Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, took aim at GOP Senator Ted Cruz of Texas — calling him a “complete fraud” on Saturday — when he defended his vote against a bill that would have been riddled with toxic burn pits. Medical coverage was expanded to the millions of veterans who came into contact. their service.
Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked the PACT Act, a bill to aid former combatants exposed to toxic chemicals, that has received significant backlash from veterans organizations and comedian Jon Stewart, as well as several others. doing. Cruz drew further criticism after a video widely circulated online of fellow GOP Senator Steve Dines of Montana, Montana, on the Senate floor after the controversial vote.
In comments to TMZ, Cruz said he supports the PACT Act, but said Democrats had played a “budgeting ploy” that he and other GOP senators did not support. Stewart, a leading attorney for additional aid to veterans, shared a video on Twitter on Friday, and said Cruz’s defense was “false, not true, bulls*t.” Kizinger retweeted the comedian’s video the next day, sharing his criticism of the Texas Republican.
“Honestly @tedcruz this is a colossal hoax. And always has been. He argued with me once, against military action in Syria (I supported … the red line thing). Then a year later the red line imposed on Obama Not attacking. He’s a totally deceitful charlatan clown,” the GOP congressman wrote.
Kinzinger was referencing the so-called “red line” that former President Barack Obama threatened and then failed to implement when Syria’s civil war broke out. The former Democratic president warned that the United States would become militarily involved in the conflict if the Damascus military used chemical weapons.
In 2013, GOP lawmakers were part of a small group of House Republicans who were pressing Obama to authorize the use of military force in Syria, as evidence of the use of chemical weapons was widely reported. Cruz, however, rallied GOP lawmakers against the president, potentially engaging America militarily. Then, as he sought the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Cruz criticized Obama for not implementing the so-called “red line.”
“I think Ted Cruz takes some responsibility for not implementing the red line,” Kinzinger told a writer. Washington Post in 2015. “The more Cruz spoke, Republican support began to collapse. His words meant that anyone who voted for the attacks would act as an al-Qaeda agent.”
Regarding the Pact Act vote, Cruz posted a video on Twitter on Friday, responding to the criticism he received from Stewart.
“.@jonstewart you’re wrong here. The bill gives $400B for unrelated pork—separate from blank check-animal care—which would supercharge inflation. I support the PACT Act and $679.4B that would dedicate it to veterinarians.” This ppl is trying to use PACT to remove more pork that veterinarians are exploiting,” the senator wrote.
Veterans groups have strongly condemned the senators for voting against the bill. A group of former fighters also traveled to Congress over the weekend to sit in protest at the Capitol.
Patrick Murray, director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Legislative Service, told the Military Times, “We’re here to tell the Senate that we’re not going home, and neither should they until the PACT Act is completed.” on Friday.
“We’ve seen partisanship and play within Congress over the years,” Jeremy Butler, CEO of the nonprofit veterans’ organization, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told NBC News on Thursday. “But the shocking thing is that so many senators would be willing to play literally with the lives of veterans like this openly.”
On Sunday morning, Kizinger shared a Twitter post from the VFW National Headquarters account, saying: “25 senators have changed their votes and no longer support toxic-exposed veterans. No more delay! No more games.” No! Tell your senators to #PASSTHEPACTACT!”
The GOP congressman took aim at the senators in his retweet, writing: “Because they have DC brain worms.”
The law was passed in Senate 84–14 on June 16 before being sent to the House, where it was also approved in a bipartisan vote with only minor amendments. Veterans groups have said they expect the bill to be passed again in the Senate, including the amendment, last week without a hitch – and was blindsided by GOP opposition.
newsweek Cruz’s press representatives were contacted for comment.