U.S. Rep. Peter Welch’s Senate campaign on Thursday released the following statement in response to Senate Republicans blocking the Honoring Our PACT Act:
“The Honoring Our PACT Act will help get veterans – exposed to toxins and burn pits during their service – essential and long overdue access to health care and benefits they desperately need. Up until last night this effort had broad bipartisan support and was on the verge of becoming the law of the land. Now, my Republican colleagues have decided to block this critical bill, playing politics with the lives of our veterans and their families. Why? Because they’re looking for any way to stop Democrats from pursuing separate historic health care and climate change legislation. It’s shameful and unacceptable.
“I have had the privilege of working with Vermont advocates who have been on the front lines fighting for improved care for burn pit victims. For advocates like June Heston and Pat Cram, this legislation comes too late for their loved ones, who lost their lives to burn-pit-related cancers – but they have fought relentlessly to honor and remember their sacrifice and ensure other families get the support they need. Mitch McConnell and his caucus need to stop playing games with the health care and benefits of our veterans and pass this bill without delay.”