After Jon Stewart’s impassioned rebuke of GOP senators for withdrawing their support for a bill that would provide extended medical benefits for military veterans, he laid into Ted Cruz on Friday for presenting the bill as a “Democratic budgetary trick.”
Cruz told TMZ in a video posted Friday that he and his fellow GOP members were in favor of the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (aka the PACT Act) … until the spending was deemed “discretionary” instead of “mandatory.”
A ticked-off Stewart shared the TMZ video to Twitter, adding his own video response in which he called Cruz’s interpretation, “inaccurate, not true, total bulls—.”
— Jon Stewart (@jonstewart) July 29, 2022
What Cruz described as “part of the out of control spending from the left,” Stewart said is “no trick.”
The former “Daily Show” host explained: “Everything in the government is either mandatory or discretionary spending, depending on which bucket they feel like putting it in. The whole place is basically a f—ing shell game. And he’s pretending that this is some new thing that the Democrats stuck into the bill and snuck it past one Ted Cruz. It’s no gimmick. It’s been there the whole f—ing time.”
The bill, which had already passed in the Senate 84-14 on June 16, was up for a revote in the Senate on Wednesday because of an error. This time, it failed with 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.)
In his video, Stewart insisted that “not one word” has been changed on the PACT Act since the first vote.
“There is nothing in the bill that is not related to veteran spending,” Stewart said in the video, adding, “Don’t take my word for it. Any a**hole on an iPhone can read it. It’s at congress.gov. This is for veterans who suffered health effects from being exposed to burn pits and other toxins. That is it.”
The bill passed in the House with a bipartisan vote of 342-88 earlier this month.
On Thursday, Stewart told CNN anchor Jake Tapper, “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 said about the decision not to allow veterans to receive the extended medical coverage the PACT Act provides.
For the record: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the number of votes the bill received in the House. TheWrap regrets the error.