Comedian Jon Stewart on Thursday blocked Senate Republicans from passing a bill that would extend health benefits to veterans exposed to fire pits and toxins during their military service.
Speaking to reporters, the former “Daily Show” host said a group of veterans traveled to Washington, DC to see the PACT Act passed.
“Yeah, that’s it — it makes the gut punch even more devastating, that all these people are here so they can finally tell the men,” said Stewart, who became visibly emotional. “Their constituencies are dying.”
The legislation passed the House with some bipartisan support, but fell short of the 60 votes needed in the Senate.
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Stewart, Sen., who advocated fiercely for 9/11 first responders. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., had particular distaste for the bill, which he claimed would create $400 billion in discretionary spending, going so far as to call him a “f–.” The king is a coward.”
On the Senate floor, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., hit back at Toomey: “If you have the courage to send someone to war, you better have the courage to take care of them when they come home.”
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Stewart said the bill will eventually pass despite GOP opposition.
“We’ll get it done. … You don’t tell their cancer to rest, you tell their cancer to stay home and visit their families,” he said. “This shame, if it’s America first, America is f—ed.”