WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Elaine Luria (VA-02), advanced the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2021 to broaden the definition of toxic exposure, expand access to comprehensive health care services covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and strengthen benefits for veterans were exposed to toxic substances during their service.
The Honoring Our PACT Act passed today includes two of Rep. Luria’s bills: the COVENANT Act, which addresses toxic exposure to include both a comprehensive list of overseas locations that would qualify a veteran for earned benefits and a list of presumptive illnesses contracted as a result of airborne exposure, and the Veterans Disability Claims Notification Improvement Act, which ensures the timely processing and notification of veteran claim decisions through modern, electronic means.
“The Honoring Our PACT, which includes my COVENANT Act and Veterans Disability Claims Notification Improvement Act, is now one step closer to becoming law and ensuring that our veterans have the health care and benefits they deserve,” Rep. Luria said. “Veterans have earned their right to accessible health care, and the cost of human life should not be compared to the costs associated with providing comprehensive health care services to those who served. As Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee, I am grateful to see the overwhelming support for the Honoring our PACT Act, and I am proud to be a leader in the effort to ensure veterans have access to the care and benefits they have earned.”
The critical legislation has 100 bipartisan cosponsors and the support of 42 Veterans Service Organizations and advocates Jon Stewart and John Feal. The Honoring Our PACT Act builds off the monumental passage of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act that finally granted benefits to veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange.
Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District is comprised of 17% of veterans, the vast majority of which served in the Gulf War era and the post-9/11 era.
Yesterday, Rep. Luria took part in a press conference with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, members, Veteran Service Organizations, Comedian Jon Stewart, and burn pit advocates to discuss the importance of passing the Honoring Our PACT Act. Rep. Luria’s remarks can be found here.
Rep. Luria also delivered on the House floor yesterday in support of the Honoring Our PACT Act. Her remarks can be found here.