Senate Republicans yesterday — July 27, 2022 — refused to support the PACT ACT which would have provided an opportunity for compensation to the victims of the Camp Lejeune water poisoning. Also impacted were veterans exposed to Agent Orange and toxic burn pits. The Bill had been up for a procedural vote in the Senate with an expectation of final passage before the end of the week. Well, that prediction was flat wrong.
What Happened with The PACT ACT?
Senate Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said in a statement that Republicans who blocked the advancement of the measure “chose today to rob generations of toxic-exposed veterans across this country of the health care and benefits they so desperately need. He said, “more veterans will suffer and die as a result.”
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Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) said he expected the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act “ultimately will pass in some form or another,” but Republicans are hoping there “will be a negotiation to eliminate some of the mandatory spending in the bill,” per Roll Call.
Will our clients, and thousands of other veterans who have been personally injured ever receive compensation for the devastation caused by these toxins? How many times do our veterans need to suffer? Does the term “thank you for your service” really mean anything, if we fail to provide proper “thanks” in the form of health care and compensation for their injuries? Rhetorical questions that are easy to answer.
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“This eleventh-hour act of cowardice will actively harm this country’s veterans and their families,” said Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester, D-Mont. “Republicans chose today to rob generations of toxic-exposed veterans across this country of the health care and benefits they so desperately need.
We will continue to follow the ill-fated journey of the PACT Act, but given the political tensions these days, compromise is a dirty word. Hopefully, there will be sufficient pressure from constituents to turn this failure around.
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