WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, applauded President Biden signing into law the bipartisan Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, which Senator Rosen helped pass earlier this month. This law will extend Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and health care to all veterans suffering from illnesses as a result of exposure to burn pits and other toxins during their service. It also includes a Rosen-backed measure to specifically aid Vietnam-era veterans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces in Thailand.
“Millions of American veterans have been injured by and exposed to toxic chemicals as a result of their service to keep our country safe,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m so proud that this bipartisan legislation I helped pass is now signed into law so that veterans of all eras suffering from exposure to toxic chemicals can access the critical care and benefits they need and deserve.”
The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act will:
- Expand VA health care eligibility to all Post-9/11 veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances, which includes more than 3.5 million toxic-exposed veterans;
- Create a framework for the establishment of future presumptions of service connection related to toxic exposure;
- Add 23 toxic exposure-related conditions to the VA’s list of service-connected presumptions;
- Expand presumptions related to Agent Orange exposure and the locations where exposure may have occurred during the Vietnam War;
- Strengthen federal research on toxic exposure;
- Improve VA’s resources and training for toxic-exposed veterans; and
- Set the VA and veterans up for success by investing in VA claims processing, the VA’s workforce, and VA health care facilities.
Senator Rosen is committed to fighting for our nation’s veterans and ensuring they have access to the care they deserve. Earlier this year, the Senate passed the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act, bipartisan legislation Rosen-co-sponsored to expand Department of Veterans Affairs health care coverage for veterans. In the last two Congresses, Senator Rosen has also co-sponsored legislation to provide benefits to Vietnam-era veterans who served in Thailand, provisions of which are included in the package signed into law today. Senator Rosen has also introduced numerous bipartisan bills to support Nevada’s veterans, including legislation to invest in veterans’ mental health and suicide prevention efforts, help veterans start small businesses in underserved communities, and establish and improve Student Veterans Centers at colleges and universities.