Joe Biden is using his time in Covid isolation to highlight GOP resistance to passing legislation to help sick American veterans.
In a video posted to Twitter on Sunday, the president highlighted protesters camping on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to decry Republicans who have yet to support legislation that would force the Department of Veterans Affairs to assume that American veterans who worked around so-called “burning pits” during their military service are presumed to have been exposed to toxic substances.
Republicans led by Sen. 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, defined funding line. Democrats have accused rivals of causing unnecessary delays in a supposed retaliation for the resurrection of the Build Bact Better Act in the form of the Cut Inflation Act, a slimmed-down piece of legislation aimed at both fighting inflation and other issues such as prescription drug prices. and climate change.
On Sunday, Mr. Biden posted a video filled with images of sick veterans holding signs denouncing the GOP for its inaction on the bill, on which Democrats hope to force a vote in the coming days.
“I had planned to stop by the Capitol and visit families who were fighting to pass a fireplace law. Covid got in the way, so I FaceTimed them and sent pizza. It is our sacred obligation to take care of our veterans. I will not stop fighting alongside them to pass this bill,” Biden tweeted.
The Senate’s failure to pass legislation addressing the issue so far has caught the attention of a number of high-profile supporters of the bill, including Jon Stewat.
Mr. Toomey, in his own statement to CNN, blasted Democrats for trying to link his resistance to Build Back Better.
“It’s so absurd and dishonest for anyone to suggest it has anything to do with BBB,” said the retired Republican senator from Pennsylvania. “Who knew about BBB, you know, the previous weeks when I’ve been raising this issue all this time and I’m very clearly aware about it. So someone must be willfully ignorant of facts or dishonest .”
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