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Coverage on the PACT Act 

The Hill: GOP senators block bill expanding care for veterans exposed to toxins

  • The PACT Act, which passed the house earlier this month, failed to pass the senate after 41 GOP senators voted against it. Current law limits the coverage Veterans exposed to toxins are able to get to help pay for their health care. The PACT Act greatly expands their coverage and simplifies the process for veterans to get the care they need. 

 

Newsweek: These 41 Senate Republicans Voted Against Veterans' Healthcare—Full List

  • 8 Republicans joined Democrats voting for the PACT Act. 41 of them voted against it. These are all the senators that voted against it. Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) supports the Bill but changed his vote to no once it was apparent the vote would fail as a procedural move to allow a future vote on the legislation.

Military Times: New benefits for burn pit victims in limbo after Senate Republicans block plan

  • A bill that would benefit 1-in-5 veterans failed to pass through the senate. The PACT Act would improve health care and benefits for veterans suffering injuries from burn pit smoke, Agent Orange spraying and other military contaminant exposure. Veterans ranging from the Cold War to Afghanistan could qualify. 

Military Times: Burn pits benefits bill concerns aren’t new, hinge on budget moves

  • Republicans blocked the PACT Act citing budget concerns, though the bill did not change any since they previously approved it, calling into question their true intentions behind filibustering the bill. 

 

Washington Post: Senate Republicans block bill to help veterans exposed to burn pits

  • A bill that originally sailed through the senate failed to pass after the house made minor edits. Republicans blocking the bill has outraged Democrats, veterans groups, and John Stewart, a comedian who uses his platform to advocate for vets.

 

CNN: Senate procedural vote on burn pits legislation fails amid widespread Republican opposition 

  • A large Republican faction (41 Senators) voted against a previously bipartisan bill that supports expanding healthcare options for veterans exposed to toxins. The change of heart from Republicans came as a surprise and puts the health of many veterans at risk. It is not clear when the vote will be rescheduled. 

 

Yahoo News: 'Total bulls***': Anger boils over after Republicans block bill to help vets exposed to burn pits

  • Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) in a press conference after the vote failed to pass stated, “This is total bulls***.This is the worst form of politicization I’ve literally ever seen. This is total BS. We had the votes.” After Republicans previously voted for the bill, they are not unwilling to send it to the President’s desk to be signed into law. 

Read for Yourself the Full Bill and History of Minor Changes 

  • The PACT Act has had minor tweaks over the past several months. None of them include pork barrel spending. Read for yourself to see the changes.