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tv   Washington Journal Open Phones  CSPAN  August 2, 2022 1:34pm-2:36pm EDT

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committee hearings and investigating the attack on the capital. go to to watch the latest videos survey hearings, briefings and all of our coverage on the attack and subsequent investigation since january 6, 2020 one. we will also have reaction from members of congress and the white house as will as journalists and authors talking about the investigation. @cspanwj. good morning to you all. start dialing in, texting us and posting. . we will get your thoughts in just a. minute on this legislation. it is. called "the honoring our pact act." it adds 23 burn pit and toxic
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exposure related conditions to the v.a.'s list of presumptions, and it expands presumptions related to agent orange exposure to the vietnam war. it strengthens and improves the is resources for training for exposed veterans, and there is additional money set aside to bolster v.a.'s claims processing and health care facilities. we want to know what you think about this debate in washington. as we told you, jon stewart, comedian and activist was there last week with veterans, to celebrate what they thought they were doing, celebrating passage of the bill. instead, it was blocked. it failed to advance to a vote, 55-42, falling short of the 60 votes needed. 20 republicans opposed it. senate majority leader chuck schumer on the floor yesterday,
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saying he is bringing the bill back. >> in the past few days, the capitol has been the site of something we shouldn't see in this country, dozens of veterans protesting through the night, demanding that the senate take action under health care benefits. they are there right now as we speak. no veteran who would sacrifice for our country should ever have to resort to spending the night on the capitol steps to secure their benefits. but sadly, in this case, they have. it is unfortunate that republican colleagues choose to block the passage of this bill last week, even though this is exactly what legislation many of them supported in june, with one small technical fix. in the coming days we will give senate republicans another chance to do the right thing, to work with us so we can send this bill to the president's desk asap. since 9/11, nearly 3.5 million veterans have been exposed to
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toxic burn pit in the line of duty, leading to complications like cancer, lung disease and other illnesses. . but instead of getting the care they need without delay, many have had to hire lawyers and jump through hoops, have to sue the veterans administration to get the help they deserve and need, incurred as they served our country in dangerous places like iraq and vietnam. is that incredible? they have wasted years fighting the v.a. just to get the care they need, when they should have spent the time treating their illnesses. it is people parts tragic and infuriating. our veterans have already given their all to defend our nation from threats abroad. they should not have to fight a second war here at home just to get the health care benefits they rightfully deserve. host: majority leader chuck schumer saying the senate will vote once again this week on this veterans health care bill for those friends who have been exposed to burn pit in the middle east, iraq, afghanistan.
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from politico, their headline saying -- republicans have reversed course. they reported that minority leader mitch mcconnell declined to respond to a question monday about why the legislation was held up coal it will pass this week" he told a reporter. at the republicans struck a similar tone. a senator from wyoming told politico he would, quote, "expected to pass." republican from south dakota, mcdonald's number two echoed that,,, quote, "at some point this will pass, and it will pass big." republicans said they block the bill because they were concerned over what senator pat toomey of pennsylvania called "a budget gimmick." that language was in the bill when it initially passed the senate in an 88-14 vote.
