Senate (Republicans) block bill to help veterans exposed to burn pits.

Reply Thu 28 Jul, 2022 06:58 pm
Senate (Republicans) block bill to help veterans exposed to burn pits.

Published July 28, 2022

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a bill to help veterans exposed to toxic burn pits weeks after the measure initially sailed through the Senate with 84 votes, angering Democrats, veterans groups and comedian Jon Stewart, a leading proponent to aid the community.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, was particularly incensed by the turn of events. Tester, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), other lawmakers and Stewart on Thursday morning joined veterans outside the Capitol — who originally came to Washington to see the bill pass — to assail the GOP.

“It just makes the gut punch that more devastating,” Stewart said, given the number of veterans who came to Washington hoping the bill would pass. “Their constituents are dying.”

“This is a disgrace,” he added.

The bill would significantly change how the Department of Veterans Affairs cares for veterans who were exposed to toxic substances by compelling VA to presume that certain illnesses are linked to exposure to hazardous waste incineration, mostly focused on the issue of burn pits from recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That would remove the burden of proof from the injured veterans.

Democrats accused Republicans of voting against the bill in retaliation for a deal announced earlier by Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) that will allow Democrats to move ahead on an economic, health-care and climate package without Republican votes.

Republicans say that’s not true. They point instead to a budgetary policy dispute between the two parties.

Tester shared his frustration and confusion with Republican lawmakers who supported the bill a few weeks ago but changed their position and voted against moving forward Wednesday.

“I’ve been in this business for 25 years in the state legislature and here, and I have never seen anything that’s happened like what happened yesterday,” he said. “And what compounds it and makes it that much more difficult is we, in essence, yesterday took benefits away from the people who have been impacted by a war that we set off.

“And we turn our backs and say, ‘No, we’re going to find an excuse to vote against our veterans,’ while we wave the flag, talking about how great our fighting men and women are,” Tester added.

Biden calls for legislation to help sick veterans who served near burn pits
Pelosi said Republicans’ actions are particularly unusual, given that helping veterans usually attracts significant bipartisan support.

“I’m very sad that 80 percent of the Republicans in the United States Senate said no to veterans yesterday,” she said Thursday. “Eighty percent. Forty votes, no.”

“The veterans have waited too long, long overdue,” Pelosi added. “Three and a half million veterans will benefit, have the possibility of benefiting from this legislation. Why subject them to this?”

Veterans — some in shirts emblazoned with the American flag and others wearing masks — held up signs. One read “Sick and dying veterans need healthcare,” while another held the GOP responsible with the words “Veterans blood is on Republican hands.”

A version of the legislation was approved by the Senate by a vote of 84-14 in June. It was back in the Senate on Wednesday because the House made modest changes before passing the bill on a 342-88 vote about two weeks ago.

Tester went on Twitter after the vote to voice his disgust with the outcome.

“In an eleventh-hour act of cowardice, Republicans chose today to rob generations of toxic-exposed veterans across this country of the health care and benefits they’ve earned and so desperately need,” he tweeted. “Make no mistake — the American people are sick and tired of these games.”

On Wednesday, the revised measure drew 55 votes in the Senate — short of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster. Twenty-five Republicans who previously supported versions of the bill voted against the procedural vote.

Jeremy Butler, chief executive of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, called out Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) for switching to a no vote Wednesday.

“After voting to support the #PACTAct and her fellow veterans, Sen. Joni Ernst turned her back on them yesterday and voted NO,” he tweeted. “What happened Senator? Iowa vets are still getting sick and dying from toxic exposures.”

Manchin says he ‘never walked away’ as Democrats push spending deal
Republicans dismissed the notion that the Democrats’ reconciliation deal was the reason for their change.

Wednesday’s failed vote was rooted in the budgetary policy dispute that was first raised last month by Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), who objected to the way the bill would change the accounting of about $400 billion in preexisting veterans spending.

That previously authorized spending had been designated as discretionary — that is, subject to yearly congressional appropriations. But the bill, known as the PACT Act, authorizes $280 billion of new mandatory spending — that is, not subject to yearly appropriations — and also converts the prior $400 billion in authorizations from discretionary to mandatory.

