Pat Toomey raised concerns about how money was appropriated in the bill and blocked it from getting a quick procedural passage, Reuters reports. When it came up for a final vote, just 55 senators voted for it rather than the 60 needed to pass it.

"I'm used to the lies, I'm used to the hypocrisy, I'm used to the cowardice, I'm used to all of it, but I am not used to the cruelty," Stewart told reporters during a press conference by supporters of the bill outside the Senate Thursday. "[Republicans] haven't met a war they won't sign up for and they haven't met a veteran they won't screw over." He added, per Rolling Stone, "If this is America First, then America is f---ed." Referring to the fact that many veterans exposed to burn pit toxins now have cancer, Stewart said, per KTLA, "Their constituents are dying."

The bill will be voted on again Monday. Mitch McConnell says it's Chuck Schumer's fault it hasn't passed yet, saying there's "no excuse why the Democratic Leader should continue to block Senator Toomey’s commonsense amendment," which has been proposed but not added to the bill. The Washington Post explains the amendment relates to Toomey's "object[ion] to the way the bill would change the accounting of about $400 billion in preexisting veterans spending." (More Jon Stewart stories.)

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