Senate finally passes bill to boost health benefits for veterans

After Republicans nearly derailed what was widely believed to be a popular bipartisan effort to expand healthcare for vets exposed to harmful toxins, the PACT Act finally passed the Senate, Tuesday, August 2.

It was approved by 86 votes to 11 on Tuesday. PACT . Law acquit the House of Representatives In July, it will be signed into law by Joe Biden.

The PACT Act is set to extend health care benefits to the more than 3 million veterans and first responders of 9/11 who were exposed to toxins such as those from Agent Orange and burn pits (the piles of rubbish and waste frequently burned by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan using jet fuel). The bill also eliminated requirements that prevented veterans from accessing care because they had to prove that their illnesses were caused by exposure to harmful toxins while on duty.

But despite the reason and apparent bipartisan support for the PACT Act, the path to its passage turned out to be surprisingly bumpy. A version of the bill was approved in the Senate in June by an overwhelming majority of 84 to 14 votes, but “administrative issues” In the text he forced both houses of Congress to vote on it again. While it was easily cleared by a vote of 342 to 88, upon reaching the Senate, outgoing Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey raised concerns about increased spending and a group of Republicans – including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – suddenly withdraw their support.

The next fight over the fate of the bill gained special significance thanks to the comedian’s rights advocate and veteran, Jon Stewart. “You don’t support troops. You support a war machine,” Stewart said at one point. “They have never encountered a war they will not be involved in nor have they met a veteran that they will not spoil.”

Expanding the veteran’s health benefits and passing the PACT Act in particular was a key priority for Biden. In the past, it was President’s prediction that the cancer that caused the death of his son, Beau Biden, may have resulted from exposure to harmful Burn Pit toxins during Beau’s deployments in Iraq.

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