Jon Stewart celebrates after Senate passes bill to help veterans exposed to toxic substances | US Senate

After a week of anger and criticism from veterans groups and lawyers, including comedian Jon Stewart, the Senate Republicans Finally agreed to pass a bill that would extend health and benefits to veterans exposed to toxic substances.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a situation like this where people who have already given so much have to fight so hard to get so little,” said Stewart, who joined the players to put up the bill. “I hope we learned a lesson.”

The bill, known as the Compact Act, passed the Senate on Tuesday night by a vote of 86-11.

It would provide aid to soldiers exposed during their service to harmful chemicals such as Agent Orange during the Vietnam War or toxins from pits used to burn military waste in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense estimates that approximately 3.5 million service members in the Middle East may have been exposed to Eric Pits. Medical experts said that such chemicals can cause respiratory diseases and cancer.

Currently veterans had to prove that the illnesses were connected to their service, and the Department of Veterans Affairs did not consider exposure to toxins a service-related condition. Department has refused About 75% of players claim burn pits.

The deal passed the House last month and until last week had the support of a majority of Republican senators. Senators said they no longer support the bill after Democrats declared They reached a deal on Wednesday on a major tax and climate bill.

Senior Advocates Strongly condemned Republican U-turn. Stewart called them “stop-vets-in-the-back senators.” Protests broke out outside the Capitol.

On Tuesday night, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, announced that he and his Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, had reached an agreement on the bill. At a news conference, McConnell said the Republicans’ objections were part of the “legislative process.”

“This kind of back-and-forth happens all the time in the legislative process, and you’ve seen it over the years,” he said. said. “Ultimately, I think the veterans service organizations will be happy with the end result.”

Joe Biden praised the passage of the bill: “We should all be proud of this moment.” In his recent State of the Union address earlier this year, US President mentioned His son, Beau, served a year-long tour in Iraq and later died of brain cancer, possibly a victim of burn pit toxins.

“Contract law will be a huge expansion [veterans affairs] Health Care Across the Decades,” Biden He tweeted that. “We will never be able to repay the debt we owe to those in uniform, but today, Congress made a promise to our soldiers and their families.”

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