Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) applauded the House of Representatives’ passage of the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act (S. 3373), a comprehensive legislative package to address the pressing needs of toxic-exposed veterans, including expanded access to healthcare and benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). S.3373 is the result of bicameral and bipartisan cooperation to address toxic exposure among veterans.
“Today, I voted to honor our nation’s obligation to help toxic-exposed veterans and to advance the Honoring our PACT Act one step closer toward President Biden’s desk,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “When men and women join our Armed Forces, they know they have to put their lives on the line to defend our country and our democracy, but they do not sign up to be harmed by negligent practices that result in toxic exposures during their service. This critical legislation will not only ensure toxic-exposed veterans receive the healthcare and benefits they need, but it will also uphold our solemn promise to serve America’s veterans as well as they have served us.”
The Honoring our PACT Act will expand healthcare and benefits to over 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service and recognize exposure to burn pits and airborne hazards. It will create presumptions for 23 respiratory illnesses and cancers, making VA benefits easier and more accessible for veterans. Additionally, this bipartisan legislation will also streamline VA’s presumption decision-making process, so that future generations of veterans don’t have to wait decades for the help that they need.
The bill passed the House by a vote of 342-88.