In a vote of 86-11, the U.S. Senate voted Tuesday night on the Sgt. First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act. The bill will help veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits by expanding their care from the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
There was much drama surrounding the bill last week, when Republicans voting against it were accused by Jon Stewart, among others, of turning against veterans.
In reality, as explained by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), the vote against the legislation came after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) added unrelated discretionary spending to the tune of $400 billion, which was not in the House version that had previously passed by a vote of 342-88. The Senate had also previously voted on the bill in June, in a vote of 84-14.
We can easily fix this tonight, and there is no reason we cannot do so NOW.— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) July 27, 2022
This simple fix would not reduce spending on veterans in the underlying bill by a single penny.
It's wrong to use a veterans bill to hide an unrelated slush fund.
He also blamed Democrats for not passing the bill sooner.
The PACT Act could have passed weeks ago if Democrats had dropped the spending boondoggle that is completely unrelated to veterans.— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) July 30, 2022
In June, Schumer promised amendment votes before reneging on that promise. Senator Tester is working in good faith to get this resolved. Let’s vote this week and find out where the majority of the Senate stands.— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) July 30, 2022
The oldest trick in Washington: craft a bill to help vulnerable Americans, and then sneak in an unrelated provision that would never pass on its own.— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) August 2, 2022
That's exactly what Dems are doing with the PACT Act.
My amendment will fix this without cutting a penny of veterans funding. pic.twitter.com/hFdl2OG6mk
As Guy wrote on Monday and discussed on "Fox News Sunday," the claims that Republicans were holding up a bill to hurt veterans were liberal, fear-mongering talking points that deserved a fact-check.
Make the appropriate fix to the PACT Act & pass it. Schumer must un-break his word & at least allow a vote on an amendment to tweak this unrelated component. I’ll have @SenToomey on the @GuyBensonShow tomorrow to discuss. Via @FoxNewsSunday: pic.twitter.com/kOc8vGtSK0— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) August 1, 2022
It was announced earlier on Tuesday that Leader Schumer and Senate Republicans had come to an agreement.
Part of the agreement involved voting on amendments from Sen. Toomey and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), which needed 60 votes to pass, though they failed.
As the bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last month, it's now headed to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it into law.