Senate passes burn pit legislation to expand veteran health care

The Senate on Tuesday night approved the Massive Pact Act, a bill to expand health care benefits to veterans who have developed illnesses because of their exposure. burn pits during military service. A vote of 86 to 11 was received with cheers from the Senate Gallery.

The bill now goes to President Biden’s table, and the White House says it looks forward to signing it. The vote came after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Tuesday afternoon that he and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had come to an agreement.

“It’s an amazing moment, especially for all the people who’ve done it,” Schumer said after the vote. “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Watching the Final Votes from the Senate Gallery Tuesday Night, Comedians john stewart, an outspoken advocate for Bill and the veterans, could be seen with tears in his eyes. Stewart has been rallying on Capitol Hill in support of the bill and is pressuring senators to pass it.

“I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a situation where people who already gave so much had to work so hard to get so little,” he said after the vote. “I hope we learn a lesson.”

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal had a message for the Department of Veterans Affairs Tuesday night: “I have a message to the VA: You better understand this. You better deliver. These veterans have already waited too long. has done.”

Mr Biden said after the vote that he looked forward to signing the bill “so that veterans and their families and caregivers affected by toxic exposure can ultimately receive the benefits and comprehensive health care they have earned and deserve.” ”

Legislation Will extend benefits to an estimated 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic burn pits during the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The bill would remove the burden of evidence from veterans caring for risk-related conditions from burn pits by treating a number of conditions, including many cancers, as risk-related.

Burnt pits are holes in the ground dug by the US military near bases in countries that had limited infrastructure where soldiers would dump garbage and burn it for disposal.

bill in the beginning House and Senate passed In June, but due to language glitches, it had to be returned to the House and Senate before being sent to President Biden’s desk. The law passed again in the House, but failed to move past a procedural vote in the Senate last week. Twenty-five Republican senators who voted for the bill in June voted against moving the bill last week, citing objections to how the law is paid for.

Republican Senator Pat Tommy of Pennsylvania has since June objected to a provision in the language of the law that would transfer $400 billion in already existing discretionary veterans spending to mandate spending. A measure that is paid for with mandatory spending is generally not approved every year, as does discretionary spending. Toomey argues that this changed designation frees up funds that can be used on items unrelated to the veterans.

Mr Biden has blamed the burn pits For the health problems of his late son, Beau Biden, who died of a brain tumor in 2015. In a 2019 speech to the Service Employees International Union, then-candidate Biden said because of his son’s “risk of burning the pit, in my view, I can’t prove it now, he came back with a fourth step.” glioblastoma,

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *