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Senate passes burn pit legislation week after Republicans voted against it

Chuck Schumer, Susan Zeier, John Feal
Posted at 4:43 PM, Aug 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 10:57:45-04

The U.S. Senate has passed a bill to provide health care to veterans exposed to toxic burn pits during their military service.

News of the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022 passing in the Senate comes a week after Republicans blocked the legislation.

Every Democratic Senator and many Republicans voted to pass the bill, with only 11 Senators voting against it.

Those who served during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and were exposed to various toxic burn pits say they've suffered from various ailments.

The military used the burn pits to dispose of such things as chemicals, cans, tires, plastics and medical and human waste, the Associated Press reported.

After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer voiced his appreciation to his fellow lawmakers as he announced the final vote for Tuesday.

“Veterans who were exposed to the toxic fumes of burn pits will be treated by the VA like they should have been from the beginning," Schumer said.

President Joe Biden tweeted a video celebrating the bill's passage.

"Great news-- the Congress just passed the PACT Act, which is the burn pits legislation, Finally, finally, finally we're going to do justice to those who we lost, as well as those who are still suffering from being exposed to the burn pits," Biden said. "It's about time."

Last month, after Republican senators voted against the bill, comedian Jon Stewart voiced his anger and disappointment.

“I’m used to the hypocrisy … but I’m not used to the cruelty,” Stewart said.

The bill will now head to President Joe Biden's desk to be signed into law.