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but in june, a technical snag forced the senators to vote for it again. we will hear from our first color on the debate. what do you think? caller: it is a very good thing that the bill has been passed. but it is disturbing that whenever a bill is presented, they bundle in other bills. just put one bill with one thing in there and that we can avoid all this nonsense. as far as republicans, and there are some democrat politicians -- they are the worst of all human beings. they always use the veterans when they take photos to get into some political office, but they are careless about these veterans. to think that people have to be publicly disgraced in order to pass a bill -- my father was in
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the military for 26 years, and he was treated like garbage. . he was not a disabled veteran, but after he got out, it was so hard for him to get benefits. these politicians should be ashamed. they are the worst of the worst human beings. they have no problem sending these men to war to fight for whatever reason they want, but when it is time to take care of them, they don't want to do it. i am very happy this bill got passed, and hopefully no other servicemember should ever have to go through this again. host: well, it has not passed yet, it is slated for a vote this week, but it looks like it is on its way to passage, and then to the president's desk for signature. this was approved in the senate in june by a vote of 88-14, but there were changes to the text and it was sent back to the house. the house sent a technical tweak to remove an obscure tax provision that some said rate cause additional concerns, and
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it passed again, 342-88 on july 13. but because of the technical change, they had to send it back to the senate for another vote, last week, wednesday night. that is when republicans opposed it, because of what senator pat toomey said was "budget gimmicky." john in jacksonville, florida, democratic collar. go ahead. good morning to you. caller: they play too many games. that is all i have to say. host: ok. you are in the military. active or retired? caller: retired. host: what do you think of this debate? caller: i think the only reason that they put the $400 billion in pork in there was to try to make republicans look bad by
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voting against it. there should have been no pork at all. a bill for veterans only. for health care. i think it is unconscionable what these democrats are doing. host: watch four are you referring to? caller: the -- host: what pork are you referring to? caller: the 400 billion dollars in there that didn't have anything at all to do with the bill for veterans. $400 billion more that they could have spent on this idiotic green new deal. host: ok. but listen to senator toomey explain why he and others opposed it. he was on cnn sundays political show. here's what he had to say. [video clip] >> the top republican on the senate veterans affairs committee says he thinks republicans should pass this now and fix any problems that emerge later. >> except there is never an
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opportunity to fix the problems later. that is why they are not giving us the opportunity now. they know they can prevent us from fixing it later. >> one of the questions i think people have about what you are claiming is a budgetary gimmick is, the v.a. budget will always remain subject to congressional oversight. . they can't just spend this money anyway they want. how i read this legislation, it says that this money has to be spent on health care for veterans who suffered exposure from burn pits. >> this is why they do this sort of thing, jake, it gets very deep in the weeds and very confusing very quickly. it's not really about veterans pending. it is about what category of the government bookkeeping they put the spending in. it will have no effect on the amount of money or the circumstances under which the money for veterans is being spent, but what i want to do is treat it for government accounting purposes that we we
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have always treated it for government accounting purposes. if we change it the way the democrats want, it creates room in future budgets for $400 billion of totally unrelated extraneous spending on other matters. that is what i want to prevent, we are spending too much money to hide behind the veterans bill the opportunity to go on an unrelated $400 billion spending spree. is wrong and we should not allow it. host:. host: that was senator pat toomey on sunday. from the new york times reporting -- the measure would create a new, guaranteed funding stream not subject to congressional appropriations for trading veterans exposed to toxins. republicans warned that could lead to a vast, unchecked spending by the department of veterans affairs. but we want to make sure that the pact act is not used as a vehicle to increase spending outside the objective of the bill, which is to cover specific health care and benefits for
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veterans. that is a quote from senator toomey. he proposed imposing an animal kept and ending the entitlement after 10 years, meaning the funding to care for veterans exposed to toxins wouldn't be guaranteed unless congress voted to provide it after 10 years. there is some reporting that senator schumer will let senator toomey proposed this amendment. there is also reporting, though, the debt won't get enough votes -- that that will not get enough votes to be included in the final legislation. let's hear from ron in michigan. ron, are you active or retired military? caller: good morning, gretchen. i am a veteran, my son is active during military right now. i was in vietnam, i was exposed to agent orange, still trying to collect my v.a. benefits. when -- vietnam veterans against
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the war was first to try and get recognition for ptsd, agent orange, and other related illnesses from vietnam. we were called cowards. we were spit on by vfw, american legion. our own government fought us. we fought for agent orange recognition and we got it. this bill should be passed immediately. over soldiers are -- host: have you seen the provisions that would help those exposed to agent orange, they are included in this bill as well. caller: yes. this bill should be passed. this may be one of the reasons why we can't recruit enough soldiers. they see that their fathers,, their uncles their brothers are dying and not getting compensated. do you think a young man or woman wants to join the military and see how their relatives or friends are being treated? it is despicable the way that this government treats our veterans. plain and simple.
