Jon Stewart's passionate pleas for Congress -- especially GOP Senators -- did not fall on deaf ears ... as the Senate reversed field and resoundingly passed a bill to help veterans exposed to burn pits.
The former 'Daily Show' host turned up the heat on Republicans like Senators Ted Cruz and Pat Toomey after the PACT Act was shot down in the Senate last week ... and it looks like Jon's strategy paid off.
Last week's 55-42 defeat of the legislation suddenly became an 86-11 victory Tuesday when the bill was put to a new vote. The GOP tried to pass amendments to address what they claim was a "budget gimmick" Democrats cooked into the bill, but those efforts failed.
Despite that, the Republicans flipped and voted in favor of the PACT Act -- designed to expand healthcare coverage for veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxins during their service.
Remember ... Jon put GOP leadership on blast after last week's defeat, calling Sen. Toomey "a "f***ing coward."
Toomey and other GOP Senators, like Cruz, said they voted against the bill because they claimed it would create $400 billion in unrelated spending.
Sen. Cruz tried blaming the Democrats when we got him after the "no" vote ... and our clip lit another fire under Stewart.
It didn't take long for him to respond, calling BS on Cruz's claims.
Jon also got into a heated shouting match over the bill Monday just outside Capitol Hill, squaring off with media personality and conservative commentator Jack Posobiec.
Right before all this, Jon was being floated as a serious presidential nominee in 2024 ... an idea JS continues to shoot down -- but it's hard to argue his impassioned, vocal pressure didn't play a role in the Senate turnaround.