Murkowski Helps Ensure Veterans Bill Passes Senate
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today proudly voted in favor of S. 3373, the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, which expands healthcare access and coverage for the millions of veterans impacted by toxic exposures. The Senate failed to pass the bill, known as the PACT Act, last week while Murkowski was unable to vote due to COVID. Murkowski previously voted yes on the legislation when it first passed the Senate in June 2022 and has voted in favor of the measure throughout the entire process.
This comprehensive legislation ensures that military personnel who were exposed to toxic hazards, from toxins produced by burn pits to the chemical herbicide Agent Orange, and are now suffering from chronic health issues as a result, can access the care and treatment they need. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been denying approximately 70 percent of those claims under its current system.
“The number one priority of veterans and veteran organizations in Alaska is making sure we take care of those who were exposed to toxic hazards while serving. And I couldn’t agree more. We must do all we can to care for and support the veterans who have sacrificed so much in service of our nation,” said Senator Murkowski. “I’m proud the PACT Act has again passed the Senate and that we are now set to deliver on the promise that our veterans will receive the care they deserve. This bill expands healthcare access and coverage for individuals who were exposed to toxic and hazardous substances—whether through burn pits, Agent Orange, or herbicides—while protecting and defending us in the name of freedom. This is important, it is overdue, and it needs to become law as soon as possible so that our veterans have the highest quality of care.”
“As Commander of the Alaska Department of the American Legion and a Gulf War veteran, I want to offer my thanks to Senator Murkowski for recognizing the priorities of Alaska’s veterans through her strong support of the PACT Act. This critical legislation guarantees that veterans exposed to toxins from burn pits or contaminated water will no longer have to wait for the medical care and benefits they earned through their service,” said Deb Davis, Commander of the American Legion Department of Alaska.