Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 3967 - Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
(Rep. Takano, D-California and 100 cosponsors)
The Administration strongly supports H.R. 3967, which would expand veterans' access to health care and benefits to address the health effects of harmful environmental exposures that occurred during military service.
The President believes that our Nation has only one truly sacred obligation: to properly prepare and equip our service members when we send them into harm's way and to care for them and their families when they return home. Far too often, military service comes with a cost, and we owe it to our veterans and their families to address these consequences comprehensively. Unfortunately, it has taken decades to understand the deleterious effects of environmental exposures—leaving too many without access to the benefits and services they need.
H.R. 3967 would make changes to the definitions for who is eligible for VA health care based on presumed toxic exposure during military service, including from burn pits, radiation, or other environmental conditions. H.R. 3967 would also make changes to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA's) process for determining presumptive service connection and mandate several research studies related to military related environmental exposures. It would also establish new registries related to exposures, which would provide new data on the long-term impacts from environmental exposures. H.R. 3697 also would allow a Federal cause of action related to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and establish training requirements for health providers, and require an outreach plan to educate veterans about their eligibility for benefits and services related to toxic exposure.
The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to enact this legislation and ensuring it is effectively implemented. We must address the toxic legacy of environmental exposures sustained by veterans during their military service and fulfill our sacred obligation to our veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors. We must also ensure that VA has the resources it needs to implement this legislation.
Joseph R. Biden, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 3967 - Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/357927