Jon Stewart Slams Ted Cruz Video As Row Heats Up: 'Not Tonite Sweetie'

A war of words between Jon Stewart and Republican Senator Ted Cruz over veterans' healthcare has intensified, with the comedian accusing the Republican politician of "trying to rally the forces of misinformation to try and kill more vets".

The dispute began when many Republican Senators refused to back the PACT Act, introduced to provide healthcare for millions of military veterans exposed to toxic burn pits during their service.

As a result the bill, which began as bipartisan, fell five votes short of the 60 it needed to pass the Senate.

Republicans argued Democrats altered the bill to increase spending in other areas, with Cruz accusing the party of seeking to "exploit veterans" to provide "$400 billion in discretionary spending that has nothing to do with veterans".

After the bill failed to pass Stewart, an outspoken supporter of military veterans, attacked Senate Republicans in an expletive-filled speech outside Congress.

Cruz responded to the comedian with a 1.59 minute video posted on Twitter, in which he said he would support the bill if a Democrat "accounting gimmick", which he argued could lead to an additional $400 billion in spending, is removed.

Ted Cruz and Jon Stewart
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during the America First Agenda Summit, at the Marriott Marquis hotel July 26, 2022 and Jon Stewart speaks to the press before a news conference about the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act on Capitol Hill July 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. DREW ANGERER/GETTY

Stewart hit back, tweeting: "Ah dearest Theodore. I do appreciate you and Jesse Watters trying to rally the forces of misinformation to try and kill more vets…but not tonite sweetie.

"I'll go slow cuz I know you only went to Princeton and Harvard…

"Show everyone where in the Pact Act is this 400 billion dollars blank check or unrelated spending that was added/snuck in…OR show section 805 c of the actual bill that explicitly states what the Toxic Exposure Fund can be used for.

"Show everyone what was added/snuck into the Pact Act that YOU voted for on June 16, that made you change to No in July. Be specific. Or were you for the bill before you were against it Senator Kerry.

"No one is playing politics with the Pact Act but you, Toomey and your band of merry monsters. Stop f***ing around and pass the bill you already had passed. Thank you for coming to my Ted Cruz talk."

Until the mid-2010s the U.S. military had a policy of burning waste in warzones, which could include chemical waste and human feces, in large pits.

This has since been linked to serious health issues among veterans including cancer and respiratory illness.

During his earlier address to Stewart, Cruz said: "When it concerns the PACT Act I support the PACT Act.

"The issue here is the Democrats included in this bill an accounting gimmick, where they took $400 billion of discretionary spending they shifted it to mandatory spending.

"The reason they did that is it created a hole for $400 billion in new discretionary spending. They want to cram $400 billion in unrelated spending onto this bill that has nothing to do with veterans.

"Given inflation that is skyrocketing this country I think another $400 billion is irresponsible.

"There's a very easy way to get it passed which is for the Democrats to stop playing budgetary gains, stop trying to fill the bill with pork and exploit veterans and instead focus on veterans' health where this bill should be focused."

Newsweek has contacted Cruz and Stewart for comment.