Jon Stewart Rips Ted Cruz For Screwing American Veterans

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Senate Republicans recently voted against the advancement of a bill that would provide critical healthcare support to veterans exposed to certain toxic substances during their service, sparking an expected and fitting level of outrage.

An apparent argument from Republicans pushing against the measure doesn’t concern the underlying purpose of the legislation. Instead, they’re complaining about budgetary mechanisms used for the money. In one speech in the Senate, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) ranted that moving certain spending related to veterans’ healthcare from the discretionary to mandatory category would free up the opportunity for additional spending in the discretionary category on unrelated subjects, since discretionary spending is subject to certain, specific limits. In other words, Toomey’s complaint is apparently that somebody may spend something at some point because the opportunity is there… a stunningly but unsurprisingly thin argument. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has raised similar complaints, and media personality and advocate Jon Stewart ripped Cruz over the nonsense.

Stewart addressed the issue during a weekend appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press. Stewart remarked:

‘The difference between mandatory and discretionary is — that’s just a word salad that he’s spewing into his coffee cup on his way to God-knows-where, as veterans sit in Washington, D.C., in the sweltering heat demanding that they pass this legislation that they’ve been fighting for, for 15 years. Look, anybody can say anything. We could say Elvis Presley is still alive. But at some point, we all have to live in reality. And what he is saying is just factually incorrect. The bill that Ted Cruz voted “yes” on had the exact same funding provisions as the bill he voted “no” on. It’s the exact same bill. None of this makes any sense.’

The first time the veterans’ healthcare bill in question came up for a Senate vote, it passed, but the measure required a second vote after changes characterized as technical in nature. The fact is there doesn’t appear to be any unrelated funding tacked onto the bill — it’s not there. They’re holding up veterans’ healthcare because of supposed spending that might happen at some point. It’s ridiculous — actual funding included in the legislation remains designated for veterans’ healthcare, and, no matter the way one might take the Republican argument, future spending will remain subject to Congressional supervision. The Senate will soon be voting again on advancing the bill in question, but this delay — even assuming the measure eventually passes — adds another essentially pointless wait for veterans in need. Watch Stewart’s NBC remarks below: