US senate passes ‘burn pit’ bill after several days of delays

The GOP objections delayed final passage, infuriating veterans groups and advocates, including comedian Jon Stewart.
Senate approves bill to aid vets exposed to toxic burn pits (Photo: Alfred V. Lopez / DVIDS)

WASHINGTON (WWAY) — The Senate has given final approval to a bill enhancing health care and disability benefits for millions of veterans exposed to toxic burn pits while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Senate had overwhelmingly approved the legislation once before, but the process briefly derailed last week when Republicans made a late attempt to change the bill.

The GOP objections delayed final passage, infuriating veterans groups and advocates, including comedian Jon Stewart.

Stewart called on senators yesterday to stay at work until the Pact Act passes stating,”Senators start rolling back in here. I don’t know if you know this, but they’re allowed to stay open past five. They’re not a public library. They’re allowed to stay open past five. So my suggestion to this Senate would be when you come back if all the members aren’t here, keep the lights on, keep the doors open and don’t leave here tonight until you do the right thing by these folks. Simple as that, don’t make this harder than it is.”

President Joe Biden tweeted a video today celebrating Senate Passage of the PACT Act from the White House as he remains in isolation on day three of his rebound Covid-19 case.

In the video, he says, “Great news– the Congress just passed the PACT Act, which is the burn pits legislation, Finally, finally, finally we’re going to do justice to those who we lost, as well as those who are still suffering from being exposed to the burn pits. It’s about time.”

The bill now goes to President Joe Biden’s desk, and he says he is looking forward to signing it into law so those veterans “finally get the benefits and comprehensive health care they earned and deserve.”

 

 

Categories: CNN, News, Top Stories, US