Newsmax host squirms over GOP senator’s 'procedural argument' for blocking veterans benefits
North Dakota's Sen. Kevin Cramer, photo by Gage Skidmore.

At the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., a group of military veterans has been staging a sit-in to express their displeasure with Republicans who have been holding up a bill that would extend health care benefits to millions of veterans who were exposed to toxins in the line of duty. GOP senators holding up the bill have included Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, who discussed his reasons for doing so during a Friday, July 29 appearance on right-wing Newsmax TV — making a procedural argument that even Newsmax host Shaun Kraisman found frustrating.

After telling Newsmax that he supports “final passage of this legislation,” Cramer accused Democrats of favoring “their own pet projects” over the needs of veterans and went into what journalist Aaron Rupar described as a “painful procedural argument that” Kraisman didn’t “buy.” Newsmax prides itself on being even more right-wing and more pro-Donald Trump than Fox News and Fox Business, but the Cramer interview was one time when a Newsmax host didn’t reflexively find a way to blame Democrats.

Kraisman, sounding frustrated, told Cramer, “But you can imagine — you can imagine — veterans that have served overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan, back in the Vietnam era, that have sacrificed their lives for us to be here today, are watching you and I have a conversation about certain pieces of this bill when all they want to do is get health care. Hey, stop all this back and forth, get us the health care that we need.”

Interviewed by The Hill on July 28, Rosie Torres, co-founder and executive director of the group Burn Pits 360, compared Republicans holding up the bill to getting “punched in the gut.”

Torres, discussing the sit-in at the Capitol, told The Hill, “They shouldn’t be here, and to know that we’re in that America where they’ve turned their backs on veterans and their families are sick and dying — it’s disgusting. But if this is what we have to do to get the bill passed, and at all costs, all measures, we’re going to get it done.”

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