According to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins (PACT) Act on Tuesday night.
The bill failed to pass the Senate last week in a 55-42 vote.
Monday, U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn), a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, joined Newsmax TV’s “Spicer & Co.” to talk about why he was against the PACT Act in its current form.
“I voted against this every time,” Tuberville said, “and people go, ‘You’re on the Veterans’ committee, why are you voting against this?’ Because it’s not the right bill that we need. We need the right thing for the veterans. We don’t need to put a showcase out there for Schumer and the Democrats. We need to put a bill out there that actually works.”
The senator outlined how the current bill could end up just causing more problems for the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system.
“As we speak the VA has 200,000 people in line ready for treatment,” he explained, “when this PACT Act passes there’s going to be 2 million more that go into the system. And we want to make sure that we’re prepared for that.”
Tuberville also lamented how the Democratic Party leadership hijacked the process of crafting the legislation.
“So, we have been working for a year and a half on this PACT Act,” Tuberville said, “which helps the burn pit victims. It’s going to be very expensive, we all know that, but we get about three-fourths of the way done with it and Schumer says, ‘Well, I’m going to finish it the rest of the way.’ So he takes it from us, we have nothing else to do with it, and he throws this discretionary spending in there…of $400 billion. In other words, take this discretionary spending and put it in this PACT Act and be able to fill up the discretionary with $400 billion more to spend anywhere they want. It’s a disaster. It’s not going to work.”
He reiterated that he would still be a no-vote on the bill.
“I’ll vote against it if we still got that $400 billion discretionary money that he wants to use for whatever, use for the people of New York, not on the veterans. We’ll get one passed. I don’t know when it’s going to happen. We’ll get one passed to where it’s going to actually help the veterans. Now it could be this week, it could be when we come back.”
Tuberville also advised that his vote might not be enough to stop the legislation from eventually passing.
“My one vote might not block it,” he warned. “Some of my Senate colleagues on the Republican side might vote for it the way it is, but I’ve been telling them all along that this is not what we want. I’m on the committee, I’ve been listening to all of this. This is not going to help our veterans. It’s just going to put a façade over it and it’s going to look like we helped them, but it’s not going to help him the way it should help them. So, let’s get the bill the right way and then pass it.”