Biden Signs New Bill

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

On Wednesday (August 10), President Joe Biden signed into law a bill expanding the benefits for veterans who were exposed to toxins while serving the country and who had illnesses as a result.

The bill — Sgt. 1st Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics, known as the PACT Act — expands the presumption of service-related toxic exposure for several illnesses, removing the burden from veterans to prove that their illness is connected to their time in service.

Making his remarks from the East Room, where he signed the bill into law, Biden said, “This is the most significant law our nation has ever passed to help millions of veterans who are exposed to toxic substances during the military services.”

The President also touted his commitment to the bill, stating that Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough “can tell you I was going to get this done come hell or high water.”

Biden’s signature concludes the month-long legislative journey culminating in bipartisan support.

The bill started its journey in the Senate, where it was passed 84-14 in June. From there, it was sent to the House, which passed it 342-88, but had to send it back to the Senate because of technical changes.

The second go of the bill in the Senate fell short of the required five votes to pass the 60-vote threshold as 25 Republicans who voted earlier changed their vote.

But after significant backlash for their lack of support, the bill was passed on August 2, 86-11, with all “no” votes coming from Republicans.