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anybody who opposes this bill should be exposed for being a traitor. there is nothing more important than our military, in our opinion, and the veterans that have served. host: so on this debate with senator toomey about the budgetary gimmick in this legislation, because it would be mandatory, not discretionary spending, the leader of this legislation, senator jon tester, democrat of montana, was on pbs last night. here is how he responded to that. [video clip] >> what do you say to republicans, and we have parted from senator toomey, and by the way, we asked him to join us tonight. 's office said he was not able to do that. but they say this is all about how this is funded. that there is language here about mandatory versus discretionary, this is what they have told my colleague. how do you respond to that? >> there is. there is mandatory funding to
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take care of veterans. mandatory funding to take care of our veterans. congress cannot come in and say, we will not fund this program anymore, or we don't have to do it year after year after year. in that vein, they are correct. but for the people who put their lives on the line and serve this country in the military, is that not a good thing? shouldn't they have the certainty to know their health care be there next year, and in the case of burn pits where we have been at war for 20 years and these folks are suffering cancers and lung diseases because of this, shouldn't congress take care of their end of the deal? they should. we did on june 16, but unfortunately now that has been forgotten. i think that is a huge mistake, especially for our volunteer military and folks looking to sign up, looking at this and going, wow. if they are not living up to the end of the deal, why would i want to join? host: the senate is set to vote from the stalled health care bill for those exposed to agent
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orange in previous wars, and burn pits in most recent wars. our next caller is a veteran in tampa, florida. what do you say? caller: all i say is that, veterans and people of color, they all vote against their own interest. you get veterans that call in -- a listen to the show everyday and you have people that call in, all, it is the democrats. oh, it is the republicans. they don't understand that both parties do what they do at the end of the day. you get some people caught up, believing that the republican party cares about veterans, when they all don't care about veterans. we just need to quit voting against our interests. when you have got constituents
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voting in people who have never served to make laws for them, then we will get what we deserve. i went to iraq and afghanistan. i have respiratory issues from the burn pits. [indiscernible] these people are voting against a bill that would help them. [indiscernible] it is just sad for veterans as well as others to be voting against -- . host: all right. khris, kentucky, independent. hi. caller: good morning. i think we ought to pass the bill for our veterans. but can i tell you about the biggest waste of taxpayer money for veterans that i have seen? we have a retired prosecutor chasing people around with an
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air force drone over $10 for eight years and six month now, and it costs half $1 million a day for taxpayers money to do this. host: ok. ronnie in irving, texas. democratic caller. what do you say about this debate in washington over the veterans' health care bill? caller: thank you for taking my call. they should pass this bill immediately. the republicans are doing what they always do, they are playing it for political reasons. there was nothing changed when they voted on it from when they agreed on it the first time. you had your senators like that idiot ted cruz from texas, that plays everything from every angle for his own political gains. this bill should be passed immediately. there is nothing more important than taking care of our veterans. they are being screwed from
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vietnam on words. like i said, this bill needs to be passed immediately. the veterans need to be taken care of. if we can't take care of them, that says a lot about the kind of people we are. host: ronnie, i want to get your reaction, this is from a magazine, "the pact act would create a service presumption for 23 conditions, including several types of cancer, leukemia, bronchitis, for veterans who were stationed in 17 countries during particular times, including iraq during the gulf war's, and afghanistan after 9/11. . the secretary of veterans affairs would have power to add more conditions in countries that would qualify. the bill would stop veteran from having to prove that those conditions were linked to their service for getting treatment for them. there is a pretty extensive
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eligibility criteria. someone who served in iraq and is diagnosed later will be helped. even though they were never exposed to a burn pit, or were also a lifelong smoker. " what do you think? caller: i think they will have regulations in place. i don't think they will just approve anybody and everybody. i think there will be a system of checks and balances to where they will be able to check it out and make sure that the person is actually eligible for that. i don't think it would be that izzy as they make it sound -- be that easy as they make it sound. host: thomas is our next caller, a veteran. caller: i am in vietnam-era draftee for two years and ended up staying 18. retired in 1989. republicans don't give one, about veterans.
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. they pretend that they do, but when it comes down to getting benefits for veterans, all for photo ops and when it is in their best interest. guy's like ted cruz, lindsey graham, matt gaetz, all those guys pretend that we are for the veterans, but they don't give damn. they could care less. veterans vote, too. all my veterans out there -- call these guys out in november and let them know oh, hey, our vote counts, too. thank you, gretchen. host: ok. ted in pennsylvania, independent. hi, ted. caller: good morning. i will just give you some perspective. i served, but i was deployed to kandahar. being exposed to burn pits -- i
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have to say, when i came of my deployment and those doing our physical after the deployment, i told the doctors, it is really odd. i feel like i have lost volume in my lungs, because everyone a lot so i am pretty sensitive to that. i said, i feel like i have lost volume in my lungs. they all attributed it to, you are exposed to dust storms over there with all sorts of particulates. so just passing that along as a personal experience. i do hope that they pass the legislation. i think it is important. i heard your comment about [indiscernible] it would be good to have some gatekeeping, i think that would be important. host: ted, before you go, it is a little hard to hear you, you sound a little bit muffled. can i just ask you to explain to our viewers or tell them what it was like, how close were you to these burn pits when you were there, and how long will you exposed to them? caller: i was deployed for about
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eight months, and when they would do the burning, it was like it was snowing at times. because they would shut down everything and it was plastics and everything, and it would be out doing your physical exercise, say, around the perimeter, and going through it. you would just be exposed to it. there was no way to not be exposed to it. i would add, too, there were all sorts of particulates in the dust that you would breathe in. you might try to cover your mouth, but there is only so much you can do. so i think to this day, i don't have any lung disease at the moment, but it would be nice to know that if something happens down the road because of that, that there is an opportunity.
