After Republicans in the Senate tanked the Honor Our PACT Act, which would provide necessary and long overdue healthcare to veterans exposed to toxic burn pits, Jon Stewart immediately went to work relentlessly hounding them for nuking the bill. Reportedly, Senator Pat Toomey convinced his GOP colleagues to vote against the bill in retaliation for Democrats moving ahead with President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislation, and Stewart was not having it. He took the fight to the Capitol steps before going on a whirlwind and righteously profane media tour across CNN, Newsmax, and even Jack Posobiec’s Twitter account.
Here’s the thing: Stewart’s relentless crusade worked. Less than a week later, Republicans in the Senate backtracked and the bill passed through with an 86-11 vote. During a signing for the bill on Wednesday, Biden took a moment to praise Stewart for his efforts. Via Deadline:
“What you have done Jon matters, and you know it does. You should know it really, really matters. You refused to let anybody forget, you refused to let them forget, and we owe you big man, we owe you big,” Biden said.
Stewart, who was present for the East Room ceremony, was given a standing ovation.
During the emotional ceremony, Biden brought up his personal connection to the burn pit issue: The loss of his son, Beau, who died of brain cancer from his time in service. Biden sat his grandson next to the daughter of an Ohio veteran who died of lung cancer from being exposed to the toxic pits.
“His daddy lost to the same burn pits, and he knows what you are going through,” Biden said. “But guess what? You are going to do this, and you are going to be really, really strong.”