Ranking Member Bost, Dr. Miller-Meeks Call on Congress to Deliver Real Results for Toxic-Exposed Veterans
Washington, March 3, 2022 | Samantha Gonzalez
Today, Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), a Member of the Subcommittee on Health, released the following statements after the House voted on H.R. 3967, the PACT Act:
“I regret that the House did not do right by post-9/11 veterans and pass the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act today. This bill has support in both chambers, has already passed the Senate, and is an incredible first-step to give a life raft to toxic-exposed veterans. Lawmakers had an opportunity to pass this bipartisan bill and deliver real results for the veteran community today and we didn’t,” said Ranking Member Bost. “Instead, House Democrats’ shoved the deeply flawed policies and wildly expensive costs of the PACT Act through the House with no regard for finding common ground. I come from a long line of veterans, I am a veteran, and my son and grandson serve now. I know the physical and mental impacts of war. Because of that, I refuse to make empty promises to the very community I am honored to be a part of. The people who will bear the brunt of House Democrats’ lackluster action today are the everyday Americans who need Congress to simply get the job done. Looking to the future, I will keep my door open to Chairman Takano and our Senate colleagues so that we can, finally, work together - as we should have all along - to deliver the care and benefits that veterans deserve.”
“Last month, the Senate unanimously passed the overwhelmingly bipartisan Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act. This bill would provide life-saving care to toxic-exposed veterans in a responsible and sustainable way,” said Rep. Miller-Meeks, M.D. “This week, the House could have taken this bill, passed it with a strong bipartisan vote, and sent it to President Biden’s desk to become law. Instead, we used valuable floor time debating and voting on a partisan bill that will not become law in its current form. Every day that we delay passing a bipartisan bill is another day our veterans are hurt.”
The Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act is bipartisan, bicameral legislation to expand eligibility for VA care to post-9/11 combat veterans who were exposed to burn pits and other toxins during their military service. The bill would also advance research into the health effects of toxic exposure and improve training for VA health care and benefits staff. H.R. 6659 is companion legislation to S. 3541, which was introduced in the Senate by Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), it passed out of the Senate in February with overwhelming bipartisan support.
To read more about the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act, click here.