Politics: Comedian Jon Stewart erupts after Republicans vote against military burn pits bill

Blindsided veterans erupt in fury after Senate Republicans suddenly tank PACT Act

  Blindsided veterans erupt in fury after Senate Republicans suddenly tank PACT Act Veterans erupted in anger after Senate Republicans tanked a widely supported measure that would expand medical coverage for millions exposed to toxic burn pits during their service. © Provided by NBC News Supporters of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act — or PACT Act — overwhelmingly expected the House-passed bill to sail through to the president's desk for signature. But in a move that shocked and confused veteran groups Wednesday night, 41 Senate Republicans blocked the bill's passage, including 25 who had supported it a month ago.

By Moira Warburton and Rose Horowitch

Supporters of a bill aimed at helping veterans exposed to toxic chemicals hold a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington © Reuters/JONATHAN ERNST Supporters of a bill aimed at helping veterans exposed to toxic chemicals hold a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Comedian Jon Stewart, an outspoken advocate for military veterans, erupted in anger on Thursday after U.S. Senate Republicans blocked a bill to provide healthcare for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits while serving abroad.

"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 outside the Senate during a news conference called by the bill's advocates.

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Supporters of a bill aimed at helping veterans exposed to toxic chemicals, including comedian Jon Stewart, hold a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington © Reuters/JONATHAN ERNST Supporters of a bill aimed at helping veterans exposed to toxic chemicals, including comedian Jon Stewart, hold a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

Republicans "haven't met a war they won't sign up for and they haven't met a veteran they won't screw over," Stewart said.

The military burn pits bill, which initially passed the 100-member Senate with the support of 34 Republicans and all 50 Democrats, would expand access to health services and disability benefits for veterans who were exposed to toxic smoke from the U.S. military's use of burn pits to dispose of waste on foreign bases until the mid-2010s.

Supporters of a bill aimed at helping veterans exposed to toxic chemicals hold a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington © Reuters/JONATHAN ERNST Supporters of a bill aimed at helping veterans exposed to toxic chemicals hold a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

The bill will return to the floor for another vote on Monday, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on Thursday.

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  Jon Stewart Rant on Newsmax Against GOP Over Vet Healthcare Viewed 3M Times Stewart said that the Republican Senators who recently voted against a veterans health bill did not support the troops but rather the war machine.Stewart spoke to Newsmax host Shaun Kraisman on Thursday and the clip has so far been viewed over 3 million times.

Rare cancers and respiratory illnesses were found to have been caused by fumes from burning everything from rubber, chemical waste, ammunitions and human feces in the burn pits.

A technical correction held up the legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, then Republican Pat Toomey blocked a quick procedural passage in the Senate, citing concerns with how money was appropriated in the bill.

The bill, without Toomey's amendment, came up for a final vote in the Senate late on Wednesday, and it won the support of 55 senators, five votes short of the 60 needed for passage.

Supporters of a bill aimed at helping veterans exposed to toxic chemicals hold a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington © Reuters/JONATHAN ERNST Supporters of a bill aimed at helping veterans exposed to toxic chemicals hold a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

The vote took place after news broke that Democrats had reached an agreement on a separate bill that would allow them to pass without Republican votes a $430 billion climate and drugs bill that contained many of President Joe Biden's priorities.

At that point, many Republicans who had initially voted in favor of the bill declined to do so again.

For his part, top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell blamed Schumer, Biden's fellow Democrat, saying there was "no excuse why the Democratic Leader should continue to block Senator Toomey’s commonsense amendment."

(Reporting by Moira Warburton and Rose Horowitch; Editing by Scott Malone and Howard Goller)

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The year was 2004, and Jon Stewart was a guest on the CNN show "Crossfire" with then-host Tucker Carlson. In the ill-fated appearance, he didn't hold back.But that wasn't even the worst of it. Stewart contended the show was failing "miserably" and insisted he wouldn't be a monkey and just be funny after Carlson wondered where the comic side of their guest had gone (via The Wrap). About the only joke Stewart made was about Carlson's love of bowties, before declaring that the show was more "theater" than "debate," much to the chagrin of the hosts.

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