WARNING: In order to accurately quote a person the last paragraph violates my normal PG rating.
My usual practice is to make the biggest political story of the week just ended the subject of Sunday’s article. This week I chose the most despicable. (Sadly, there was plenty of competition in both categories.)
Before I really get into things, I want to put my outrage in perspective. I never wore the uniform of the United States armed forces. My generation’s war was Vietnam and I had a 333 in the lottery. I could have enlisted but chose not to for a variety of reasons.
Over the past few weeks Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky made it clear that if the Democrats tried to pass legislation via reconciliation, he would withdraw the needed Republican support to pass the microchips bill. In other words, he was holding the American economy hostage. (More about that bill in a future article.) It appeared that reconciliation was a fantasy because West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin wasn’t on board with his fellow Democrats. Mitch (and almost all of us) thought that Mitch had won another political round.
Within hours of the chips bill passing the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Manchin announced an agreement on a major bill to be passed via reconciliation. McConnell’s ego was bruised.
On Thursday the Senate took up a slightly altered version of the PACT bill. The alteration was one sentence which dealt with an in the weeds accounting term. There was no substantial change in the legislation which has passed 84-14 on June 16, 2022; obviously with substantial Republican support.
I’d think of the bill as the Burn Pit Bill. During the Iraq War the military burned waste, some of it toxic, in large burn pits on base and often upwind of troops. Many have since contracted various aliments including fatal cancers. The bill would provide the medical treatment I, and almost all Americans, feel we owe them. It’s really that simple.
Here are the 25 Republicans who changed their votes and two others that merit special recognition: John Barrasso of Wyoming, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Roy Blunt and Josh “Running Man” Hawley of Missouri, Mike Braun and Todd Young of Indiana, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy of Louisiana, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Roger Marshall of Kansas, “Moscow” Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Rob Portman of Ohio, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Rick “The Fifth” Scott of Florida and Dan Sullivan of Alaska. Republicans Steve Daines of Montana and Roger Wicker of Mississippi did not vote in June but went along with Mitch’s temper tantrum last week.
Johnson of Ohio, Kennedy of Louisiana, Scott of South Carolina and Young of Indiana are all running for reelection this November. That vote alone should be disqualifying to any veteran or patriotic American for that matter.
This was neither a fluke nor an accident! Among others Ted Cruz, Steve Daines, Josh Hawley and Pat Toomey were caught fist bumping on the floor of the Senate in celebration.
Schumer says he will bring this bill up for another vote on Monday. I certainly hope the public attention will get it over the hump this time. If not, the Republicans will have succeeded where the foreign terrorist failed; they will have kill Americans who made it out alive.
I’ll conclude with a quote from Jon Stewart that perfectly sums up my feelings, “If this is America first, America is fucked!”
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