The Senate could be close to passing the PACT act, a bill to help provide health care to veterans exposed to toxic waste while serving, Sen. Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday.
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Schumer said Democrats would be working closely with Republicans to pass the PACT Act as soon as June 15.
“We need to pass the PACT act ASAP because our veterans have waited long enough for their healthcare benefits to treat complications from toxic exposure,” Schumer said.
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The Senate Leader said 3.5 million service members may have been exposed to dangerous chemicals.
“Burn pits were a common method of eliminating all sorts of waste throughout Iraq and Afghanistan from everyday trash to hard, hazardous and poisonous materials,” Schumer said.
However, Schumer said about 80 percent of disability claims related to the burn pits had been rejected by the Veterans’ Administration.
Last week at a bill signing ceremony, President Joe Biden spoke about his son Beau who became sick while serving in the military and later died of a brain tumor.
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“We need to talk about burn pits that incinerate wastes of war tires, poisonous chemicals, jet fuels, and so much more, I won’t even mention,” said Biden.
“Toxic smoke with the poison spreading through our bases and into the lungs of our troops. And when they came home, many of the fittest and best trained warriors we’ve ever had were not the same. Headaches, numbness, dizziness. Cancer. My son Beau was one of them,” Biden said.