Rep. Ted Budd Urges Pelosi to Hold Vote on Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act
Washington, April 28, 2022
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging her to hold a vote on the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act. The bill passed the Senate unanimously on February 16, 2022.
Rep. Budd said in a statement:
“Our post-9/11 veterans who were exposed to burn pits and other toxic materials desperately need the Department of Veterans Affairs to recognize the connection between their illnesses and their service. The Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act represents the quickest and most effective way to get these warriors the care they need. I urge Speaker Pelosi to act on this overwhelmingly bipartisan bill.”
I write to urge you to expeditiously bring to the floor S. 3541: Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act. A successful vote in the House of Representatives will send this important legislation to the President’s desk.
The Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act passed the Senate unanimously via a voice vote on February 16, 2022. Every member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee cosponsored the bill. Its House companion legislation (H.R. 6659) has 92 cosponsors and received 203 votes when it was offered as a substitute amendment to H.R. 3967 on March 3, 2022.
Our post-9/11 veterans who were exposed to burn pits and other toxic materials desperately need the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to recognize the connection between their illnesses and their service. Since 9/11, the VA has denied roughly 70% of veterans' claims for care related to burn pit exposure. Time is of the essence, and S. 3541 represents the most prudent and practical vehicle that Congress has at this moment to make good on our promise to our nation’s warriors.
The Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act takes important steps to extend veteran eligibility for medical services. The bill also increases VA research into and resources for identifying and screening toxic exposure at a scope and pace the VA can effectively handle.
Congress has an obligation to care for our veterans who made significant sacrifices in the preservation of our freedoms during the War on Terror. I am confident that S. 3541 will overwhelmingly pass the House. Therefore, given how long burn pit exposed veterans have waited for the care they deserve, the House must advance this critical legislation immediately.