That, Toomey first argued last month, amounts to a budget “gimmick” that could facilitate massive amounts of new appropriated spending: “Why would they do a thing like that?” he said in a June 24 floor speech. “The reason is because that way you create a big gaping hole in the discretionary spending category, which can be filled with another $400 billion of totally unrelated spending — who knows on what.”

In the subsequent weeks, Toomey worked behind the scenes to make his Republican colleagues aware of the issue and pushed to get the prior spending moved back to the discretionary category. But Democrats would not agree to an amendment, so Republicans voted en masse against advancing the bill Wednesday to force the issue.

“The senior Senator for Pennsylvania has an amendment that would ensure we do not just apply a financial Band-Aid to the problem but actually fix the underlying accounting issue,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday in a speech on the Senate floor.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 2 GOP leader, said Thursday that the lopsided GOP vote was “separate” from any backlash to the Manchin-Schumer deal, but he said the sore feelings could make it more difficult to find a solution. “Obviously, it doesn’t help,” he said.

After the failed vote Wednesday, Toomey said an amendment could allow the bill to be quickly passed: “My concern about this bill has nothing to do with the purpose of the bill,” he said. “It is a budgetary gimmick that has the intent of making it possible to have a huge explosion in unrelated spending — $400 billion.”

But Democrats said the effort to amend the bill amounted to political games. Tester rebutted Toomey on Wednesday, saying it was outlandish to think that Congress would ever spend that amount of money on unrelated programs through the bipartisan appropriations process.

“Make no mistake about this, the American people are sick and tired of the games that go on in this body,” he said. “We can make up all sorts of excuses about how this is going to move money around, but — let me tell you something — we are the ones who decide that. If we want to move money around, we will; if we don’t, we won’t. In the meantime, let’s pass this bill.”

Toomey also rejected the notion that the GOP action was in response to the Manchin-Schumer deal.

“That’s so absurd and dishonest for anybody to suggest that has anything to do with BBB,” he said, referring to an earlier iteration known as Build Back Better. “Who knew about BBB, you know, previous weeks when I’ve been raising this issue for all this time? I’m very clearly on record about this. So someone has to be willfully ignorant of the facts or dishonest to make that charge.”

The question now is whether the bill can make it to Biden’s desk, and when. After their news conference Thursday, veterans’ advocates and families moved quickly, showing up at the offices of each Republican who voted to block the legislation and demanding meetings with the senators and their staffs.

Tom Porter, executive vice president for government relations at IAVA, predicted that despite the GOP’s concern about cost, the senators will bow to the political reality that “nobody is going to slap you around for spending money on sick veterans.”

“We’re going to win this, but it just isn’t going to be as pretty as we had hoped,” he said.

Late Thursday, Schumer said the Senate would try again on Monday night to advance the bill.

Real Music
Reply Thu 28 Jul, 2022 07:04 pm
(Republicans) block aid for veterans exposed to burn pits.

Published July 28, 2022

0 Replies
Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2022 11:14 pm
@Real Music,
Lets have an understanding.

1. Republicans are about being conservatives for the most part and would not help you up for anything. the ME me. I, I.And My my's.

2. Republicans are the ones who put the United States into war via Bush I and Bush II.

3. Republicans also voted against internet moderation. Because it cost money, but again aka Anti-privacy and that means jobs but again money being burnt.

4. If Republicans could they would
A. Take away college money
B. Take away extra funding for entry-level employees
C. Deport your parents who are immigrants or you.
D. Deport you if your the child of immigrants even if your born here.
E. Take away housing since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made it possible
F. Take away food-stamps.
G. Take away unemployment benefits
H. Republicans would take away your disability
I. Republicans would tax you out of your own property if they could.
K. Remember most Republican party was the Whig party, which was parts of the central banking party.
L. Republican party signed the fed into being alive.
M. Republicans are same Jewish money lenders that people fled Europe from via the post Britain v. France that put both nations into debt and caused hostility towards Germany, which led to WWI.
N. You like Zionists ??? Well they are Republican appose to Democrats who are the Han-Chinese
O. Republicans do not care how many dies period because "Jews don't Fight wars" - CheapyD /David Abrams . Why? Because most of the people doing the dying are Gentiles.


