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Jon Stewart denounces deadlock law on fire pits: ‘This is bullshit’

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“So this isn’t a bitch?” Stewart said at a news conference on Capitol Hill Thursday. “America’s heroes, who have fought our wars, sweating outside, fighting with oxygen against all sorts of ailments, while these bastards sit in the air conditioning, shielded from anything? They don’t need to hear it. They don’t need to see it. They don’t have to to understand that these are people. Have you understood yet?’

“And if this is America First, then America is f***ed,” he said.

Stewart said Senate Leader Mitch McConnell lied to veterans by saying “we’ll get it done” and then voting against the bill. Stewart also criticized Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican retiring at the end of his term.

Pat Toomey didn’t lose his job. He’s walking away,” Stewart said. “God knows what pot of gold he is stepping into to lobby this government to shit more people. I’m used to it all, but I’m not used to the brutality.”

Stewart apologized for his foul language, but went on to outline what the senators voted against, with one veteran saying the bill “gives them health care, benefits them, lets them live off addiction, keeps veterans from committing suicide.”

“Senator Toomey isn’t going to hear that because he doesn’t want to sit with this man because he’s a coward. Do you hear me?’ said Stewart. “None of them will hear. And none of them will care.’

“What makes the gut so much more devastating is that these people all came here so they could finally tell the men and –” Stewart said off-camera for the press conference, pausing mid-sentence and bursting into tears. “Their voters are dying. And are they going to get it done after the break? Don’t tell their cancer to take a break, tell their cancer to stay home and visit their family.”

Toomey declined to comment on Stewart’s criticism, saying, “That’s not worth commenting on.” He denied as “absurd” that objections to the bill were spurred on by Democrats reaching a separate deal on a reconciliation bill.

When asked for a response to Stewart’s comments, a McConnell spokesperson pointed to his Thursday morning floor comments. McConnell said he supports the “contents of the bill,” but added, “even with legislation so important and so costly, the Democratic Leader tried to block the Senate from any semblance of a fair amendment process.”

McConnell argued that the legislation as written “could also allow Democrats to effectively spend the same money twice and allow for hundreds of billions in new, unrelated spending on the discretionary side of the federal budget.” He pushed for a vote on a Toomey amendment to remove the costs from the package.

An earlier draft of the legislation passed the Senate by 84-14 votes in June, but Senate Republicans voted en masse Wednesday night against a procedural vote that would end debate on the bill and place it before final approval, with 25 Senate Republicans who supported the previous version of the legislation that voted against the procedural vote.

“This is total nonsense,” said Democratic Senator Kristen Gillibrand of New York. “This is the worst form of overt politicking I’ve ever seen. This is total BS. We have the votes.”

Gillibrand says she will ask for unanimous consent Thursday if she can get speaking time, “and as often as necessary to get this back on the ground.”

“We had strong bipartisan support for this bill. And at 11 a.m., Sen. Toomey decides he wants to rewrite the bill,” she said. “How he convinced 25 of his colleagues to change their vote, I have no idea. What the hell? How come? How do you change your mind the moment you’re about to pass a law that’s going to save lives? no sense. It’s a disgrace and there must be accountability.”

Susan Zeier, the mother-in-law of the late Sgt. 1st Class Heath Robinson, after whom the bill is named, called on Republican senators to vote against the bill Wednesday night.

“Senator Rob Portman was Heath’s senator,” Zeier said. “They voted against my family. They voted for all of us to suffer.”

“They don’t care about veterans. And as someone said before, everyone has pictures with veterans on their Facebook pages on their website because they don’t support veterans. If you vote against this bill, you shouldn’t support veterans,” she said. . ‘I’m ready. And next time I come back here, better sign that damn bill at the White House.”

Veterans exposed to fire pits will receive comprehensive health care, White House says

A Portman spokesperson told CNN that the Ohio Republican plans to vote for final approval of the bill, just as he did during the original vote in June, but that he voted against the procedural motion on Wednesday as a way to express his dismay. to express how Democratic leadership had handled the change process.

Pelosi said the Republicans’ move to abruptly change course last night is “very hard to explain. It has an immorality that 80% of Republicans would say no.”

“We all share the dismay and all this,” Pelosi said. “We’re not going to stop until we get the job done. I don’t know what we can do to convince Republicans to do the right thing.”

The legislation was negotiated between Senate Veterans Affairs chairman Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana, and the top Republican on the committee, Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas. After the failed vote, Texas GOP Senator John Cornyn said Republicans supported the bill but agreed on two amendments, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer “returned on that,” sparking the uprising on the floor.

“The Democratic Party leadership cheated Senator Tester, Senator Moran, agreed that there would be two amendments, Senator Schumer agreed to the same. And then they came back to that,” Cornyn said.

Cornyn said Republicans hope to cut mandatory spending in the final package now that the bill is in limbo.

“This bill will eventually pass, but it will be more fiscally responsible,” he said.

“My opinion was that this should pass. I want it to pass. I want to do everything I can to make sure it passes sooner rather than later. And I was willing to wait to try and fix the problems I see with the legislation,” Moran said earlier on Thursday. “And not all my colleagues agree with that strategy.”

Stewart rejected Republican pledges that the bill will eventually pass.

‘All cowards. Everyone,” Stewart said. “Now they say, ‘Well, this is being done. Maybe after we get back from our summer recess, maybe during the cripple duck’ – because they’re Senate time. Do you understand you live around here? Senate time is ridiculous These moms are getting 200 years. They’re turtles. They live forever and they never lose their jobs and they never lose their benefits and they never lose all those things. Well, they’re not Senate time. It’s people time. Cancer.”

This story was updated Thursday with additional developments.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Susan Zeier.

CNNs Manu Raju, Ted Barrett and Morgan Rimmer contributed to this report.

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