Headline RoundupAugust 2nd, 2022

Senate Passes Bill to Expand Healthcare Access for Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits

Summary from AllSides News Team

The Senate on Tuesday passed a bipartisan bill to expand health and disability benefits for military veterans exposed to toxic substances.

The Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, widely known as the PACT Act, aims to help more than 3.5 million post-9/11 combat veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits during overseas deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Burn pits were a common method that the military used to dispose of chemicals and other harmful waste. Many veterans that were exposed to smoke from burn pits developed long-term health problems such as cancer and other respiratory illnesses. With the Senate approving the revised bill by a vote of 86-11, it will now head to President Joe Biden's desk for signing.

While the Senate initially passed the legislation 84-14 in June, 25 Senate Republicans flipped their votes after the House made a technical change. The reversal sparked outraged from veterans groups and activists like comedian Jon Stewart, who spent several days on Capitol Hill campaigning against Ted Cruz and other Republican lawmakers that abruptly swapped their votes.

Left-rated coverage accentuated how Republicans' political vote against the veteran bill was in "retaliation" of the Democrats' climate and tax bill. Right-rated coverage highlighted how Republicans condoned the bill for adding "unrelated spending" and lacking the "proper guardrails."

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