Lets understand Republicans those happy people who are against LGBT bathrooms and wants to say the word "Gay" somehow have no love towards the same veterans whom they sent to their deaths ????

I mean all that Islamic, Arabic, Genocide seemed so wonderful to them but somehow they say FU when your a veteran who has cancer related to Dookie-water and toxic gas

Toxic-gas like what the Germans used via

Chlorine gas
Mustard gas


Like maybe an idea that maybe these military troops are a just seen as less then human for some reason.

Like 2001 and this imaginary hunt for terrorists to the some called ephemeral "weapons of mass destruction".


The ultimate truth is this.

A. Kuwait is a city that was split from Iraq for it's oil by the British.

B. The elected official of Iran assassination was led by the British via abuse of United States. So USA gets the blame.

C. You block all IP addresses Microsoft reports to via windows and eventually it will ping back to the Britain. In fact the security shield in Windows is based off the British police shield, which apparently looks like a playful DAD, Midevil looking shield ( yellow and blue ).

D. We are alive at the moment and nobody will give a damn if we pass away. That is the ultimate plan. Forget everything who you are, as if we were just an after thought.

Keep em busy and $@#$$ em all.
Reply Sat 30 Jul, 2022 12:03 am

PoliteMight wrote:

The ultimate truth is this.

A. Kuwait is a city that was split from Iraq for it's oil by the British.

I don't believe describing Kuwait as a city qualifies as an ultimate truth.
Reply Sat 30 Jul, 2022 06:38 am
@Real Music,
I received this in my email:

Legion: Senate action on PACT Act ‘absolutely unacceptable’
The American Legion
JUL 28, 2022

The American Legion and other veterans advocates gathered in Washington, D.C., today to criticize a Senate vote that again has delayed passage of what is known as the PACT Act.

The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act – which has passed in both the House and Senate – received technical corrections and went to a procedural vote in the Senate on Wednesday. The 55-42 vote failed to meet the 60 votes necessary to advance the legislation.

Speaking for The American Legion during a Thursday press event on Capitol Hill, American Legion Legislative Director Lawrence Montreuil called the delay “absolutely unacceptable. A bill that passed the House of Representatives three times and passed the Senate with wide-ranging bipartisan support – 84 senators voting in favor of it – will now be delayed, and once again veterans will suffer.

“The PACT Act passed the House and Senate in a bipartisan manner, yet this delay continues because of political games. There is no reason this bill should not be signed by the president by the end of next week.”

Montreuil said the delay impacts toxic-exposed veterans who already have had to wait long enough for their care and benefits.

“This bill’s genesis came from the fact that 70 percent of veterans with illnesses related to burn pits were being denied, and as a result couldn’t access health care. Sick veterans couldn’t meet the burden of proof,” Montreuil said. “Every day that this delay goes on, veterans are unable to receive care. This is wrong. We will not stand by and allow veterans to be denied their duly owed health care. For cancer patients, a one-month delay makes all the difference. The American Legion demands that Congress end this delay and allow our veterans to receive the health care they desperately need and have earned.”

The PACT Act provides a comprehensive framework to improve the presumptive process for burn pit veterans by streamlining access to health-care benefits for those who served in areas of known toxic exposure — regardless of disability status — and provides health care for as many as 3.5 million veterans exposed to airborne hazards and burn pits.

The anger was clear in the members of Congress attending the press event – as was the resolve to continue to work to get the PACT Act from bill to law.

· U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs: “We’ve got to get out. We’ve got to call. We’ve got to have your friends in the military and veterans call, your civilian friends call. Because what happened yesterday is totally unacceptable. What happened is they voted against the men and women who fight for this country who want to come back to civilian life and have a normal life. And not only those folks, but their families.”

· U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: “How does this happen? How do you change your mind right when you’re about to make a law that’s going to save lives? It makes no sense. It’s an outrage, and there has to be accountability. They have put their politics before the life and wellbeing of servicemembers who have given everything to this country. For what?”

