Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Falsely Claims Rubio Voted Against PACT Act

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Falsely Claims Rubio Voted Against PACT Act

Florida Rep. caught in lie about Senator's vote for veteran healthcare bill

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
July 28, 2022

Ahead of the midterms, the cutthroat nature of politics rears its ugly head once more. On July 28th, Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL)  engaged in a bit of mudslinging against Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). In a tweet published Thursday afternoon, Rep. Wasserman Schultz alleged that Rubio voted against the PACT Act, a bill expanding healthcare to veterans exposed to toxins.

"MAGA Republicans say they care about veterans, but Senators like @SenRickScott + @SenRubioPress just blocked expanded health care for combat vets exposed to toxins. Veterans must never be used as political pawns. Shameful. #PeopelOverPolitics" Schultz wrote in her tweet.

This, however, is false.

The bill in question first took shape in March 2021, as the Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act. Sen. Rubio himself, along with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the bill in the Senate.

For the next year, the bill received modifications. The ultimate version, known as Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT), retained the core provisions of Sens. Rubio and Gillibrand's original bill.

In March 2022, the bill passed in the House, and passed in the Senate in June 84-14.

However, due to a technical problem, the bill required a re-pass in the House on July 13th. Subsequently, the PACT Act returned to the Senate on July 27th.

This time, votes totaled 55-42, blocking it.

Rubio was one of the 55 that voted "yea" in support of the measure.

Dan Holler, Rubio's Communications Director has called out Schultz, calling her a liar for falsely tweeted that Rubio voted against the bill.

"Marco helped write the bill and voted yes. Your petty partisan political games are toxic. Stop lying and trying to score points on Twitter," replied Holler.

Wasserman Schultz has since deleted the original tweet.

The reasoning for the PACT Act's failure in the Senate is explained by Senator John Conryn (R-TX) in a post-session interview with The Hill in this tweet:

"The leadership of the Democratic party double-crossed. Senator Tester and Senator Moran made an agreement that there would be two amendments. Senator Schumer agreed to the same thing, and then they reneged on that," said Sen. John Cornyn in an interview with The Hill.

Evidence for his claim can be found here.

In response to The Floridian request for comment, Rubio stated:

"It has already taken far too long, but we're going to get this passed. I'm not going to give up on our veterans."


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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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