Outrage over toxic waste burn pit bill

| August 2, 2022

Democrats and some familiar veteran protesters are upset that the PACT Act (Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022) failed to muster a filibuster-proof 60 votes after they allege 25 Republicans changed their minds from when the initial bill passed 84-14. There are protests at the Capital, in which well-known faces like alleged comedian Jon Stewart and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are prominent, scourging Republicans who switched their original votes.

It just makes the gut punch that more devastating,” Stewart said, given the number of veterans who came to Washington hoping the bill would pass. “Their constituents are dying.”

The bill would significantly change how the Department of Veterans Affairs cares for veterans who were exposed to toxic substances by compelling VA to presume that certain illnesses are linked to exposure to hazardous waste incineration, mostly focused on the issue of burn pits from recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That would remove the burden of proof from the injured veterans.

Jeremy Butler, chief executive of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, called out Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) for switching to a no vote Wednesday.

“After voting to support the #PACTAct and her fellow veterans, Sen. Joni Ernst turned her back on them yesterday and voted NO,” he tweeted. “What happened Senator? Iowa vets are still getting sick and dying from toxic exposures.”

A version of the legislation was approved by the Senate by a vote of 84-14 in June. It was back in the Senate on Wednesday because the House made modest changes before passing the bill on a 342-88 vote about two weeks ago.

WaPo

Those bastard Republicans, eh? The Dems originally claimed the back-door environmental deal between Manchin and Schumer was to blame, but Repubs say that isn’t the reason.

Well, let’s take a look at the modest changes.

Wednesday’s failed vote was rooted in the budgetary policy dispute that was first raised last month by Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), who objected to the way the bill would change the accounting of about $400 billion in preexisting veterans spending.

That previously authorized spending had been designated as discretionary — that is, subject to yearly congressional appropriations. But the bill, known as the PACT Act, authorizes $280 billion of new mandatory spending — that is, not subject to yearly appropriations — and also converts the prior $400 billion in authorizations from discretionary to mandatory.

WaPo

So the modest changes involve roughly half a trillion dollars. Not sure in my books that qualifies as a “modest change”, but my wife says I am cheap.

I’m not taking sides in this – I know there are a LOT of vets for whom treatment would be a blessing, and I was out long before the large war-zone burn pits came into being. But it sure sounds like BOTH parties are playing politics with veterans’ treatment. What else is new?

UPDATE –  The PACT act passed the Senate 86-11 on August 2d.

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Sapper3307

CUT THE PORK!

Commissar

What Pork?

Are you saying taking care of veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits is “pork spending”?

SFC D

You know better. Try again. $400 billion in “mandatory” unregulated spending is pork, even in Berkeley. You’re a fraud.

LC

As I understand it, mandatory funding simply means that the funds must be available, barring an act of Congress. Discretionary funding is subject to annual appropriations.

I don’t think this topic warrants yearly battles and political machinations at the expense of veterans, so making it mandatory spending seems absolutely fine to me.

As for ‘unregulated spending’, I have yet to see a plausible explanation of how this suddenly enables $40B to be spent on whatever the Democrats want, especially since nearly everyone expects the Republicans to take the House in the midterms, and thus new bills would be at their discretion.

I’m not terribly knowledgeable about the financial methods used by the US government, so if you have a good primer suggesting the above is completely off base, I’m all ears.

SFC D

“Mandatory” means it HAS to be spent, “discretionary” means it’s available funding, used as needed. The added $400 billion is not earmarked for ANY specific cause, allowing it to be used for anything.

LC

Yes, has to be spent on the programs it’s designed for. The Democrats can’t magically take this money and put it towards breeding purple lesbian unicorns, for example. It doesn’t say what exact health care decisions are possible, just that it is for veterans health care. Here’s the CBO report on what that spending goes to, and the costs associated with it, in broad terms:

https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2021-12/hr3967.pdf

If by ‘can be used for anything’ you mean literally anything, I haven’t seen anything that indicates that’s correct.

Again, ‘discretionary’ means it comes up each year as part of the annual budget, allowing the assholes in Congress to say, “Welp, sorry veterans, this year we just can’t afford it!”.

poetrooper

C’mon, LC, here you go again being disingenuous. You know damned well that money will likely end up being used for the military’s newest major medical problems: Addadictomies for your purple lesbians and loppadictomies for the trannies.

