August 10, 2022

Bipartisan Legislation Cortez Masto Helped Pass to Treat Veterans Exposed to Toxins in the Line of Duty Signed Into Law

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement celebrating the bipartisan Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act becoming law. This morning, President Joe Biden signed the bill, which is named after Sergeant Robinson, who died in 2020 from toxic exposure during his service in Kosovo and Iraq. This vital legislation will ensure that veterans can get access to care and treatment they are entitled to in the wake of toxic exposures during their service to our country.   

“Today, bipartisan legislation I helped pass to provide critical health care and benefits to America’s veterans became law,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “This historic legislation will help veterans exposed to toxins in the line of duty, and it delivers on our promise to generations of veterans and their families.”

Senator Cortez Masto voted to pass this legislation to expand Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare eligibility for post 9/11 combat veterans and add 23 burn pit and toxic exposure-related conditions to the VA’s list of service presumptions. In addition, the PACT Act will expand Agent Orange as a presumptive condition for veterans who served in Thailand, American Samoa, Cambodia, Guam, Johnston Atoll, and Laos. It also will strengthen federal research on toxic exposure and improve VA resources and compensation for affected veterans and their families.

Senator Cortez Masto is a champion in the Senate advocating for our veterans and their families. In December, her legislation to protect VA benefits for student veterans was signed into law. She recently introduced bipartisan legislation to make it easier for veterans who have a service-related medical condition to get the benefits they are owed. Cortez Masto has passed

legislation through the annual National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA) to help veterans exposed to Agent Orange get the treatment they need. As part of the NDAA of 2021, she secured measures to improve mental health services for members of the National Guard and Reserves, support veterans in getting the retirement benefits owed to them, and increase the transparency and efficiency of the Department of Defense’s TRICARE medical billing practices.