After nearly derailing Republicans, what was widely considered a popular bipartisan effort to expand health care for veterinarians exposed to harmful toxins, the PACT Act finally passed the Senate, Tuesday, Aug. 2 passed on.
It passed on Tuesday by a vote of 86-11. settlement act House of Representatives approved in July and will be signed into law by Joe Biden.
The PACT Act is set to extend health benefits to more than 3 million veterans and 9/11 first responders found in Agent Orange and burn pits (trash and rubbish piles that are frequently burned in Iraq and Afghanistan). Exposure to toxic substances. using jet fuel). The bill also removed requirements to prevent the elderly from accessing care because they had to prove that their illnesses were caused by on-duty exposure to harmful toxins.
But because of the PACT Act and despite clear bipartisan support, the road to its passage turned out to be a surprisingly bumpy one. A version of the bill actually passed the Senate in June with an overwhelming majority of 84–14 votes, but “Administrative Issues” The text forced both houses of Congress to vote on it again. Although this was easily cleared by a vote of 342 to 88, coming to the Senate, incumbent Republican Senator Pat Tommy of Pennsylvania raised concerns about increased spending and an array of Republicans – including prominent leader Mitch McConnell – suddenly drew their support,
The following fight over the bill’s fate gained particular prominence for comedian and veterans rights advocate, Jon Stewart. “You don’t support the soldiers. You support the war machine,” Stewart said at one point. “They haven’t met a war they won’t sign up for and they haven’t met a veteran they won’t screw up.”
Expanding veteran health benefits, and in particular passing the PACT Act, has been a major priority for Biden. in the past, the president has guessed that the cancer, which led to the death of his son, Beau Biden, may have been caused by exposure to harmful burn pit toxins during Beau’s deployment to Iraq.