On Capitol Hill, military veterans and their supporters erupted in anger Thursday after Senate Republicans blocked a bill to aid former U.S. servicemembers poisoned by toxic waste. The bill would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to remove the burden of proof from vets who say their health problems are related to the Pentagon’s use of toxic “burn pits” in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Wednesday, Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey — who’s set to retire at the end of the year — blocked the bill, after it initially received 84 votes in the 100-seat Senate. That prompted an angry response from comedian Jon Stewart, a leading advocate for veterans.
Jon Stewart: “Senate’s where accountability goes to die. These people don’t care. They’re never losing their jobs. They’re never losing their healthcare. Pat Toomey didn’t lose his job; he’s walking away. God knows what kind of pot of gold he’s stepping into to lobby this government to shit on more people. … I’m used to all of it, but I am not used to the cruelty.”