When the Senate GOP declined to pass the PACT Act this week, comedian and pundit Jon Stewart blasted from for what he termed voting against veterans. But as Human Events Daily's Jack Posobiec pointed out, the senators weren't voting against veterans, they were voting against a random $400 billion that had been snuck into the bill.
Posobiec took a look at the bill, which was passed in June, but then required to be put up for a revote after the House made a change to the legislation. The change in the bill up for a vote before the Senate, according to the Congressional Budget Office, was to the tune of $400 billion in completely unrelated spending.
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.
In response, Joseph Hickman, who authored a book on burn pits, said: "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."
"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.
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."
"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."
When caught making that change and lying about it, Stewart said he didn't necessarily say that JK Rowling, who authored the Harry Potter series ,was antisemitic. He said "none of that is true," he said, going into a long-winded response about watching the films "as a Jewish man."
This, Posobiec said, as a veteran who understands the problems of burn pits and the need to help veterans who have suffered lasting injuries and "permanent health problems as a result."
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