11:11 AM PT -- 7/30 -- Jon Stewart has fired back at Sen. Ted Cruz after his interview with TMZ down in D.C. ... and his message is clear -- what TC is selling about last-minute changes regarding mandatory and discretionary spending is absolute bull crap.
Check out what the former 'Daily Show' host had to say about our clip -- he chopped it up piece by piece and responded to each aspect that Sen. Cruz laid out for us on camera.
Jon can do more justice here than we can, so we strongly recommend watching his rebuttal in full -- but essentially, he argues Cruz is playing a semantics game when it comes to the type of spending this veterans bill would fall into ... just to deflect and confuse people.
As John puts it ... nothing has fundamentally changed in the bill since Cruz and other Republicans originally voted for it -- so Ted's rationale, per JS, makes no sense at all.
Senator Ted Cruz says Jon Stewart has it all wrong ... he supports veterans, but wasn't down to support the bill that just went down in flames ... saying the Democrats were guilty of a cheap trick that would cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.
We got the Texas Senator Thursday at Reagan National Airport and asked about the GOP's opposition to the PACT Act -- a bill designed to expand healthcare coverage for veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxins during their service.
Jon Stewart went nuclear on Republicans, especially Senator PatToomey, after the PACT Act was shot down ... calling him a "F*****g coward" for voting against the bill.
Cruz says he actually supports the PACT Act -- despite voting against it -- because he says the Democrats were using it as a vessel to spend way more over the next ten years. It gets super technical, but Cruz thinks the bill would open the door to allow Democrats to spend another $400 billion on programs unrelated to veterans. That's certainly not the way Democrats and veteran groups see it.