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Rubio, Gillibrand Praise VA Burn Pit Agreement

May 18, 2022 | Comunicados de Prensa

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) released a statement regarding the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs announcement of a bipartisan agreement to remove critical hurdles that prevent veterans from receiving life-saving care. Critically, the bill provides a presumption of service connection for key ailments affecting veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits in the line of duty.  
“This bipartisan agreement represents an enormous victory for service members across the country who have been suffering for years from their exposure to toxic burn pits,” the senators said. “Under this agreement, our nation’s brave men and women in uniform and their families would no longer need to jump through unnecessary hoops to get the health care that they’ve earned.
“We are proud that our bipartisan Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act formed the centerpiece of the presumptive benefits section in this monumental bill,” the senators continued. “We thank all of our partners in this fight, especially Chairman Tester and Ranking Member Moran, as well as the Veterans Service Organizations, Jon Stewart, and John Feal for their tireless advocacy and support.”
“We look forward to working alongside Senate leadership to get this bill on President Joe Biden’s desk as quickly as possible in order to uphold Congress’ obligation to our veterans, and most importantly, save lives,” the senators concluded
In March 2022, the House of Representatives passed the Honoring Our PACT Act, which included provisions of the Rubio-Gillibrand Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act. The bill would create a presumptive service connection for more than 20 categories of diseases and streamline the process for veterans to obtain benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It would remove the “burden of proof” from the veteran to provide enough evidence to establish a direct service connection between their health condition and exposure.