Opinion: There’s a good reason why Jon Stewart is mad at Ted Cruz
Veterans don’t have the luxury of waiting another month, he said.
“Tell their cancer to take a break,” he told CNN a day after learning the measure had stalled. “Tell their cancer to stay home and go visit their families.”
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer held the new vote on the measure Tuesday night, giving Republicans a chance to prove they actually support the troops they so often pay tribute to.
The GOP tried to score political points by delaying this vital bill that would help an estimated 3.5 million veterans. This problem is literally a matter of life and death for those made ill by exposure to toxins emitted from combustion fireplaces.
The PACT law would remedy this. The legislation would provide hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade to help them. And in the future, veterans exposed to fireplaces will now be presumed to have contracted certain respiratory diseases and cancers, which will make it easier for them to obtain disability benefits.
So why did Senate Republicans block legislation that would help millions of vets last week? Could it be that the GOP doesn’t want to give President Biden a legislative victory on an issue he’s championed for a long time — especially so close to November’s midterm elections?
But Cruz and his Republican colleagues in the Senate in mid-June passed a nearly identical version of the bill, which obliterated the chamber by an 84-14 vote (the 14 “no” votes coming from Republicans).
Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, who co-drafted the bill with Republican Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, said Republicans’ explanations for why they withdrew support in last week’s vote did not hold. just not the road.
“My colleagues can invent all sorts of excuses as to why they decided to change their vote for this bill,” he said.
All in all, this amounts to the worst kind of political game, with the lives of American veterans at stake. They deserve much better. And Tuesday night, they got it.
This exhibit has been updated to reflect the latest vote in the Senate.