Senate passes veterans health bill after Republicans bow to pressure – NBC Chicago

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation expanding life-saving health care benefits for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans exposed to toxic combustion sources.

The 86-11 vote came after Republicans agreed to lift their block on the popular bill, bowing to pressure from more than 60 veterans groups – and comedian Jon Stewart – who had railed against the Republicans for days outside the Capitol.

Many of the veterans who had camped out on the Senate steps, braving the heat, humidity and thunderstorms, watched the vote from the Senate Chamber gallery. The bill has already passed the House and is now heading to President Joe Biden’s office for his signature.

Artist and activist Jon Stewart has torn apart the 41 Republican senators who voted against the PACT Act, blocking a bill that would provide resources to veterans exposed to toxic burning fireplaces. “Cowards, all.”

For more on this story, head to NBC News.

NBC Chicago

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