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Legislative Updates

Bipartisan toxic exposure bill passes in Senate

On June 16, in an 84-14 vote, the Senate passed the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022 (H.R. 3967). The comprehensive bipartisan legislation would provide relief, health care and other benefits to veterans who have been exposed to burn pits.

H.R. 3967 was introduced by Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jon Tester (D-MT) and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-KS) in the Senate and by House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-CA) in the House. The bill would provide expanded access to Veterans Affairs Department (VA) health care and disability compensation for the estimated 3.5 million veterans who have been exposed to burn pits. If signed into law, the bill would be the first of its kind to address veterans who suffer from toxic exposure.

The House passed the bill in March but must hold another vote on the Senate amended version of H.R. 3967. While lawmakers were hoping to send the bill to the president’s desk before the July 4 recess, the House has yet to hold a vote due to a procedural error with the text. Once the procedural error is corrected, the bill is expected to be retaken in the Senate and sent back to the House for another vote. President Biden released a statement in support of the legislation and urged the House to move swiftly to pass the bill.  

NALC will update letter carriers on any future action.

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