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Burn pit legislation in limbo after GOP rejects changes

John Cornyn
Posted at 8:04 AM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 11:38:20-04

A bill that passed with strong bipartisan support earlier last month is now back in limbo.

The bill intends to provide health care for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The PACT Act, which initially passed the Senate 84-14, returned to the chamber on Wednesday after technical changes were made. The legislation, however, failed to garner nearly as much bipartisan support.

This time, only eight Republicans voted in favor, causing a cloture vote to fail to reach the 60-vote threshold needed for consideration.

In addition to funding health care for veterans, the bill would fund federal research on toxic exposure.

Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, blamed Democrats for stalling the bill. He said the bill will eventually pass.

“This bill will ultimately pass, but it will be more fiscally responsible. Sen. Toomey, who led that effort, is negotiating with the leadership for things that should have been done last June but which were reneged upon,” he said.

Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican who worked with Democrat Sen. Jon Tester on the legislation, was among the eight Republicans who voted in favor.