Anytime the Dems go getting all fired up about veteran health care, you can damned well bet the farm they have an ulterior motive… 🙄 

Commissa

The bill is only three pages long…

You can read it yourself. Section 805c makes it clear this money can only be spent on veterans.

And there absolutely is no unrelated or unregulated funding in the bill. There is no pork. It is all for veteran care.

The fact that it is mandatory is so that congress can’t bait and switch, pass the bill now before the midterms and then in a budget cycle or two cut funding for by moving the money elsewhere. Likely on actual pork barrel benefits to cronies and donors.

This bill was ALWAYS mandatory funding from the moment it was first approved by republicans 84-14. That has never changed.

Toomey actually would not block it if it were discretionary because his entire agenda is to treat the VA funding as pork for his cronies and allies. He literally wants to hand off veteran care to private interests. That is why he voted to approve more than $700b in discretionary VA funding a few years ago. He has no problem fattening the pig for slaughter.

Deckie

Didn’t you say you were never coming back here?

Mason

He says a lot of things.

UpNorth

He is obviously not a man of his word.

SFC D

He’s a man of many words, they’re just usually strung together in a semi-coherent word salad / vowel movement with zero relation to the topic at hand.

OMG, I just assumed his gender… how un-woke.

rgr769

We still don’t know the cuttlefish’s pronouns.

poetrooper

Whatever therapy he’s been on in his extended absence obviously hasn’t had any positive effect, other than he’s not screaming that everyone here is full of shit.

Maybe the head meds are calming him just a bit, hmm? 🤔 

Drake

These folk are a difficult crowd if you intend to gaslight them. I mean, I was looking for my asshole from among the holes in the ground until someone told me that I was punked. My mom just said that just to get me out of her basement and to get some sun.

Fixed to reflect how you come across to us.

-thebesig

Sapper3307

You go girl!

r1iodx1dee691.jpg
Devtun

Seems like a sneaky way to trash those evil heartless republicans ahead of the mid-terms. Smells like a lot of collusion going on between Stewart & D-rats.

poetrooper

Precisely! 👍  👍  👍 

Old tanker

I abhor the amount of spending this administration is doing but damnit it’s time to take care of our Vets.

A Proud Infidel®™️

They tacked a bunch of pork barrel spending on it via riders, business as usual in the Great Whorehouse on the Potomac River!

LC

Where? I’d love to see that. Here’s the text of the bill:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/797/text

Forrest Bondurant

The link you provided is to Senate Bill 797 the “Platform Accountability and Consumer Transparency Act”, not H.R. 3967, which is the “Honoring our PACT Act of 2022”.

LC

You’re absolutely right – mea culpa. That’s what I get for trying to respond quickly and not double checking. Here’s the correct one, in case anyone wants it:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3967

Anonymous

How we got the age to buy tobacco raised to 21 with no debate– Democrats just snuck in an amendment w/o letting anyone know.

Imagine what they can do about guns, Free Speech, private property, your car, voting Republican, etc. like that.

Last edited 4 months ago by Anonymous
LC

The bill is supported by a lot of groups:

American Legion:
https://www.legion.org/veteranshealthcare/256457/legion-senate-action-pact-act-‘absolutely-unacceptable’

WWP:
https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/2022-06-16-Wounded-Warrior-Project-Says-Senate-Passage-of-Toxic-Exposure-Bill-Will-Save-the-Lives-of-Countless-Veterans

VFW:
https://www.vfw.org/media-and-events/latest-releases/archives/2022/8/vfw-action-alert-demand-the-pact-act-passes

(There are some 57+ more, per one article.)

Also, Stewart was enormously helpful in passing the 9/11 First Responders bill. Finally, Mitch McConnell says the bill will come up for a vote today most likely, and he supports it. If Democrats were to actually create a ‘budgetary gimmick’ that exploited sick veterans, they’d be shooting themselves in the foot.

Commissar

You are being downvoted because these snowflakes don’t want facts getting in their way of their feelings.

SFC D

The facts are that Chuck Schumer modified the bill. It was no longer the bill that was supported by Republicans, it is now carrying an extra $400 billion on unrestricted spending. Your boy Chucky gets all the credit for this. Feelings? I feel nothing but contempt for you and your liberal friends that fucked up a bill to provide care for ailing veterans, care that directly impacts me. I have skin in this game. This was nothing but a blatant attempt to make Republicans look bad at the expense of veterans. Now take your feelings, grab your medic bag, and go service your antifa comrades. Once a fraud, always a fraud.

