The Senate GOPer’s wanted no part of supporting the troops health…
But media and public pressure has made them change their minds and vote on the bill that could help millions of War Veterans’ who where exposed to toxic smoke from burning trash pits at Us Military bases….
The Senate on Tuesday approved a bill to create a new entitlement program to treat veterans who may have been exposed to toxic substances from burning trash pits on U.S. military bases, sending President Biden legislation that would expand medical care eligibility to an estimated 3.5 million people.
The bill was approved on a lopsided bipartisan vote, 86 to 11, only days after Republicans pulled their support in a dispute over how to pay for the benefits, imperiling the legislation and drawing days of angry protests from veterans who gathered outside the Capitol to demand action.
The measure would be the biggest expansion of veterans’ benefits since the Agent Orange Act of 1991, which increased access to care for Vietnam War veterans who had been exposed to the toxic herbicide that endangered generations of Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians.
The new legislation would effectively presume that any American service member stationed in a combat zone for the last 32 years could have been exposed to toxic substances, allocating a projected $280 billion over the next decade to treat ailments tied to those exposures and streamlining veterans’ access to such care.
The House approved the bill last month, and Mr. Biden, who has championed the measure, was expected to quickly sign it. He has speculated that toxic substances from burn pits contributed to the brain cancer that killed his son Beau Biden, who served in Iraq, in 2015.
“While we can never fully repay the enormous debt we owe to those who have worn the uniform, today the United States Congress took important action to meet this sacred obligation,” he said in a statement on Tuesday night, adding that the legislation “could be the difference between life and death for many suffering from toxic related illnesses.”
The bill had drawn broad support on Capitol Hill, but just as it was expected to clear the Senate last week, Republicans in the chamber abruptly withdrew their backing, insisting that Democrats allow them a chance to limit the funding available to treat veterans…..