Regardless of the health of our economy, America always has plenty of money for weapons. Our 2022 military budget is $778 billion – which is more than the next nine countries COMBINED! But apparently, we have no money to actually take care of the people who fight our wars – should they be fortunate enough to make it home.
This horrific set of facts is made the more painful when one political party incessantly parrots a hodge-podge of “support our troops” slogans as they drape themselves in the American flag and refer to themselves as patriots.
The PACT Act legislation would compel the Department of Veterans Affairs to assume that certain illnesses came from exposure to hazardous waste incineration – mostly via burn pits – which released dangerous chemicals into the air. If it seems like a no-brainer to vote yes and help our vulnerable vets, you’d be right. But you probably wouldn’t be a Republican.
Ted Cruz voted FOR the PACT Act in June. Then, in July (yes, the month that follows June) Cancun Cruz voted to filibuster the same PACT Act. Then in August (yes, the month that follows July) Fat Wolverine voted FOR the PACT Act. Oh yeah — the text of the bill was the same each time. The only thing that did change was Cruz and his non-patriot compatriot traitors’ political opportunism.
After voting FOR the PACT Act in June, 24 other non-Cruz GOP Senators also coincidentally and petulantly switched their votes to no. This act of synchronized spontaneity just happened to be less than an hour after Senators Schumer and Manchin announced they had a deal – on a totally unrelated bill. Yet, the whiny, sulky, snowflakian Republicans needed to punish someone. How about sick vets who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan?
And the legislation may have just died then and there, veterans be damned, had it not been for Jon Stewart. The former Daily Show host stood up to Team Cruz’ hypocrisy and helped galvanize America to do the right thing. Stewart has been a staunch supporter of 9/11 first responders and our military for actual humanitarian reasons, not to score political points. Unlike the GOP – whose first ingredient is hypocrisy.
Using our vulnerable vets as political pawns is disgraceful.
“You’re a fucking troll.” pic.twitter.com/8rTxnXLI86
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) August 2, 2022
After the proverbial smoke cleared, the bill passed 86-11.
Before the Republicans reneged on their reneging, veterans had to prove there was a direct connection between their cancer and the burn pit chemicals. The burden of proof can often be difficult to prove – especially as you’re dying! — which is why the word “burden” is there. Now, thanks to Stewart, connecting the toxic dots is less of a battle.
Had Jon Stewart not raised hell and mocked the deplorable GOP fist-bumps on the Senate floor celebrating (not a typo) ignoring the health of our veterans, it may have been yet another in a series of their performative partisan political stunts, where it’s always party over country. Which is basically the only platform the GOP has.
Unlike Donald J. Trump, Jon Stewart used his celebrity status for the common good. Our vets will be healthier because of it.