Why the Veteran Health Care Bill Was Smacked Down by Republicans

The Senate didn’t advance laws Wednesday meant to guard veterans uncovered to poisonous supplies throughout their service. Forty-one Republicans and one Democrat voted towards the measure, blocking it from reaching the 60-vote threshold wanted to bypass the filibuster rule.

The failure of the Sergeant 1st Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act got here as a shock, since an earlier model of the invoice handed by a large margin of 84-14 on June 16. All 14 “no” votes on the time have been from Republicans, however extra GOP senators and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, who switched his preliminary “yes” vote to “no” to permit a future vote on the laws, joined them Wednesday.

While not all the Republican senators who voted towards the PACT Act have publicly defined why they did so, a number of have supplied perception on why the GOP opposition grew after the preliminary vote in June.

A launch from GOP Senator Pat Toomey’s workplace on Tuesday mentioned that the PACT Act “would enable $400 billion over the next 10 years in spending completely unrelated to veterans.” It famous that Toomey, a Pennsylvania lawmaker, has a “technical fix” that “does not reduce spending on veterans by even $1 or affect the expansion of care and benefits in the underlying bill.”

Why GOP Struck Down Veteran Bill
The Senate didn’t advance laws Wednesday meant to guard veterans uncovered to poisonous supplies throughout their service. Above, GOP Senator Pat Toomey heads into the Senate chamber earlier than passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act on June 23.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“The PACT Act as written includes a budget gimmick that would allow $400 billion of current law spending to be moved from the discretionary to the mandatory spending category,” the discharge learn.

It went on: “This provision is completely unnecessary to achieve the PACT Act’s stated goal of expanding health care and other benefits for veterans. However, it would enable an additional $400 billion in future discretionary spending completely unrelated to veterans. By failing to remove this gimmick, Congress would effectively be using an important veterans care bill to hide a massive, unrelated spending binge.”

Newsweek reached out to Toomey’s workplace for additional clarification on what particular a part of the laws permits this spending.

Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas has additionally commented on why the trouble to advance the laws was unsuccessful. He was quoted in a Wednesday CNN article as saying that Schumer wouldn’t permit modification votes that Republicans have been pushing for.

“There was an agreement between Senator Tester and [Senator Jerry] Moran for two amendment votes when this bill passed,” Cornyn mentioned. “Senator Schumer would not allow those votes to occur. And what we’re hoping for is there will be a negotiation to eliminate some of the mandatory spending in the bill and then the bill can pass. But this is a cloture vote to provoke a conversation. But I expect it ultimately to pass in some form or another.”

Newsweek reached out to Cornyn for additional remark and clarification on what modification votes he was referring to.

Republicans have confronted criticism ever since their opposition blocked the invoice from advancing. Tester, chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, mentioned in a press release Wednesday that the “eleventh-hour act of cowardice will actively harm this country’s veterans and their families.”

“Republicans chose today to rob generations of toxic-exposed veterans across this country of the health care and benefits they so desperately need—and make no mistake, more veterans will suffer and die as a result,” he added.

Comedian Jon Stewart has additionally sharply condemned the event.

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