· U.S. Rep. Mark Takano, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs chairman: “Frankly, this bill should have passed the House unanimously the first time, and it should have passed unanimously in the Senate. That is how fundamental this issue of taking care of our veterans is. You don't get to pander to servicemembers and veterans about how you represent them and then turn around and stab them in the back.”

· U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz: “I’m livid. We have a chance right now to make a monumental change in the lives of our servicemen and women. Our veterans don’t have time for this bill to go back and forth again and again. They need the presumptive benefits in the Honoring Our PACT Act right now. Their lives are, quite literally, on the line. I will continue to fight tooth and nail until it gets done.”

· House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Veterans have waited too long. Why subject them to this? This is very, very disappointing. We all share the dismay in all of this. It’s a missed opportunity that’s hard to explain, but we will not stop until we get the job done.”

· U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown: “The Senate’s scheduled to go home after next week to go and do our things in the state and in our districts. We don’t leave here. We stay until this thing is done. We stay here. We keep meeting. It doesn’t matter how hot it is here. It doesn’t matter the pressure. We’ve got to get this done … until veterans are assured they’re going to be taken care of if they were exposed to these burn pits.”

Also visibly upset was former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who has become an impassioned advocate for the PACT Act. His frustration was evident when referencing previous Senate passage of the PACT Act in June before the technical corrections were needed.

“They passed it. June 16, they passed the PACT Act, 84-14” he said. “You don’t even see those scores in the Senate anymore.”

Stewart said while U.S. servicemembers have lived up to their oath, the Senate “spit on them in abject cruelty” with its vote on Wednesday. “These people thought that they could finally breathe. You think their struggles end because the PACT Act passes? All it means is they don’t have to decide between their cancer drugs and their house. It gives them health care. It gives them benefits. It lets them live.”
Reply Sat 30 Jul, 2022 06:47 am
Majority Leader Schumer said that he will give his "Republican friends" another chance to vote on the bill at a later date.
Region Philbis
Reply Sat 30 Jul, 2022 07:09 am

his "friends" are hurting themselves at the polls.

and for what? payback for the Manchin/Schumer bill??
Reply Sat 30 Jul, 2022 07:29 am
@Region Philbis,
0 Replies
Reply Sat 30 Jul, 2022 09:01 am
Britain, France, The Dutch, along with Spain and Portugal continued to plant the flag around the globe. Via the 1960's Britian among many other nations ( like France ) was attempting to pull out in order to make themselves look clean.

However that was not the case. They still wanted the oil. Before pulling out of Iraq that separated Kuwait from it. As with the Zionist Israeli rubbish they ( various UN, nations that had a stake ) pour millions if not billions into the economy of Kuwait, westernize it, modernized it, and even attempt to make it a tourist destination. They left Iraq with next to nothing as Kuwait was most of the oil reserves.

If Iraq was modernized it would probably be something like Dubai. Most of Dubai wealth is it's oil as they are converting it to a tourist destination towards men.

USA via the desert storm was about guarding the UAE ( one o f US oil partners among other things ). Ignoring US troops Iraq launched a missile at Zionist Israel hoping that they would be ignored by the military opposition so they could secure Kuwait. US commander made the decision to attack Iraq ( being had no reason to at all ) . In the end Iraq troops burnt those Oil wells ss they knew it was just about the oil

Iraq is rightfully part of Kuwait and was separated by the British
More then hundreds of US troops died for nothing in Desert Storm.



Here is the reality. Iraq split from Kuwait by force of the British. That is the foundation for Iraq being where it is today. They left a nation without it's primary income support.

It was done on purpose by European nations to African nations.
0 Replies
Reply Sat 30 Jul, 2022 09:06 am
@Region Philbis,
Why can't anybody just admit that nobody cares about any of the wars that US lives die, have blood on their hands, and come home with injuries or death?

Why do we have to dance around with this immature idea when

weapon companies
tobacco companies
drug companies
Anything using medical insurance

are exploiting the US people for their lack of identification of who the real enemy is?

Industry that is too dub to change methods ???
0 Replies
Reply Sat 30 Jul, 2022 10:46 am
@Region Philbis,
They just may be hurting themselves at the recruiting office, too.
0 Replies

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