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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From the RightSenate passes veterans toxic exposure healthcare bill after contentious delay
The Senate passed veteran healthcare legislation Tuesday after a contentious delay brought about by a group of Republican senators blocking the bill over a budget measure.
The measure passed by a vote of 86-11, a bipartisan supermajority easily exceeding the 60-vote threshold to clear a filibuster. President Joe Biden hailed the passage of the "biggest expansion of benefits for service-connected health issues in 30 years and the largest single bill ever to comprehensively address exposure to burn pits" in a statement issued by the White House afterward.
"I look forward to signing this bill, so that veterans and their families...
From the LeftSenate passes veterans health bill after Republicans cave to pressure
The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation expanding lifesaving health care benefits for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans exposed to toxic burn pits.
The 86-11 vote came after Republicans agreed to lift their blockade of the popular bill, caving to pressure from more than 60 veterans groups — and comedian Jon Stewart — who had railed against Republicans for days outside the Capitol.
Many of the veterans who had camped on the Senate steps, braving heat, humidity and thunderstorms, watched the vote from the gallery in the Senate chamber. The bill has already...
From the CenterSenate Passes Bill To Extend Benefits To Veterans Exposed To Burn Pits; Jon Stewart Led Outcry After Republicans Blocked Previous Vote
The Senate passed legislation to extend health and disability benefits to millions of veterans exposed to toxic burn pits in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas of military engagement.
The 86-11 vote came after Republicans blocked the legislation last week, with a number of the lawmakers having previously supported it when it came before the Senate in June.
Jon Stewart, a longtime advocate for the veterans, blasted the opposition, speaking at rallies on Capitol Hill multiple times over the past week and making a series of media appearances on network Sunday shows, Fox News and...