Manchin Advocates For His Bipartisan Burn Pits Exposure Recognition Act During Veterans Affairs Committee Hearing
Video of Senator Manchin during the Joint Hearing of the House of Representatives and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees can be found here
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (SVAC), spoke with Mr. Stephen Whitehead, National Commander of the Disabled Veterans of America (DAV) about his bipartisan Veterans Burn Pits Exposure Recognition Act during a joint hearing of the House of Representatives and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees. Senator Manchin’s legislation will address a barrier currently preventing many Veterans from getting U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare and benefits for illnesses and diseases related to exposure to burn pits. Notably, the bill would not automatically grant benefits or healthcare to Veterans who served near a burn pit, nor would it create a presumption of service connection, like Agent Orange.
Senator Manchin in part, “Mr. Whitehead, I want to take the opportunity to personally thank you for all the support the DAV has given to Senator Sullivan and myself in the 116th Congress and for our bill to get much needed benefits to Veterans exposed to open-air burn pits. I’m pleased this remains a priority for the DAV and the 117th Congress as well. We’ve got to get this done. History has shown that even after surviving combat or hazardous duty, Veterans coming home having been exposed to toxicants that could end up leading to long-term health issues… We can’t leave them behind, which is why Senator Sullivan and myself reintroduced Senate Bill 437, the Veterans Burn Pits Exposure Act of 2021…This is the year for us to pass it, and I think we’re all committed on both sides. This is a bipartisan bill that brings us all together, which is what the Veterans have always done and the military does today.”
Last week, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) reintroduced the Veterans Burn Pit Exposure Recognition Act. The legislation is currently endorsed by Disabled American Veterans (DAV), American Legion, and Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and was previously cosponsored by 30 Senators in the 116th Congress, when it unanimously passed out of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
A video of Senator Manchin’s statement during Joint Hearing of the House of Representatives and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees can be found here.
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