Senate voted today to pass the Burn Pit Bill, also known as the Honoring Our PACT Act. The vote passed 84 to 14.
The bill’s original draft included contributions from Tim Jenson of Grunt Style, comedian and civil advocate Jon Stewart, and Pop Smoke Media’s very own Daniel Sharp. Many organizations contributed over the years, but the biggest champion of the efforts was Burn Pits 360, lead by Le Roy and Rosie Torres.
9/11 first responder advocate John Feal on Senate passing burn pit health care bill for veterans: "We always knew we were gonna get this done."@jonstewart: "We never knew we were gonna get this done."
Feal: "I'm talkin.'" pic.twitter.com/b2NJ8ZmmGy
— The Recount (@therecount) June 16, 2022
On March 3rd of this year, the House of Representatives voted and passed the bill in what was reported as a bipartisan effort. In actuality, only 4% of republicans voted in favor of the legislation while the democratic side of the house voted unanimously to pass it.
Historically, the Senate enjoys a much less partisan atmosphere so most stakeholders were optimistic in spite of a few very strategic hold-outs on the republican side. Of the 50 Senate seats, 12 Representatives voted earlier this month to not advance the bill. Their names follow:
Richard Burr (NC), Bill Cassidy (LA), John Kennedy (LA), James Lankford (OK), Mike Lee (UT), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Rand Paul (KY), Mitt Romney (UT), Dan Sullivan (AK), Thom Tillis (NC), Pat Toomey (PA), and Todd Young (IN).
Pop Smoke Media reached out to all of the above Senators office’s for comment, but was told that there was nobody available to speak on the matter. Additionally, none of the offices we reached out to offered any indication they had their own plan to provide health care to the Veterans suffering from toxic exposure besides voting no on the burn pit bill.
Afterwards, President Biden expressed his desire to “sign it into law right away.”