After comedian Jon Stewart ripped Senate Republicans as “mother***ers” and singled out Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) as a “f***ing coward” for temporarily blocking a bill because Democrats wanted to sneak $400 billion in discretionary funding into the bill, Toomey responded on Sunday by pointedly targeting Stewart’s sense of self-importance.
Stewart had hysterically ranted against Toomey after he and other GOP senators temporarily blocked the passage of the PACT Act, which expands healthcare benefits for veterans and 9/11 first responders who had been exposed to such as toxins found in burn pits.
“First of all, this is the oldest trick in Washington,” Toomey told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “People take a sympathetic group of Americans — and it could be children with an illness; it could be victims of crime; it could be veterans who’ve been exposed to toxic chemicals — craft a bill to address their problems, and then sneak in something completely unrelated that they know could never pass on its own and dare Republicans to do anything about it, because they know they will unleash their allies in the media and maybe a pseudo-celebrity to make up false accusations to try to get us to just swallow what shouldn’t be there.”
Stewart had also attacked Toomey by railing, “God knows what pot of gold he’s stepping into to lobby this government to s*** on more people.” He noted that the bill had been passed on June 14, then continued ranting of Toomey, “he is a f***ing coward,” mocking him as “Patriot Pat Toomey.”
Regarding the charge that the bill had been passed in mid-June, Toomey told Tapper how the Democrats were manipulating the situation: “We were promised that we’d have an opportunity to offer an amendment to change this. And then, of course, that was reneged on, so people hadn’t had a chance to be socialized about this.”
“Let me be very clear,” Toomey continued. “Republicans are not opposed to any of the substance of the PACT Act. … My honest Democratic colleagues will fully acknowledge that my objection, and if I get my way, I get my change, it will not change by one penny any spending on any veterans program. What I’m trying to do is change a government accounting methodology that is designed to allow our Democratic colleagues to go on an unrelated $400 billion spending spree that has nothing to do with veterans and that won’t be in the veterans space.”
“We can resolve this with an amendment vote,” Toomey noted. “But some of the Democrats don’t even want to have an amendment vote. … There’s some Democrats that simply want to say, no, you don’t get to change anything. We don’t have any more debate. We don’t have amendments. We’re just going to jam this through. So that’s the source of the tension.”
“This is why they do this sort of thing, Jake, because it gets very deep in the weeds and very confusing for people very quickly,” Toomey pointed out. “It’s not really about veterans spending. It’s about what category of government bookkeeping they put the veterans spending in. … What I want to do is treat it for government accounting purposes the way we have always treated it for government accounting purposes, because, if we change it to the way that the Democrats want, it creates room in future budgets for $400 billion of totally unrelated extraneous spending on other matters.”