Senate passes relief act for veteran victims of burn pits

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, following the bill's passage, thanked its supporters for pressuring Congress

Updated: August 2, 2022 - 8:06pm

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The Senate on Tuesday passed the PACT Act to provide relief funds to veterans who suffered injuries or health impairment from exposure to burn pits while stationed abroad.

The upper chamber passed the measure 86-11 after Republicans initially objected to the bill's passage, according to Business Insider. It previously passed the bill on a 84-14 vote in June, but changes in the reconciliation process led to the holdup.

Burn pits are refuse piles the military often employs at its installations in underdeveloped countries. Personnel who serve at locations with burn pits often find themselves exposed to harmful chemicals as a result of burning the waste.

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey expressed opposition to the measure on the basis of a $400 billion spending provision and put forward an amendment to curb what he called "budget gimmick."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, following the bill's passage, thanked its supporters for pressuring Congress on the issue.

"I especially want to thank the veterans who camped at the foot of Capitol Hill for the past few days enduring scorching heat and drenching rain just to get to this point," he said, per the outlet.