“What you’ve done, Jon matters. It really, really matters,” Biden mentioned Wednesday within the East Room on the day he signed the PACT Act into regulation.
The PACT Act, also called the Honoring our Pact Act, contains well being protection for veterans — a lot of whom are grappling with most cancers — after publicity to burn pits whereas serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“You refused to let anyone forget,” Biden mentioned, addressing an emotional Stewart, who was within the viewers.
“We owe you big, man,” Biden added. “We owe you big.”
To the veterans, members of the family and lawmakers within the room, Biden added: “All the rest of you, you never gave up the fight. You never quit. You didn’t stop, no matter what you were told.”
Stewart was an indefatigable champion for increasing well being care protection for veterans. He doubled down and lashed out at Republican senators after they unexpectedly blocked the invoice final month. Earlier this 12 months, the PACT Act handed by means of the Senate however the 25 Republicans who beforehand backed it withdrew their assist throughout July’s vote.
Veterans had traveled to Washington, D.C., to rejoice the passage of the invoice final month and as a substitute held a “fire watch” vigil exterior the Capitol. They have been joined by Stewart, who talked to the press on the time to shoot down arguments towards the invoice by GOP lawmakers.
Biden, who was in isolation on the time attributable to COVID, talked to the veterans in a video name and despatched them pizza.
The Senate held one other vote on the invoice final week and the measure handed with overwhelming bipartisan assist.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a situation where people who have already given so much had to fight so hard to get so little,” Stewart mentioned on Aug. 2 after the invoice’s passage. “I hope we learned a lesson.”