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Rubio: Senate Needs to Act on Burn Pits

Mar 29, 2022 | Comunicados de Prensa

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement calling on the Senate to take immediate action to remove critical hurdles that prevent veterans from receiving life-saving care. Specifically, any bill must provide a presumption of service connection for key ailments affecting veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits in the line of duty. 
 
“I am encouraged the Senate will finally consider legislation with presumptive benefits for our veterans,” Rubio said. “It is horrific that veterans are suffering from debilitating illnesses and dying because they cannot get the care they earned. No more baby steps. No more half measures. No more excuses. We need to get this done, now.”
 
Earlier this year, Rubio called the Senate-passed Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act a “half measure,” praised the House-passed Honoring our PACT Act for including a presumption of service connection, and said he “remain[ed] committed to getting a meaningful and comprehensive bill signed into law.” 
 
Last week, Rubio urged his Senate colleagues to act on legislation that included presumption of service connection. The letter, which he sent with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), advocated that the Honoring our PACT Act “should be taken up in the Senate.” Today, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced the Senate will consider the bill this year.
 
In March 2021, Rubio and Gillibrand introduced the Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act (S. 952), which would streamline the process for veterans to obtain VA benefits for injuries from burn pits and other toxic exposures by removing the burden of proof from the veteran.