Sen. Marshall Supports PACT Act
(Washington, D.C., August 2, 2022) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. released the following statement after voting in favor of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, legislation that expands Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care coverage and benefits to include toxic-exposed veterans.
“As a veteran myself, and one of the first Republicans in the Senate to support this legislation, I was proud to vote in favor of the largest investment in our veterans’ health care today. This legislation will help veterans exposed to toxic chemicals receive access to the quality, timely care from the VA that they deserve for sacrificing for our country — without Senator Moran’s leadership this would not have been possible,” said Senator Marshall. “While we came up short to address the budgetary issue contained in the bill that will provide for $400 billion of new spending unrelated to care for our patriotic veterans, I was still proud to support final passage. This process is exactly how the Senate is designed to operate: to debate legislation and provide each Senator with an opportunity to make legislation stronger. As is our duty to also provide oversight, I will work to ensure every penny in the PACT Act is spent on veterans and nothing more.”
Senator Marshall has been supportive of several of the policies contained in this legislation since June 2021 and was one of only two Republican Senators to come out in support of it back then.
Specifically, the PACT Act would:
- Expand VA health care eligibility to Post-9/11 combat veterans, which includes more than 3.5 million toxic-exposed veterans;
- Create a framework for the establishment of future presumptions of service connection related to toxic exposure;
- Add 23 burn pit and toxic exposure-related conditions to VA’s list of service presumptions, including hypertension;
- Expand presumptions related to Agent Orange exposure;
- Includes Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Guam, American Samoa, and Johnston Atoll as locations for Agent Orange exposure;
- Strengthen federal research on toxic exposure;
- Improve VA’s resources and training for toxic-exposed veterans; and
- Set VA and veterans up for success by investing in:
- VA claims processing;
- VA’s workforce; and
- VA health care facilities.
Senator Marshall was in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1984 to 1991, rising to the rank of Captain. As a veteran, physician, and policymaker, Senator Marshall has actively worked to improve the lives of veterans in Kansas and across the nation. In September 2021, Senator Marshall penned an op-ed in the Manhattan Mercury highlighting the invaluable service of veterans and servicemembers who deployed to Afghanistan. In addition, legislation backed by Senator Marshall was signed into law that will enable the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to create a pilot program to hire veterans to train service dogs while simultaneously improving their mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To learn more on Senator Marshall’s efforts helping veterans, you may click HERE.