SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Lawmakers are expected to vote on the PACT Act Bill this week, according to Senator Chuck Schumer.
The bill itself would expand healthcare and extend benefits to millions of veterans across the county who were exposed to burn pits and other toxins during active duty.
Many veterans experienced illness from these toxins after fighting overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The bill was set to pass last week on Wednesday, but Senate Republicans changed their vote based on an added technicality.
Democratic lawmakers said nothing in the bill changed, while those opposed like Republican Senator Pat Toomey said the bill added $400 billion in unrelated spending.
Whether lawmakers can agree on paper or not, every day they don’t more and more veterans are at risk, according to Ashley Carothers the Operations Director with Minority Veterans of America.
“Many folks don’t realize the impact this has,” she said, “And by not passing this, we’ve got veterans that are sick.”
“Without this passing, we can’t get the connection to their service through the VA to get the healthcare and benefits they need,” she added, “It not only impacts the veterans themselves but their families too.”