Illinois Congresswoman Bustos Applauds Signing of Bipartisan Toxic Exposure Legislation
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) applauded President Joe Biden for signing into law historic, bipartisan legislation to expand access to care for veterans exposed to toxic substances in the line of duty. The life-saving Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act extends critical VA benefits to as many as 3.5 million veterans across the country and will recognize toxic exposures as a cost of war that must be covered by VA care. President Biden called for passage of the bill during his State of the Union address earlier this year.
“America made a promise to care for our veterans when they come home, and today, we made good on that sacred obligation,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “The Honoring our PACT Act will ensure that veterans living with the effects of toxic exposure can receive the care they deserve. And now that this bill has been signed into law, critical benefits will be extended to 3.5 million veterans who have been exposed to these dangerous substances, including toxic burn pits and Agent Orange. This is a historic step forward in honoring the sacrifices these heroes gave our nation.”
The Honoring Our PACT Act will finally treat toxic exposure as a cost of war by addressing the full range of issues impacting toxic-exposed veterans, including access to earned benefits and health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The bill is overwhelmingly supported by the veteran community, including Burn Pits 360 and 42 Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), such as Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), American Legion (TAL), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) and Minority Veterans of America (MVA).