Commissa

Absolutely false. Completely fabricated. Not true at all.

Nothing changed between the 84-14 approval and now.

No money was added to the bill and the language of the spending did not change.

And there is no “$400b in extra unrestricted funding”.

The bill is three pages long. If your claim was true I am sure you could point to where it is true.

Mason

The bill is three pages long.

You talking about this bill? That’s 150 pages long?

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3967/text

A Proud Infidel®™

Mason, you’re stating pure fact, something that Commissar Poodledick is deathly allergic to along with logic, common sense and hard work!

Commissar

Go read section 805. That is the section being used as a pretext to block the bill. Nothing has been changed with respect to “discretionary” spending.

Commissar

I am taking about section 805. The part that is being used as an excuse to block the bill that was already approved.

Nothing is different between now and the version passed 84-14.

The “current” version and the “old version” are about a page and a half long each. They are identical.

There has been no changes. In fact if you look at the congressional record there has not been any changes even proposed since the June 16th vote.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3967/all-actions

Deckie

Didn’t you say you were never coming back here?

11B-Mailclerk

What he has said is unimportant, and we do not hear his words.

poetrooper

And you, Lars, are being downvoted just because you are so totally damned predictable, always taking the opposite position from what you know will likely be the consensus here.

Oh, and since your favorite Dem has brought them back into the news, why don’t you tell us once again how Communist China isn’t communist? 🙄 

Anonymous

Yes, the Chicoms are just a democratic safe space for bullied progressive youth, right?comment image

SFC D

“The original bill was supported by a lot of groups:
American Legion:
https://www.legion.org/veteranshealthcare/256457/legion-senate-action-pact-act-‘absolutely-unacceptable’
WWP:
https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/2022-06-16-Wounded-Warrior-Project-Says-Senate-Passage-of-Toxic-Exposure-Bill-Will-Save-the-Lives-of-Countless-Veterans
VFW:
https://www.vfw.org/media-and-events/latest-releases/archives/2022/8/vfw-action-alert-demand-the-pact-act-passes
(There are some 57+ more, per one article.)
Also, Stewart was enormously helpful in passing the 9/11 First Responders bill. Finally, Mitch McConnell says the bill will come up for a vote today most likely, and he supports it. If Democrats were to actually create a ‘budgetary gimmick’ that exploited sick veterans, they’d be shooting themselves in the foot.

FIFY. You’re welcome.

LC

Which ones removed their support with the change from discretionary to mandatory funding? I looked up a few and didn’t see any changing their stance.

poetrooper

They haven’t yet caught onto the Dem’s bait and switch…

Av8or33

Everyone supports the important part of this bill, Democrat riders are attached to make a poison pill. Pass a bill with no bullshit attached, help our people. Seriously haven’t these guys been fucked over enough.

Commissar

Which democrat riders? Name them.

Stop mindlessly regurgitating bullshit.

Toomey is a lying piece of shit.

This is entirely on Republicans who switched their vote for reasons that had nothing to do with the bill and is entirely about Toomey and his croney shitbags wanting to cut funding for this bill later when people are paying less attention.

Toomey and some of his allies are interested in dismantling the VA and intended to do it in Trump’s second term.

The guy does not give a shit about veterans.

And he is lying about why he blocked this bill.

SFC D

Kindly cite sources for all your regurgitated claims. Your liberal friends changed the rules in the middle of the game, and votes changed accordingly. You’re a fraud.

Commissa

False. Nothing changed.

Av8or33

The communist returns. Where you been?

Av8or33

Maybe an accounting on an additional 400 million might be in order before next vote. Just saying last minute changes from Chucky should probably be examined a bit.

Drake

Crickets from my head, as my one brain cell wondered out and is currently lost.

Fixed to reflect how you come across to us.

-thebesig

AW1Ed

Pro tip- anything involving IAVA is instantly suspect. Love how Jon Stewart suddenly got religion, too.

“This is the oldest trick in Washington. People take a sympathetic group of Americans…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,” Toomey said.

Toomey stressed that Republicans were not opposed to the “substance” of the PACT Act.

