August 02, 2022

Cortez Masto Votes to Send Bipartisan Bill to Treat Veterans Exposed to Toxins in the Line of Duty to President’s Desk for Signature

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) voted to send the bipartisan Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act to the president’s desk for signature. The bill, named after Sergeant Robinson, who died in 2020 from toxic exposure during his service in Kosovo and Iraq, 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.   

“I’m proud to send this important bipartisan legislation to provide critical benefits to Nevada’s veterans to the president’s desk to be signed into law,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Our veterans sacrifice so much, and we have an obligation to make sure that all generations of veterans who were exposed to toxins in the line of duty can access the health care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve. I’ll continue working in the Senate to give our veterans the support they need.”

Senator Cortez Masto voted to pass this legislation in June, and today the Senate approved a final version that will soon be signed into law by the president. The PACT Act will 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, it 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.