WASHINGTON, D.C. – A group of military veterans were kicked out of the US Capitol Building by Capitol Police and now plan to camp out on the building’s front steps.
Tim Jensen, the Chief Strategy Officer and “First Sergeant” of Grunt Style and president of the Grunt Style Foundation, flew into the Capitol with the intention of celebrating a victory for veterans.
It was anticipated that the Burn Pit Bill or PACT Act — which would have expanded health care to 3.5 million combat veterans affected by burn pits while deployed — was going to pass through the Senate yesterday and onto the President’s desk.
Instead, in a surprise move 25 Senate Republicans changed their vote at the last minute leaving the final tally 55 to 42, short of the 60 votes needed to pass the bill.
“The bill passed Senate 84 to 14 last time they voted,” said Jensen, “So this vote should have been the same or better.”
After a quick planning session following a 10:30AM press conference, Jensen and others entered the halls of Congress and moved from office to office demanding answers from the Representatives who switched their vote at the last minute.
Among others, Jensen met with military liaisons for Senators Cornyn and Cruz, both of whom served in the military. Jensen said to them:
“You operate under mission first and troops second and you are failing to take care of your troops. You were officers in the United States military. You have the ear of your representative in this office on matters related to veterans – this is conduct unbecoming of an officer and you should be ashamed of yourself.”
This is what it’s come to. Veterans. The sick, the dying. Fed up. Pulling an all nighter to support their fellow vets. This is the hell their service has brought them. pic.twitter.com/AxrZgRU9Nb
— Jon Stewart (@jonstewart) July 28, 2022
Jensen was joined by roughly 40 others including Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) such as the VFW, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Wounded Warriors, Disabled American Veterans, TAPS, Whistle Blowers of America, and other advocates and family members.
Eventually, Jensen and the rest of the veteran demonstrators were kicked out of the building by Capitol Police.
Immediately, Jensen organized the group who ultimately decided to camp out on the Capitol steps in order to “show these people what happens when you [mess] with combat veterans.”
The assembled Veterans will “pull fire watch” on the Capitol steps until 6:00AM Friday.
Jensen was assured by Senator Chuck Schumer’s Chief of Staff, Michael Lynch, that a second vote would be rushed onto the calendar for Monday of the coming week.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand provided food and water for the group.