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so i hope it passes. host: so you don't have care through the v.a. now? caller: i do not. i have regular insurance. host: so if this becomes an issue, you will seek care. when you were there for those eight months, being exposed to it, did it have in order to it as well? caller: it was just smoke. you could see stuff laying around. it was just open burn pits. imagine you are having a fire in your backyard and you are just shoving everything in there. host: when you say everything, what are you talking about? obviously, plastic. caller: whatever garbage you needed to burn. there is no annotation system. host: was there any acknowledgment at the time by your leaders that this could be dangerous? did they know? did they tell you to put a face
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mask on or be inside at a certain time? caller: no, we were fighting a war. we needed to get business done. there was really no discussion about it. host: ted in pennsylvania, independent. we will go to benji in new york, republican. hi. caller: good morning. i want to say that i am so frustrated in my fellow republicans. i don't know their -- they are doing things that they are not supposed to do, and then they are doing things that they are supposed to do. people are getting so frustrated. . they are supposed to pass bills. this is our veterans we are talking about, you know? we are getting so frustrated. they sit around doing nothing. , just giving the democrats more points. host: so you are worried that this could help democrats in the midterm elections in november?
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caller: i think so. this will help them big time, because these guys are not doing anything. i talked to my friends on the road and stuff, they say the republicans are not doing nothing, and the democrats are going to make it so nice for themselves. they are going in there and pass bills and make biden look so beautiful, you know what i mean? this republican party, i don't know. i don't know. host: ok. more of your thoughts, coming up. remember to text as well 202-748-8003. ,or send a tweet with the handle, @cspanwj, or on in other news, the u.s. navy deployed four warships east of taiwan as the speaker of the house heads toward taipei. she is headed to taiwan at some point today, arriving there on wednesday.
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in taiwan, they are 12 hours ahead of us here on the east coast. it is 7:30 p.m. there. and according to news reports, she will make that trip to taiwan. it is not clear how long she stays, but it looks like the military is preparing for her visit. the u.s. military. there are some reports of possibly a military escort as she makes her way there, despite warnings by the national security. other news, democrats race to ready the inflation reduction act for a vote this week. they are using that reconciliation procedure, which means they will not need the 60 votes that they normally need, they can pass it with 50. but they cannot lose any democrats, and we haven't yet heard from kyrsten sinema, democrat of arizona, on how she plans to vote for that.
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also, the president addressing the nation in primetime last night, to announce that he authorized a u.s. drone strike tokyo, successfully, ayman al-zawahiri, who is -- was al qaeda's top leader, replacing osama bin laden. the president saying yesterday that he was deeply involved in the planning of the 9/11 attacks, and the mastermind of other attacks like the uss cole and embassies in africa. if you missed the president last night, you can watch it on, michael in hudson, florida. let's hear from you, veteran. when did you serve, michael? caller: this is michael. i did not serve. i was born in 1957, got out of high school in 1975, so i missed vietnam. i was very lucky.
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i wanted to go fight, but thank god, i didn't have to. our poor veterans. they are still fighting for insurance. it is just unbelievable. these are americans. 17, 18, 19, 20 years old, they go to war and fight for us and get killed and get diseases. they stand around burn pits. the questions of what was burned is just crazy, there is stuff being burned that you don't even want to know about. our poor veterans had to breathe that stuff in and can't get help from our u.s. government? it is pathetic. it is sad. democrats i was a democrat -- but i am in between right now. republicans, come on, make sure our veterans are always insured. just like a job. when they leave if they have a problem, it should be addressed. thank you. i hope i made a point. host: caller: it troubles me tow
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the republican senators were high-fiving each other after they voted no. host: where did you learn that? caller: i sought on four different new show. it's troubling to see that one of my senators, rick scott voted no on this bill. it breaks my heart that republicans who are taken care of by american taxpayers who are senators have a pension for the rest of their lives and great medical care can't find it in their hearts to honor military veterans who have protected them in many different circumstances.
