On Tuesday night, after a week of arguing between Senate Republicans and Democrats over legislation which would help veterans who have been made sick by burn pits, both CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News omitted the reason why Republicans opposed the legislation. Hint: it’s not because they hate veterans.
After blocking the legislation late last week, both CBS and NBC were quick to pounce on Republicans for turning around and voting for the legislation on Tuesday evening.
If you made the misguided decision to rely on either CBS or NBC for your news, you would never know that Senate Democrats stuffed the bill with over $396 billion in mandatory spending.
Much of which has nothing to do with care for veterans. Once Democrats allowed GOP Senators to add amendment to the legislation, the GOP were willing to support the legislation.
Instead of explaining that to viewers, CBS Evening News led off their coverage with congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane whining how the “long-awaited plan to expand medical benefits for service members headed towards passage, making it easier for vets sickened by toxic fumes from burn pits, to get treatment.”
“Veterans felt blindsided last week when Republicans unexpectedly blocked the burn pit legislation,” MacFarlane wailed. Moments later, he reported without any explanation as to why “Republicans dropped their opposition” to the legislation. Just that they did so.
During NBC Nightly News’s report, congressional correspondent Ali Vitali wasn’t any more transparent in her report, simply adding that “this comes after days of pressure from veterans and advocates including Jon Stewart.” Which isn’t true since Jon Stewart has zero sway over Republicans.
Vitali added that the Senate is “taking up a bill that would expand health care access for vets suffering after exposure to toxic burn pits advocates were confident this bill would pass last week given an earlier version passed the Senate in a bipartisan fashion in June, but then 25 Republicans flipped their support.”
Again, Vitali — just like MacFarlane on CBS —didn’t reveal why Republicans decided to back the legislation after previously opposing it.
It turns out that if you stuff a bill related to care for veterans with Democrat Party pet projects, Republicans will fight to cut that waste out. It has nothing to do with not supporting veteran care. CBS & NBC know that but the truth doesn’t matter. Only the Democrat Party narrative does.
To read the relevant transcripts click “expand”:
CBS Evening News
August 2, 2022
6:37:23 p.m. Eastern
JOHN DICKERSON: After nearly a week of delays, outrage and protests, tonight the Senate is once again trying to pass a bill which will expand healthcare and disability benefits to veterans exposed to toxic burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. CBS' Scott MacFarlane has the latest.
SCOTT MACFARLANE: With war veterans outside the Capitol demanding action, a long-awaited plan to expand medical benefits for service members headed towards passage, making it easier for vets sickened by toxic fumes from burn pits, to get treatment. Susan Zeier's son-in-law Heath Robinson died from lung cancer, she believes from exposure to burn pits in Iraq.
MACFARLANE: Veterans felt blindsided last week when Republicans unexpectedly blocked the burn pit legislation.
JON STEWART: They haven't met a veteran they won't screw over.
MACFARLANE: Their protest was powered by talk show host Jon Stewart.
MACFARLANE: Tonight, Republicans dropped their opposition.
MACFARLANE: Veterans' organizations tell CBS News this legislation could impact more than three million vets, including those exposed to toxins as far back as Vietnam. The President supports the bill, says he'll sign it as soon as it reaches his desk.
NBC Nightly News
August 2, 2022
7:07:30 p.m. Eastern
LESTER HOLT: Just breaking tonight, the Senate reaching a deal on a bill to expand health care benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan days after it was blocked by Republicans. Ali Vitali is at the Capitol. Ali, what more do we know about this?
ALI VITALI: Lester, this comes after days of pressure from veterans and advocates including Jon Stewart. The Senate tonight again taking up a bill that would expand health care access for vets suffering after exposure to toxic burn pits advocates were confident this bill would pass last week given an earlier version passed the Senate in a bipartisan fashion in June, but then 25 Republicans flipped their support.
What would you say to these folks about how long this took?
SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER: It shouldn't have taken this long. We never should have had to do this to begin with, but here we are.
VITALI: Stewart telling me before the vote that veterans kept waiting while the Senate revisited this issue, deserve an apology after days spent protesting and even sleeping outside the Capitol pressuring lawmakers. All of them huddled together tonight inside the Senate chamber to watch this historic vote happen.