A fired-up Jon Stewart didn't hold back when he tore into Republicans today after the GOP blocked the "military burn pits bill" that would have given U.S. veterans expanded healthcare. "This is an embarrassment to the Senate, to the country, to the founders, and all that they profess to hold dear," the comedian and activist said. "If this is America First, then America is fucked." (See videos below.)
Standing outside the Capitol at a press conference, Stewart barely contained his anger. "So ain't this a bitch? America's heroes, who fought our wars, outside sweating their asses off, with oxygen battling all kinds of ailments, while these motherfuckers sit in the air conditioning walled off from any of it!" he shouted, pointing at the Capitol. "They don't have to hear it. They don't have to see it. They don't have to understand that these are human beings."
According to Reuters, the bill, which originally passed the Senate with 34 Republicans on board, would have expanded "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. … 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." After that, the bill ended up five votes short.
"They haven't met a war they won't sign up for, and they haven't met a veteran they won't screw over," Stewart continued. "WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE?"
In response to Sen. Pat Toomey (R–PA) claiming he has veteran groups behind him, Stewart shouted, "I CALL BULLSHIT!" He then pointed to a group of veterans standing behind him. "These are the veterans groups … they're all here. This is the veterans' community, Senator. They don't stand behind you. In fact, you won't let them stand in front of you."
He also called out Mitch McConnell, imitating the spineless Senate minority leader while calling him a liar.
Stewarts' emotional speech today is worth the watch. Here are three short clips, followed by a longer 10-minute video:
Front page thumbnail image: C-Span (screengrab)