Republicans in the US Senate finally came to their senses and voted to approve the PACT Act, a measure that would provide benefits and health care to veterans hurt by toxin exposure at war zones over the decades starting from Agent Orange poisoning in Vietnam right down to the burn pit toxins in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The PACT Act would ensure that veterans are no longer forced to prove their sickness was the result of exposure to toxic materials as they strive to get Veterans Affairs coverage.
The PACT Act was passed even as Jon Steward flamed the Republicans for blocking the previous vote. The 86-11 bipartisan support for the PACT act came after Republicans blocked the legislation last week even though several lawmakers previously went along with it when it came up before the Senate this June.
PACT Act Will Help Veterans Access Medical Aid Previously Denied
The PACT Act, or the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins Act, is specifically designed to address the inability of veterans to get access to medical care for a range of illnesses contracted from toxic materials at war zones across the world over the past 50 years and more. The bill will go to President Biden for signing before it becomes law.
In recent decades, the military used burn pits to incinerate waste, jet fuel, and hazardous materials. Troops in the vicinity fell ill after breathing the toxic fumes with even President Biden’s son having contracted brain cancer after being exposed to burn pits during his time in Kosovo and Iraq.
The bill was destined to the required 60 Senate votes before Republican Senator Pat Toomey urged party men to vote against it after contending that it contained provisions for unrelated expenses.
In reality, the Republicans had blocked the PACT Act as retribution for the agreement that will lead to the passage of the healthcare, climate, and tax reconciliation bill.