Joe Biden is using his Covid isolation time to highlight the GOP’s resistance to passing legislation aimed at helping sick US veterans.
In a video posted to Twitter on Sunday the president highlighted protesters who are camped out on the steps of the US Capitol to denounce Republicans who have yet to put their support behind legislation that would mandate the Department of Veterans affairs to assume that US veterans who worked around so-called “burn pits” during their military service be presumed to have been exposed to toxic substances.
Republicans led by Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania are demanding an amendment to the bill that would tie its funding to the annual appropriations process, rather than giving it a direct, set line of funding. Democrats have accused their rivals of instigating pointless delays in supposed retaliation for the ressurection of the Build Bact Better Act in the form of the Inflation Reduction Act, a slimmed-down piece of legislation aimed at both battling inflation and addressing other issues like prescription drug prices and climate change.
On Sunday, Mr Biden released a video filled with images of sick veterans holding signs denouncing the GOP for inaction on the bill, which Democrats are hoping to force a vote on in the coming days.
“I’d planned to stop by the Capitol and visit families fighting to pass burn pits legislation. Covid got in the way, so I FaceTimed them and sent some pizza. It’s our sacred obligation to care for our veterans. I won’t stop fighting alongside them to get this bill passed,” tweeted Mr Biden.
The Senate’s inability to pass legislation addressing the issue up until this point has attracted the attention of a number of high-profile supporters of the bill, including Jon Stewat.
Mr Toomey in his own statement to CNN denounced Democrats for attempting to tie his resistance to Build Back Better.
“That’s so absurd and dishonest for anyone to suggest that it has anything to do with BBB,” the retiring Pennsylvania Republican senator said. “Who knew about BBB, you know, previous weeks when I’ve been raising this issue for all this time and I’m very clearly on record about this. So someone has to be willfully ignorant of the facts or dishonest.”
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