Jon Stewart refused to bite his tongue while sitting with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “The Lead” Thursday.
Joining the program to discuss the PACT Act’s inability to pass the Senate – and specifically Republicans like Roger Marshall (R-KS) who, unannounced, flipped on their support of the veteran healthcare bill – Stewart was visibly angered.
“The hypocrisy is so galling, but then you get to the place where I’m at right now where it’s: How do you shame the shameless?” he thought aloud, detailing some of the veterans he’s worked with who are in need of the extended benefits the PACT Act provides.
The Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (aka, the PACT Act) extends healthcare benefits for veterans who were exposed to toxic chemicals while deployed abroad. It needed to receive 60 votes Wednesday to proceed in the Senate, but only eight Republicans voted in favor of the bill alongside the Democrats, resulting in a 55-42 vote. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer switched his “yes” vote to “no” so that the legislation can be brought back for reconsideration. Going into Wednesday’s proceedings, bipartisan support was expected, seeing as it passed the House and Senate in a previous vote.
Speaking with Tapper, Stewart, fresh off a buzzed-about news conference earlier in the day, recounted how he and a group of impacted veterans went to several Republican Senators’ offices to demand answers.
“So we are in the building, we start going to offices,” he said. “God bless the assistants. Because they have to cover up for the cowardice of their bosses.”
Recalling speaking with an aide out of Sen. Marshall’s office, Stewart fumed at the notion that the senator changed his vote due to budgetary constraints.
“What’s the budget issue? Because he voted yes when that budget issue was in it the first time,” he said.
“I don’t know what that means,” he continued. “What are you f–king talking about?! Seriously, like, what kind of nonsense – I’m standing here with people here on oxygen tanks. Do they understand that, like, CHIPS and Reconciliation and all these things – there are real people who face tragic consequences for their parliamentary f–kery.”
Tapper wrapped the interview, concluding: “And the important thing to remember is they have these diseases because they went to wars that we sent them to.”
Watch the full interview with Stewart in the video above.