Senate Passes Boozman-Backed Toxic Exposure Legislation

June 16, 2022
Senator Boozman delivered remarks at the U.S. Capitol after voting for the historic legislation. Senator Boozman delivered remarks at the U.S. Capitol after voting for the historic legislation.

WASHINGTON–– The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022. This landmark legislation backed by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) will deliver toxic-exposed veterans their earned Department of Veterans Affairs health care and benefits.

“No veteran should be denied VA benefits for the illnesses they experience as a result of burn pits and other toxic exposures. Senate passage of the Sergeant Heath Robinson PACT Act demonstrates our commitment to ensuring these veterans get the care and services they deserve and, just as important, that the VA has the capability to meet their needs,” Boozman, a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said.

The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022 will:

Expand VA health care eligibility to Post-9/11 combat veterans, which includes more than 3.5 million toxic-exposed veterans;

Create a framework for the establishment of future presumptions of service connection related to toxic exposure;

Add 23 burn pit and toxic exposure-related conditions to VA’s list of service presumptions;

Expand presumptions related to Agent Orange exposure;

o Includes Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Guam, American Samoa, and Johnston Atoll as locations for Agent Orange exposure;

Strengthen federal research on toxic exposure;

Improve VA’s resources for toxic-exposed veterans and training for VA health care and benefits professionals; and

Set VA and veterans up for success by investing in:

o VA claims processing;

o VA’s workforce; and

o VA health care facilities.

Boozman delivered remarks on the Senate floor Thursday urging his colleagues to support this historic legislation.

It follows his prior efforts to ensure toxic-exposed veterans get the benefits they earned.

Last week, President Biden signed into law the Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas SERVICE Act, legislation authored by the senator requiring the VA to conduct mammograms for all women who served in areas associated with burn pits and other toxic exposures regardless of age, symptoms or family history.

The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022 now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives.



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