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republicans like to win it, they don't like to govern. that's all i have to say. host: jim in arizona, a veteran. good morning to you. caller: this technical thing they are talking about in the bill, what that was is there is a provision that after 10 years, that was taken out. now they are calling it a slush fund. you don't want that provision in there. that's what they can start messing with your insurance again. it is taken out. vote for this thing. to me isn't even in the senate. he's not responsible for this anymore. it's like the january 6 thing. it's right in front of your nose but you can't see it. come on. host: when did you serve?
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caller: 1980-2000 and the navy. i've been watching c-span ever since 2000. i can see these tricks these politicians play. senator tester just said that's what all about, the 10 year provision. they are going to let it sunset. they took that out. host: ok. michigan it, a democratic color. what do you say? caller: i come from a military family. i didn't go into the military, my sister did. my uncle did. he was exposed to agent orange because he would keep people that were injured in the helicopters. they consider him dead for six months. my thing is this, people in the military have less right than me
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and you as individuals. they put their lives on the line for me and you. they should be taken care of when they get out of the military. this government is not doing them right. thank you. host: as we told you, jon stewart and these veterans who were here last week hoping to celebrate passage, and it was blocks. as many of you saw, they held an angry news conference after was blocked. they have been in washington since then. yesterday, john stuart, this is from the tmz website. he gets into a shouting match over this legislation. take a look at that altercation. >> what's the problem?
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i'm not even against you guys. >> then why are you posting? host: john stuart yesterday. as tmz noted, here he is apologizing to fellow protesters. >> i'm sorry. he knows he is lying. it's costing you guys. that's not ok. nobody is coming here and trolling us and telling us something that is a true and holding back on what you deserve and what you worked for. i'm fighting for you. we are not letting this go. >> thank you. host: yesterday on capitol hill,
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hoping to pressure lawmakers, republicans to reverse course as it seems they have done in past the veterans health care bill. the majority leader said it is coming back to the senate for vote this week. we want you to tell these lawmakers your thoughts on the debate. brad is in north carolina. good morning. caller: i just want to talk about -- host: we will go to you, apologies if anybody heard that. go ahead. caller: the bill should pass. i'm a veteran of iraq. i am in flora. i find it appalling.
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i find it appalling that rick scott voted no. he is a navy veteran himself. the v.a. motto is to care for him who have borne the battle and his widow. these lawmakers are not honoring the v.a. the bill has stuff that is going to help veterans and it has things in their from state to state. host: you are breaking up. let me remind our viewers if they miss the top of the conversation what is in this legislation. it's called the honoring our packed act. it would extend health care to
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combat veterans. it adds burn pit illnesses. it expands presumptions to agent orange exposure. this is from senator tester, it would strengthen research on toxics exposure and improve resources and training for those veterans and there is money to bolster claims processing and v.a. health care facilities. vincent is in new jersey. good morning. caller: hello. thank you for the opportunity. i think that for the veterans since they have less -- risk their lives fighting for us, technically on both sides, this shouldn't be a thing. my solution, it should be for the military vets for them to be
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taken care. get universal health care. bring that to this country. they risked their lives for us. we should stop playing games with their lives. we talk about thanking them for what they have done, sacrificing. it is time for universal health care to be here for them so they can be treated like royalty. host: ohio, and dependent, what do you think? joe in ohio? caller: hello? can you hear me? hello? host: you have to turn down your television. moving on. howard is in texas. you are a veteran. caller: good morning.
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how are you doing. host: thank you for your service. caller: i -- 75-80. i was in the air force. host: what do you think about this legislation? caller: is it just for the veterans? is there any oversight? i haven't seen anything. it's crazy what he does. i don't know why he's acting like he's acting and speaking the way he's speaking. what has president biden done since he's been a politician for veterans? host: randy is in pennsylvania. a veteran. good morning. caller: i think this was a ploy for the midterms. i've been going to the v.a. for 40 years. i've never been turned down for anything. they have taken care of me for 40 years. this is all nonsense.
