Bipartisan legislation includes Blumenthal-championed provisions to expand benefits & compensation to Palomares, K2 Air Base, and Camp Lejeune veterans
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after the Senate once again passed comprehensive legislation to deliver multiple generations of veterans exposed to dangerous toxins access to healthcare and benefits under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the first time in the nation’s history. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last month and now moves to the President’s desk for signature.
“I am proud and happy beyond words that the PACT Act has finally passed Congress following years of hard work by myself and colleagues on the VA Committee. After needless and shameful delay, the tireless advocacy of our veterans made today’s victory possible. Sleeping on Capitol steps for days, they refused to be defeated and once again proved they are our heroes,” said Blumenthal.
“This bill is a victory for veterans who served and sacrificed abroad and now suffer from insidious, horrific diseases caused by exposure to burn pits and toxic chemicals. This momentous bipartisan measure will bring well-deserved relief to our veterans and their families affected by toxic exposure. I’m proud to have focused for years on this legislation and that it includes provisions I fought for to ensure the fairest, broadest possible coverage. Once President Biden signs this vital legislation into law, we must focus on delivering this critical care to our veterans as soon as possible.”
Blumenthal met with veterans and advocacy organizations outside the Capitol earlier this week
The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act includes legislation championed by Blumenthal to expand benefits, healthcare, and compensation to veteran populations that are not currently able to access services: veterans who responded to the nuclear disaster in Palomares, Spain, those who were deployed to the K2 Air Base, and veterans and families exposed to toxins in the water supply at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The legislation also prioritizes bringing relief to post-9/11 veterans exposed to burn pits for decades, primarily while serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.