Republicans fist bump after blocking healthcare for cancer-hit veterans

Republicans fist bump after blocking healthcare for cancer-hit veterans
Jon Stewart blasts GOP Senators for blocking Veterans' Health Legislation
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Republican Senators sparked fury for fist bumping to celebrate blocking a bill to expand healthcare for military veterans exposed to toxins.

The nauseating move occurred on Wednesday night (27 July) after the Senate failed to pass a Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act in a 55 to 42 vote.

All but one who voted against the bill were Republican, including 25 members who had previously supported it in June.

Following the vote, a group of Republicans could be seen liaising and shaking hands. Two of them were also spotted giving each other a fist bump.

Clips of the Senators have since circulated across Twitter.

Disabled Veteran and advocate Ted Corcoran posted the footage along with the tweet: "Fist bumps and handshakes as Senate Republicans block health care for 3.5 million burn pit, Agent Orange, PFAS, nuclear exposure, and contaminated water veterans.

"They celebrate as veterans make funeral arrangements."

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Fellow Twitter users couldn't believe the audacity and slammed the sickening gesture.

"I don’t want to hear one word about how they love our veterans," one said. "This is ridiculous."

Another added: "I'm a disabled Vet and have watched the Republications talk out one side of their mouth about how much they love and support the military and vets, yet their actions have shown they believe the opposite."

"I’m lost," a third tweeted. "Why would they celebrate? These veterans are ill and dying."

Others took to the platform with harrowing stories of their own:

More Democratic veterans, lawmakers and advocates have since expressed their outrage. Comedian and TV host Jon Stewart lashed out against the decision at a press conference on Capitol Hill.

He said: "Ain’t this a b*tch? America’s heroes, who fought in our wars, outside sweating their asses off, while these mother-f***ers sit in the air conditioning, walled off from any of it."

Pointing to the Senate side of the Capitol, Stewart added: "If this is America First, then America is F***d."

Over three million service members and veterans are believed to have been exposed to burn pits and toxins during their service, according to the Veterans Affairs (VA).

In the last six months, President Joe Biden has made tackling the issue of burn pits a higher priority, saying he believes his son Beau Biden may have died as a result of toxin exposure.

Biden has repeatedly urged lawmakers in the House and Senate to pass legislation to support veterans.

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