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the republicans of always taken care of veterans. democrats of always pushed back against veterans. it's more democratic ploys for the midterms. host: dean is in kentucky. caller: i'm a vietnam veteran. i go to the v.a. and i have to fight to get anything. they don't do nothing for you. i'm a republican. it disturbs me because these people didn't go fight for their country. you don't want to be a guinea pig.
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i go to v.a. and nothing happens. thank you. host: in other news, many of you know about the flooding in kentucky. here is a headline from the local news there. the governor said the death toll has risen to at least 37. the republican leader in the senate mitch mcconnell is from that state. he took to the floor to talk about what's happened in his home state. >> eastern kentucky is reeling from some of the worst flooding in history. they are still experiencing rainfall today. this tragic crisis is far from over. in jackson, water reached 43 feet high. drone footage shows towns
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completely submerged. roadways of turned into rivers. across more than a dozen counties, severe rainstorms have created crisis conditions. water rose too quickly for many to react. the governor says at least 30 kentuckians have lost their lives, including children. i think that number is likely to rise in coming days. families of lost homes, businesses, heirlooms, eastern kentucky is well known for its steep hill tops.
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the features make it one of the most unique in the country. it creates complications for emergency personnel. our first responders including the national guard from kentucky and surrounding states are working overtime to find and recover stranded residents. they rescued 1400 individuals. nearly half of the rescues were by air. host: mitch mcconnell, a republican of kentucky talking about the flooding. he was on the floor yesterday. the death toll is 30, it will likely rise and it has. the governor says at least 37 have died in that flooding. we also have this headline from the wall street journal. a writer gets more than seven years. he was the first defendant to
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stand trial was convicted of obstruction, a gun crime, other charges by a jury in march. hundreds of other defendants way whether to take plea deals or continue fighting their charges. let's hear from rose in maryland, good morning to you. we are asking you about lawmakers, what do you think about the veteran health care bill and the debate over passing it. what do you think? caller: good morning. i am the widow of an honorably discharged navy veteran who was in the reserves. he died in 2012 at suburban hospital. i took him out of the v.a. they did not diagnose him correctly. they knew he had melanoma.
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when it started to met a test to size in his body, they didn't tell me that. that was determined by the er. he only lived another month because they said it was just too far gone. i am hoping this bill gets passed. the burn pit thing, i don't what -- understand what the symptoms are. i think there should be a precedence and give priorities to the ones who don't have much money and can't afford to seek out other opinions from the private medical world. that could save lives in the end. give them the medical care they really need. host: you said you don't really understand the burn pits.
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you don't understand what happened. caller: i don't have real knowledge of it. it sounds terrible. any kind of burn thing and how toxic it is. i represent the general public, we really need to be told the level of how severe it gets when it gets to stage one, 3, 4. the congress and senators need to be educated more. maybe they would see this issue and attack it more readily. it needs to be passed right away. i hope they pass it. i hope jamie raskin is all for it. he is still dealing with the horrible insurrection, it's justified that he spends time on that.
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he and the senators, they need to take action on it mutely. host: i will read from wikipedia about these burn pits. there are ways to dispose of nonhazardous solid waste. incinerators, burial, landfill. burning is a way to dispose of the waste from the site. it increases the risk of fumes due to modern waste. there is plastic, shipping materials, electronic waste that may met toxic compounds. they were criticized and resulted in a lawsuit. these instances have been criticized. the effects of burn pits seem to be similar to fire debris cleanup.
