The Hill reports, GOP agrees to deal on veterans bill:

Senate Republicans have reached an agreement to pass legislation expanding benefits for veterans who are suffering illnesses due to toxic exposures, after they blocked the bill last week and sparked outrage from the veteran community and comedian Jon Stewart.

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“We expect to have an agreement on the PACT Act with amendments,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “I believe it will pass and pass this evening. So, that’s very good news.”

A vote on the measure is expected early Tuesday evening.

Schumer said that the Senate will vote on three amendments to the bill, with 60 votes being needed to pass those bills. The upper chamber will then move to finally pass the bill.

The agreement comes as Republicans have been trying to find a way to end a standoff over the bill after blocking the measure by a vote of 55-42 last Wednesday.

Twenty-five Republicans who initially voted to advance the bill in June changed their votes.

Veterans have been camped outside the Capitol since last Thursday in a bid to pressure senators to change their minds on the measure.

The upper chamber passed the bill by a vote of 84-14 in June, and the House last month passed the bill by a 342-88 vote.

Republicans have said they are not opposed the original substance of the bill, but rather a “budgetary gimmick” that would designate $400 billion spent by the Department of Veterans Affairs as mandatory spending. This spending would not be subject to annual appropriations process like discretionary spending.

There is no “budgetary gimmick,” as Jon Stewart explains. It’s just Sen. Pat Toomey being an asshole.

Earlier on Tuesday, Rep. Jerry Moran (Kan.), the top Republican on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, told reporters that Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) had been offered amendments on the bill. But 60 votes are needed to pass them.

So Senate Republicans will get to vote on their amendments, which will be voted down because they do not have 60 votes, and then the Senate will do what it should have done last week and pass this bill for veterans. What was the point, other than to throw a tantrum over the Manchin-Schumer agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which is still being put together, and has not even been scheduled for debate and a vote?

And Republicans celebrated their assholery with high fives all around.

Jason Easley adds:

The Senate Republican tantrum over the Schumer/Manchin deal has backfired on them. The behavior of the more than two dozen Senate Republicans who blocked this legislation has been disgraceful.

The entire situation turned into a PR nightmare for Republicans as veterans have been sleeping on the Capitol steps until this bill is passed.

Senate Republicans tried to hold expanded healthcare for vets hostage and ended up costing themselves more votes in November.

One would hope.




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