WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), participated in a bipartisan press conference following the Senate passage of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. The legislation passed the U.S. Senate today by a bipartisan vote of 84 to 14. The bill will return now to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote. If passed, it will head to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
During the press conference, Senator Heinrich recognized the bipartisan group of senators who helped finalize this legislative agreement, as well as the Veterans Service Organizations and advocates who have called on Congress to act.
Senator Heinrich described the legislation as a “big step forward” to providing care and benefits for toxic-exposed veterans who “bring home wounds that you can’t always see at the time.”
“These burn pits have put so many of our former service members in a position where sometimes they have to fight for a breath - they shouldn’t have to fight for coverage at the VA,” said Heinrich.
Senator Heinrich and the bipartisan group of senators were joined by Veterans Service Organizations and veterans advocates.
The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act is comprehensive legislation to deliver all eras of toxic-exposed veterans their earned health care and benefits under the VA for the first time in the nation’s history. The Senate is slated to vote on the bill prior to the press conference.
A video of the full press conference is available HERE.