“What I’m trying to do is change a government accounting methodology designed to allow our Democratic colleagues to go on an unrelated $400 billion spending spree that has nothing to do with veterans and won’t be in the veterans’ space,” he added of his desire to amend the bill, noting that other Republicans might have other amendments.

https://www.axios.com/2022/07/31/toomey-democrats-funding-veterans-bill

LC

Another pro-tip: Focusing on one veterans group out of over sixty that support the passing of the bill, to include the ones I listed above (VFW, AL and WWP), is instantly suspect.

And once again, Stewart played a fundamental role in the 9/11 First Responders bill. You may dislike his politics, but on the issue of caring for veterans, police and firefighters, he’s got a solid track record.

Roh-Dog

I didn’t ask for his fucking help.

As a Veteran, did you ask for his help?

LC

Ah, yes, the ol’, “How dare this person help us do something good?!”.

AW1Ed

heh. Now get off my lawn, hippy.
*grin*

Unless things have drastically changed, the IAVA is riddled with posers, wanna-bes and never-weres. The bike-and-vest crowd at its preening best.

Last edited 4 months ago by AW1Ed
rgr769

The IAVA is the functional equivalent of the people SKerry was involved with in the Winter Soldier hoax. Very few of them ever saw actual combat, and most were anti-military in addition to being anti-war.

Roh-Dog

Your itchy monkey pox got you cranky, sunshine?

‘Us’ is a diverse group, this one-of-many knows full well the fraud, waste and abuse that is the Veteran Affairs.

The VA is at best a ‘health care’ rationing system that occasionally issues a check after the Vet goes to mat with bureaucracy. They’ve no incentive to change. Toss $400 billion with a B at them, you’ll just get more middle managers collecting 6-figures that will never be fired, even if they straight up kill someone.

They are protected by union, slave to government and, to a man, some of the most incompetent, lazy pieces of shit that dare call themselves human.

Man, that was cathartic.

rgr769

The elcee is not a veteran. He admitted here in a reply to one of my comments that he never served in our military.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

The extra money that has nothing to do with t “Burn Pit” Vets. It was added in knowing that the Rhinos would not like it and people would remember this coming this November. Great tactic of the demoRats.

KoB

Wanna make sure that Vets get the proper treatment for their Service Connected medical issues? Make it mandatory that Kongress Kritters have the same plan, treatment, and facilities that Vets have. And to make sure that Kongress Kritters have a better idea what a Service Member goes thru, set up a rotating schedule where each Kongress Kritter pulls a Tour of Duty in each place that we have troops deployed. I’d be curious as to what the total bill for Congress Health Care is.

Congress is worthless and are NOT working for the benefit of We, The People. If they are not corrupt when they go there, they become corrupt with Potomac Fever within a short time after arriving. No wonder that the term for a group of apes is called a “Congress”.

Where’s a pissed off JAL Wide Body Driver when we need one?

Roh-Dog

You know those authoritarian pieces of human garbage will never allow that to happen

The best thing of all time was that choice act. IDGAF about the left’s screaming that PDJT “fucked the Vets” by smashing the VAs slush fund(s), he put the money where it’d do the good: on the Vet.

Sapper3307

I love the part in the pork were taxpayes pay off VA employies student loans.

Roh-Dog

GTFO! I was under the impression that dotgov employees could get fed secured rates at fed funds plus 1%.
(I’m too lazy to confirm that)

Another way to read that, get money for nothing and pay bumps as a result.

Anyway you cut it, that’s some bullshit. The GS scales have nothing to do with competence or skills, but everything to do with cutthroat douchebaggery and padding ones’ resume with fake ass diplomas. (this may just be a little over the top, but just barely)

Sapper3307

Mandatory spending just reminds me of the shopping sprees some units did in ARMY at the end of the fiscal year. “GOTTA SPEND IT ALL”.

11B-Mailclerk

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

poetrooper

Some things never change… 🙄 

Anonymous

Yup… For it’s Tommy this, and Tommy that, and Tommy go away, but it’s “Thank you, Mr. Atkins” when the band begins to play.

timactual

Since I spent a few years of my childhood downwind of our municipal incinerator, before “toxic waste” was discovered, I really don’t care about this “issue”. I also spent part of my military career pretty much saturated by solvents, etc. If this stuff was half as deadly as hysterical environmentalists claim I would have been dead long ago. As a former bartender who smoked I also should have been dead long ago. Perhaps the deadly second-hand (and first-hand) cigarette smoke was counteracted by all the toxic waste and solvent fumes. Homeopathic pollution?

