SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Veteran groups were furious after Republican lawmakers blocked the passage of the “Pact Act,” a bill designed to expand health care access to former active duty members of the military.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a press conference this morning where not only herself and fellow lawmakers expressed their frustrations with the bill’s roadblock, but members of multiple veteran support organizations were on-hand to do the same.

The bill itself makes it easy for veterans to obtain healthcare benefits needed to treat medical conditions that came about during or after active duty.

These benefits would be for military veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxins. According to the U.S. government, using burn pits to get rid of trash and other waste was a common practice for many years in places like southwest Asia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. This exposed active duty military to smoke and fumes, along with other unrelated environmental hazards, like sand, dust, fuel, and aircraft exhaust.

The bill passed the House earlier this year, and easily cleared the Senate last month, but, a technical error forced its reconsideration in the Senate, and this time, 25 Republicans changed their vote.

“How does this happen?” Senator Gillibrand asked, “How do you change your mind right when you are about to make a law that’s going to save lives, it makes no sense. It’s an outrage and there has to be accountability.”

House Veterans` Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano agreed to say that even though the bill passed in the House, it still exposed a glaring problem.

“This bill should have passed unanimously the first time,” he said, “And it should have passed unanimously in the Senate. That is how fundamental this issue of taking care of our veterans is.”

Senator Patrick Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, said in an article in The Hill, that bill is actually unrelated to the issue at hand.

“My concern about this bill has nothing to do with the purpose of the bill,” Toomey said. “This budgetary gimmick is so unrelated to the actual veteran’s issue that has to do with burn pits, that it’s not even in the House version of this bill.”

Gillibrand and other lawmakers disagreed saying the bill hadn’t changed since passing in the House and that they plan to bring it back to the Senate floor before the August recess.