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Ron Johnson Called Out For Voting Against Veterans’ Health Care

WAOW: Central Wisconsin veterans surprised by PACT Act blocking
Wisconsin Examiner: ‘These people don’t care’: U.S. Senate GOP stalls bill for veterans exposed to burn pits

Ron Johnson is facing a wave of brutal news coverage after he voted against the PACT Act, a “bill to help sick veterans.” His disgraceful vote has left “Wisconsin veterans surprised” and others in “anger and indignation.”

See for yourself:

Wisconsin Examiner: ‘These people don’t care’: U.S. Senate GOP stalls bill for veterans exposed to burn pits

  • Veterans and their advocates gathered outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday for what was supposed to be a celebration, one day after a crucial Senate vote on bipartisan legislation that would expand health care and benefits to 3.5 million veterans exposed to burn pits during their deployments.
  • The gathering instead became a forum for those who have been working on the bill for years to vent their frustrations with Republicans for blocking it Wednesday afternoon.
  • Those who opposed it, all Republicans, included… Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
  • Wisconsin’s Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin has been a strong supporter of the bill,
  • “We have a commitment to do right by the troops who bravely defended our freedom, and that includes ensuring they all are able to get the health care and benefits they earned,” Baldwin said after voting for the PACT Act in June. “We know that our veterans who were exposed to burn pits and other toxins while serving are at risk for very serious health outcomes, including cancer, and it was simply wrong for the VA to deny them health care and disability benefits. The PACT Act helps fulfill our commitment to those who served and ensures they have access to the care and benefits they deserve.”
  • The spending issue cited by Republicans who switched their votes is not new to the updated language, Baldwin’s office points out, and was included in the original version passed by the Senate.

WAOW: Central Wisconsin veterans surprised by PACT Act blocking

  • One area veteran is surprised after a bill aiming to expand benefits was halted at the Senate.
  • The Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022, or the PACT Act, would mean healthcare for millions of vets who were exposed to toxic burn pits while serving.
  • “These people are suffering with and passed away from and we as the American public own their disabilities.” Rock Larson, President of the County Veterans Service Officer Association of Wisconsin said. “We caused them and they should be compensated.”
  • Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson… voted no on the bill.

NBC News: Blindsided veterans erupt in fury after Senate GOP tanks toxic burn pit bill

  • Blindsided veterans erupted in anger and indignation Thursday after Senate Republicans suddenly tanked a widely supported bipartisan measure that would have expanded medical coverage for millions of combatants exposed to toxic burn pits during their service.
  • In a move that shocked and confused veteran groups Wednesday night, 41 Senate Republicans blocked the bill’s passage, including 25 who had supported it a month ago.
  • “We’ve seen partisanship and games within Congress for years,” Butler said. “But what is shocking is that so many senators would literally be willing to play with veterans’ lives so openly like this.”
  • “They’re manufacturing reasons to vote against legislation that they literally voted for just last month,” Butler added. “And so it’s really a new level of low.”
  • Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis… voted for the bill in June, but voted against it on Wednesday.
  • Why Republicans, like Johnson, changed their minds a month after passing the legislation remains unclear, and it was confounding and unclear to veterans and advocates who shared their ire in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

NPR: The Senate passed a bill to help sick veterans. Then 25 Republicans reversed course

  • The bill — like many issues related to veterans’ health — had amassed deep bipartisan support, and easily passed the Senate by an 84-14 vote in June. But… more than two dozen Republicans switched sides.
  • Spending concerns didn’t seem to pose an initial concern for the more than two dozen Republicans who voted for it last month only to abruptly change their stance. They are Sens… Ron Johnson.
  • “Every single one has pictures with veterans on their Facebook pages, on their websites,” said Susan Zeier, Heath Robinson’s mother-in-law, outside the Capitol as her 9-year-old granddaughter wept nearby. “Well, screw that, they don’t support veterans. If you won’t vote on this bill, you do not support veterans.”
  • Veterans groups and activists are slamming Senate Republicans for blocking the measure, and have pledged to keep lobbying for it.

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