Dragoon 45

Neither party will ever actually fix anything concerning veterans’ care. If they did then they could not accuse the other party about not caring for veterans. There is no incentive for them to do anything except punt and blame the other party. Screw the Demoncrats and the Repukeians both, oxygen thieves is all they are.

Commissar

Let’s cut the bullshit and misinformation,

This bill was approved by the senate 84 to 14.

Nothing was added to the bill.

There was no pork added to the bill.
There was no changes from discretionary to mandatory spending,
There was no changes from mandatory to discretionary spending.

SenToomey opposes the bill because he wants to dismantle the VA, privatize it.cut up the pig and serve it as private feasts for cronies under the pretext it will “save money” and “cut fat”. He opposes the mandatory spending because it will make it harder for him to slaughter and divvy out the pig later.

It might save the government money. But that will likely mean it transfers costs to veterans. And pretty much every privatization movement that has happened to the DoD and VA has COST the government more money. Most of it caused massive increases in cost.

This issue is the 25 GOP senators that changed their vote. They did it to punish Dems for the climate bill. That is it.

A Proud Infidel®™

Here you go yet again regurgitating the drivel and propaganda fed you completely devoid of facts.

Sapper3307

GoTTCHA

285341755_5421121234586483_4679633861202630897_n.jpg
Anonymous

Butthurt much?

Forrest Bondurant

Curious how liberals who run powerful governments fail to keep a virus from spreading are the same ones who say they can change or influence the earths temperature if people just pay more taxes.

The climate bill is horseshit, but that’s another topic.

LC

And surprise, surprise… after all that, it passed the Senate 86-11:

https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/02/politics/senate-vote-burn-pits/index.html

poetrooper

Well, you and Lars can be happy now, LC. All your purple lesbians and their tranny counterparts will get their addadictomies and loppadictomies courtesy of military medicine.

You suppose pregnant military males will be eligible for OB/GYN services? 🙄 

AW1Ed

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced after reaching the deal with Republicans who had blocked the bill from advancing last week while they sought to add cost-controlling amendment votes to the package.

NEC338x

While the final test has not yet been posted showing the changes of “the deal”, here is the link to the 55 amendments that were decorated on the the Christmas tree of a bill as it went through the process. https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3967/amendments?r=3&s=2

Drake

Lol…A bunch of geezer boomer “Cold War Era” veterans who’ve never heard a shot fired in anger complaining about real veterans getting cared for. Sad.

poetrooper

You have no idea what you’re talking about, sonny. First of all, no one’s complaining about the vets getting the care they need; they are complaining about how the Democrats have manipulated the issue to add hundreds of millions of dollars of non-veteran-related pork and used their compliant media to deceive morons like you into believing the evil Republicans are holding up veteran care.

As for never hearing a shot fired in anger, this old geezer’s CIB is more than a half century old as is the case with many regulars here.

How old is yours, punk-ass? 🖕  🖕  🖕 

Last edited 4 months ago by Poetrooper
rgr769

Ditto for this old geezer with a CIB and the Tower of Power. Poe and I served back when we had RA serial numbers and Drake wasn’t likely in diapers yet. And we are proud to have killed commies in the SEA version of that Cold War, which seemed pretty hot to us on occasion.

Drake

Wow. You did one tour. Rolls eyes. Your betters have spent the last 20 years fighting.

Mick

Oh FFS.

Yeah; you’re right, tough guy.

None of us geezer boomer “Cold War Era” veterans have ever heard a shot fired in anger.

There aren’t any “real” combat veterans here at TAH.

Everyone knows that.

Drake

Yeah, pretty much. The actual combat vets in between Vietnam and the “GWOT” who manned the e clubs in Fulda and Kadena, vs the real combat vets due to baby Bush’s crusade over the last 20 years pales in comparison. But you go ahead and rock that hat and car stickers.

SFC D

I think you jumped the wrong horse, cowboy. What’s your bio look like, Drake?

Drake

After my mom gaslighted me into looking for my asshole from among the holes in the ground outside, she went down to the basement and checked my computer. She saw my posts here. She paddled my ass after telling me that it would hurt her more than it would hurt me, then she forced me to stand in the corner.

FIXED.

-thebesig

Drake

I wish I served. The closest exposure I have to military activity is Call of Duty.

FIXED.

-thebesig

UpNorth

 😃 

poetrooper

You misspelled Doody… 🤓