Amid House passage of a bill purporting to provide former military service members harmed by toxic burn pits, Speaker Nancy Pelosi castigated Republicans who opposed the measure due to budgetary concerns, claiming that they instead want “cancer for our veterans,” as Breitbart reports.
The issue forming the basis of the bill was highlighted by President Joe Biden on Tuesday during his State of the Union address, when he declared his desire to see Congress “pass a law to make sure veterans devastated by toxic exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan finally get the benefits and comprehensive healthcare they deserve.”
Ultimately, the measure passed in the House by a vote of 256-174, with 34 Republicans joining with their Democrat colleagues in support of it, with many of those in opposition expressing their worries about the staggering cost of roughly $300 billion spread over 10 years, according to ABC News.
Stepping to the microphones during her Thursday press briefing, Pelosi let loose on those who did not vote in support of the measure, saying, “For the Republicans to go to the floor and say, ‘your veterans really don’t want this help with this health because it’s going to cost money… .”
Pelosi continued in her characteristically halting and hyperbolic manner, adding, “And they [are] more concerned about the budget than they are about their health. Oh really, you just gave tax cuts in 2017 to the richest people in America – tax cuts for the rich, cancer for our veterans – that’s how we see this discussion.” WATCH:
Just your daily reminder that Nancy Pelosi is an absolutely disgusting human being.
“Republicans want tax cuts for the rich and cancer for our veterans, that’s how we see this discussion” pic.twitter.com/MjEVzJrCk4
— Chris Martin (@chrisjdmartin) March 3, 2022
As things presently stand, the Department of Veterans Affairs assesses exposure claims of these types on an individual basis, and because the burden of establishing serious illness caused by burn bit exposure is left to the veterans themselves, dangerous delays in health care often result.
Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, explained his stance on the need for such legislation, saying, “Without hesitation, our veterans raised their right hand to protect and defend this nation. And many are now sick as a result of that service. We made a pact with these individuals – a pact I’m afraid to say we have not yet honored.”
The Senate is currently working on its own proposal regarding toxic exposure to veterans, and given that it reportedly is of a smaller scope than the one approved by the House, it remains to be seen whether the two chambers can come together on a final product that provides the care injured service members deserve in a fiscally prudent manner.