Senate passes bill to help veterans affected by burn pits [Video]

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:


  • The Senate on Tuesday passed the PACT Act, a bill that will provide health care to veterans exposed to burn pits.
  • The measure was approved by a vote of 86-11.
  • The legislation now heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature.

The Senate on Tuesday night overwhelmingly approved the PACT Act, a bill to expand health care benefits for veterans who developed illnesses due to their exposure to burn pits during military service. The 86-to-11 vote was received with cheers from the Senate gallery. 

The bill now heads to President Biden’s desk, and the White House says he 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. 

“This is a wonderful moment, especially for all the people who have made this happen who are observing it,” Schumer said after the vote. “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Watching the final vote from the Senate gallery Tuesday night, comedian Jon Stewart, a vocal advocate for the bill and veterans, could be seen with tears in his eyes. Stewart has been on Capitol Hill rallying support for the bill and pressuring senators to pass it.

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

Biden said after the vote that he looks forward to signing the bill “so that veterans and their families and caregivers impacted by toxic exposures finally get the benefits and comprehensive health care they earned and deserve.”

The legislation will expand benefits for an estimated 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic burn pits during the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The bill will remove the burden of proof from veterans seeking care for conditions related to exposure from burn pits by presuming a number of conditions, including several cancers, are related to the exposure. 

Burn pits are holes in the ground the U.S. military dug near bases in countries that had limited infrastructure where troops would dump trash and burn it to dispose of it. 

Mr. Biden has blamed 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 “exposure to burn pits, in my view, I can’t prove it yet, he came back with stage four glioblastoma.”

Source: NBC News

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6 thoughts on “Senate passes bill to help veterans affected by burn pits [Video]

  1. This is another boondoggle because the $400 BILLION Is not earmarked for veterans, just the title and wording imply it will be for veterans. In other words, this will be another pot for the DEMONrats and RINOs to use for pet projects loosely defined for veterans’ needs. How disgraceful to use vets as pawns!

  2. Penelope…….it’s also a major ploy to try and win back the commie McCain veteran voters that left their party for Trump. Well, communist, fascist Jon Stewart is behind it so we know the $billions$ will obviously go to China, or the WHO, or even Russia, and some to Hunter and of course, the “Big Guy” and Nanshee Pelosi gets their cut.

  3. Try not to call anybody not related to you CHUMP COMMUNIST SHIT HEADS, from the comments none of you P—-‘S had the balls to join any service to defend the country you seek to get everything for FREE from, Hey DICK (the body part that is) KEEPIN your stupid ignorant comments to yourself, the only thing it does for you is show anybody with any kind of intelligence that reads them that your nothing but a PIECE OF F—ING SHIT ASSHOLE, and that INTELLIGENCE part doesn’t apply to any COMMUNIST REPUBLICAN’S, all of you can just go back to the RUSSIAN LOVING CHUMP and stick your STUPID IGNORANT heads back up his COMMUNIST FAT F—ING ASS.

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