Comedian Jon Stewart has found himself in the middle of a fairly shameful altercation with Human Events senior editor Jack Posobiec over confusing disagreement regarding the recently blocked Veterans Burn Pit bill.
As per the official document from Congress.gov, the aforementioned bill, named the PACT Act (S.437), “requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to concede, for the purposes of health care benefits and wartime disability compensation, that a veteran was exposed to certain toxic substances, chemicals, and hazards from burn pits if such veteran served on active duty in a covered location during a specified time frame.”
The document also stipulates that the bill will not be applicable if “there is affirmative evidence to establish that the veteran was not exposed during such service,” further noting that “a burn pit is an area used for burning solid waste in open air without equipment.”
The Senate passed the PACT Act on the 16th of June on a bipartisan 84-14 vote, but was recently blocked on Wednesday the 27th of July, after 42 Republican Senators voted ‘no’ on the bill that would have granted healthcare coverage to veterans who were exposed to toxic substances; failing by a 55-42 vote.
After the bill underwent some changes in the House, Sen. Toomey said he voted against the bill because of a “budget gimmick that would allow $400 billion of current law spending to be moved from the discretionary to the mandatory spending category.”
Stewart went on to criticize the GOP for voting against the veteran healthcare bill — specifically targeting Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley,(R-MO) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) — saying it was “despicable” to watch them celebrate the bill’s blockage.
He then inquired, “Did Ted Cruz and all those other Republicans who voted ‘yes’ on this bill and then switched their vote to ‘no,’ was that the provision of how the bill was paid for when they voted ‘yes?’”
“Now Toomey, on the other hand, he’s been against this all along, so at least he’s been a consistent dick, but … this is nothing new. This is how it was paid for. The fix in the House was a tiny constitutional provision. This is the same bill that they passed.”
In a lengthy speech on Thursday, a fairly less collected Jon Stewart took aim at Republicans, asserting, “So ain’t this a b—h? America’s heroes, who fought in our wars, outside sweating their asses off, with oxygen, battling all kinds of ailments, while these motherf—kers sit in the air conditioning, walled off from any of it.
‘If this is America first, then America is f*cked.’
Watch Jon Stewart’s full speech Thursday slamming Republican senators for stalling the PACT Act, which would expand health care for veterans affected by burn pits. pic.twitter.com/qMRUfdoFR4
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 28, 2022
“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,” he went on, later adding, “I’ve been coming down here 10 to 15 years. I’m used to the hypocrisy.”
Stewart further declared, “The Senate’s where accountability goes to die. These people don’t care. They’re never losing their jobs, they’ve never losing their health care,” singling out Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Pat Toomey. “I’m used to all of it, but I’m not used to the cruelty.”
Interestingly, those additional $400 billion are actually an addition the Democratic Party included that has been described as a “political move in an election year” by United States Marine Corps veteran Joseph Hickman; the man who wrote “The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America’s Soldiers” book.
When asked by a Twitter user whether he could explain “what changed in the bill from June [until] now?” Posobiec simply replied with, “$400 billion dollars.”
Echoing Posobiec’s response, Hickman declared, “I literally wrote the book on the burn pits. Jack is right, everyone would have voted for it, if the Dems didn’t add $400 billion dollars in additional spending to the bill that has nothing to do with the burn pits. It was a political move in an election year,” he concluded.
Hickman’s comments are also backed up by Agent Poso creator and Human Events Senior Editor Jack Posobiec, a veteran himself, who took to social media to call out Stewart’s uneducated assertion about the aforementioned sum of money.
“Had a friend ask me to look into the [Jon Stewart] meltdown about the PACT bill and the nonpartisan CBO has 2 different scores for the House bill and Senate bill, with a gimmick to reclassify $400B discretionary spending to direct.”
Posobiec added, “This is all GOP Senators asked to take out,” before sharing the receipts, from the Congressional Budget Office, that prove the spending has indeed been reclassified, sharing links to both the House and Senate’s respective bill scores.
Here are links to the House and Senate bill scores from the CBO, again, an non-partisan office
House – https://t.co/e1e4ZrrSvy
Senate – https://t.co/cFMclUYM7o
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) July 30, 2022
In a follow-up tweet, Posobiec shared Sen. Ted Cruz’s official statement regarding the additional $400 billion, noting that he would actually vote for the PACT Act were it not for the separate spending, and calling out the comedian for spreading non-factual information
“Jon, you’re a funny guy and I appreciate your engaging on issues of public policy; that’s a good thing. But if you’re going to do so, the facts matter,” Cruz prefaced.
He elaborated, “Listen, when it concerns the PACT Act, I support the PACT Act. I voted for the PACT Act and I’ve advocated for it for a long time. We have an obligation to take care of our veterans, particularly those who were wounded or injured from burn pits or in other ways from combat.
What gives, Jon? pic.twitter.com/6pPuU8utjj
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) July 30, 2022
“The issue here is the Democrats included in this bill an accounting gimmick where they took $400 billion of spending, discretionary spending, [and] they shifted it to mandatory spending; didn’t change the amount at all,” the Republican senator explained.
Cruz added, “But the reason they did that is it created a hole for $400 billion in new discretionary spending. Their objective? They want to cram $400 billion in unrelated spending into this bill that has nothing to do with veterans.”
“Now given inflation that is skyrocketing this country, I think another $400 billion in spending is irresponsible,” he added, clarifying that he supports “every single penny of the $679 billion dollars of funding for veteran’s health care.”
On Monday, Jack Posobiec and The National Pulse Editor-in-Chief Raheem J. Kassam approached Jon Stewart outside Capitol Hill for a quick chat about the latter’s comments about the recently blocked PACT Act bill.
Kassam shared a series of tweets, including some video clips of the comedian’s shameful display, that went over the confusing altercation between Stewart and Posobiec; both of whom want to see the PACT Act being passed.
The political commentator also shared a video detailing the altercation between Posobiec and Stewart on his personal YouTube channel, recounting the experience they had as they attempted to get Jon the comedian to leave his politics behind in order to get the act passed.
“So uh, [Jack Posobiec] and I went to speak with Jon Stewart outside the Capitol. Jack asked some pretty ordinary questions, and Jon began screaming in our faces for about 10 minutes. At one point he was nose to nose with me. I kept trying to calm him down,” Kassam recounted on Twitter.
So uh, @JackPosobiec and I went to speak with Jon Stewart outside the Capitol. Jack asked some pretty ordinary questions, and Jon began screaming in our faces for about 10 minutes. At one point he was nose to nose with me. I kept trying to calm him down. pic.twitter.com/5C9bxEXTAr
— Raheem J. Kassam (@RaheemKassam) August 1, 2022
“After all the screaming was over, Jon pulled me aside and explained to me that he doesn’t want discretionary spending amendments because it would lead to underfunding,” he would later admit. Kassam further recalled, “I listened. Before I could reply he walked away. We then spoke with Vets for 45 mins.”
In a follow-up tweet, the editor for The National Pulse pointed out that Stewart unceremoniously told him “I hope this is good for your brand,” as he was leaving. “I thought that was an appalling thing to say at an event where EVERYONE supports a form of the PACT Act, and told me all I need to know about where his mind is on this,” he added.
“At least we can say we tried. [Jack Posobiec] consistently asked if he could use his platform in any way to bring opposing sides together. Jon just screamed at him. At one point grabbed him. CNN cameras will show only part of this, but I got lots too,” Kassam noted.
He would then share a clip of Stewart telling a very much collected Posobiec that he is not “in good faith” and repeatedly calling him a “f—king troll.”
Make up your own mind who is “in good faith” here or not. pic.twitter.com/P6cj3tntB5
— Raheem J. Kassam (@RaheemKassam) August 1, 2022
Less than an hour after the altercation, Posobiec took to social media, declaring, “I’m Jack Posobiec and I’m here with Tim Jensen of ‘GruntStyle’ and Jon Stewart is also here.”
“Jon Stewart and I have decided to come to an agreement, have we not, sir?” Posobiec said as the comedian agreed and admitted, “I lost my temper a little bit, I felt like I was being trolled and I realized that the important thing is… just got to get this done for these guys and get them over the finish line to get the health care they need.”
Posobiec then concluded, “We’re at 98 percent, let’s get it over the last 2 percent,” before shaking hands with both Stewart and Jensen.
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 1, 2022