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that is wikipedia. i'm sure you can find other sources. caller: that gives me more definition. if this is about plastic bottles, that's another reason to not use plastic drinking waddles and to use one decent one and just fill it with water that you keep at home in a jug or that you purify. host: we will go to jeff in kentucky. when did you serve? caller: i served from 1986 until 1989. i'm at desert storm veteran. it's a big hole in the ground, anything they put in there that they can burn they put in. host: what do you think about this debate? caller: my opinion is it's nothing to do with democrats or
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republicans. they told me when i went in you will get your medical benefits when you get out. they do not stand behind that. it's time that they got off their bots and started taking care of the veterans. i work with them every day. i know vietnam veterans that have not got their health benefits yet. they are still waiting. agent orange veterans are still waiting to get their benefits. host: this legislation has provisions and it the deal with agent orange as well. caller: yes. how many years has vietnam been over? it shouldn't take that long to get a veteran their benefits. host: from the new york times,
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this would affect 3.5 billion veterans and rivals the agent orange act. let's hear from ben in fort lauderdale, independent. are you there? let me try this one more time. good morning. caller: i was in the navy between the late 70's and 80's. i was stationed in guam where i
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was exposed to agent orange through the water levels. i went into severe diabetes which caused me to lose my kidney. thank god i had a transplant. i went lined. i voted for rick scott and i'm ashamed to say that i voted for him. he is playing with the uso, would a soldier rather have crackers or medical for his family? this is crazy. host: david is in ohio. caller: how are you doing? good morning. if the people the truth they wouldn't be saying all this stuff. they put all the other krapp in these vehicles, they don't vote it down because they let these
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things go through. host: jon tester said this the same bill that republicans passed earlier this year in june. there is just one small technical change. he said he would sit down with anyone and go line by line and show it's the same bill that passed in june. caller: that wasn't in the same bill. they don't pass it. by the even have to make a bill? every veteran should get health care. they shouldn't have to go through the v.a.
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i've tried to fight for benefits for 13 years. i had a woman at the v.a. said there wasn't nothing wrong with me for 10 years. she sent me to a hospital. i never got the paperwork from my v.a. records. they denied me the whole time. host: we will go to antonio.
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that were transported to b-52s. the area i worked, the pipeline was sprayed with agent orange to keep the security perimeters open and visible. the v.a. has denied all veterans of thailand service connection to a whole list of presumptive illnesses that if you were in vietnam and worked under the exact same conditions, you got a
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presumption. you didn't have to prove that you got whatever, it was presumed that you did. so service connection for the veterans of thailand as well as the burn pits is the issue. i for one think this should not be a political battle at all. my personal opinion, and i have read every word of the bill in its original form, 3370 three as well as 3970 three, that was the original house bill -- there is no difference in the bill. i listened to senator blackburn yesterday from tennessee speaking about, and it was really sad to hear what she was saying, that this would add three point 5 million veterans
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to the roles of the v.a., thereby slowing down services to where veterans could not receive the health care they deserve. the reality of it is, these veterans we are talking about are already being served by the ba. -- v.a.. it has nothing to do with whether or not they receive health care, it has to do with whether they receive disability and connected benefits. it's sad, but one of your callers addressed an issue that is kind of a colored issue, if you will, it is grey in color, that there are certain senators that have promoted the privatization of the v.a. for many years. she talked about the community care program, which i have used because i live in a very rural area.
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i have to travel 90 miles to the v.a. community care works, but it's not the answer. we don't need to replace the v.a. thank you for taking my call. host: susan in california, republican. caller: yes, i am for it. my father was a pow during world war ii, but i understand that more was put in the bill after it was voted on. $400 billion was put in the bill after it was voted on. host: susan, senator toomey says he is concerned that $400 billion could be used in future years as a slush fund to pay for things that are not related to health care, but i did not hear him say there is $400 billion in there. caller: to me wasn't the only
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one talking. i think if they want to put more in the bill, they can pick it up again and vote for it and it can pass. host: it sounds like it will be coming up for a vote again this week. chuck schumer says he is bringing it back to the floor for about. welcome back, we are an open forum for 30 minutes this morning. you can talk about any policy issue on your mind. republicans, 202-748-8000. democrats, 202-748-8001. all the papers last night, the
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president highlighting a drone strike to successfully kill al qaeda's leader, who took over for osama bin laden when he was killed during the biden administration. the president says he was deeply involved in the planning of 9/11 attacks and the mastermind behind attacks of embassies in africa. >> for years, under president bush, obama and trump, our community located him earlier this year and moved to downtown kabul to reunite with members of his immediate family. after carefully considering the clearly can mentioned evidence of his location, i authorized a precision strike that would remove him from the battlefield once and for all. this mission was carefully planned and rigorously minimize the risk of harm to other
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civilians, and one week ago, after being advised that the conditions were optimal, i gave the final approval to go get him. the mission was a success. none of his family members were hurt and there were no civilian casualties. i am sharing this news with the american people now after confirming the missions total success through the painstaking work of our counterterrorism community and key allies and partners. [inaudible]


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