WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, spoke at a press conference after the Senate voted 86 to 11 on the final passage of the bipartisan SFC Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. The legislation now goes to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
Senator Heinrich thanked all of the veterans, families, and organizations who have supported the PACT Act, including those who have been camped out in front of the U.S. Capitol to call for the final passage of the bill since a procedural vote failed in the Senate last week because of Republican opposition.
“None of this would have happened without your dogged determination and work,” said Heinrich. “But also, you showed America what it looks like when our Congress works again, when our government does the right thing. This is the way it should work all the time."
Heinrich continued: “Thank you to all the vets who are out here in the sweltering heat. Thanks to the VSOs who had their back this whole campaign. And a special thank you to all the senators who voted the right way every single time."
Named after Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson who died in 2020 from toxic exposure as a result of his military service, the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act will expand health care for Post-9/11 combat veterans, create a framework for the establishment of future presumptions of service connection related to toxic exposure, expand VA’s list of service presumptions, and improve resources to support VA’s claims processing.
- Heinrich Statement On Senate Republicans Blocking Bill To Expand Veterans’ Health Care
- Chair Heinrich announced the Military Construction, Department Of Veterans In FY23 Spending Bill, that allocates funds for the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund that would be established by the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act.
- Heinrich Statement On Bipartisan Agreement On Toxic Exposure Legislation