UPDATED: Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022
The "PACT Act”
Status of the bill: The Senate-amended bill was passed by the Senate on June 16th with a vote of 84-14. Because of a procedural issue, a provision needed to be removed from the bill. It was removed and passed by the House on July 13th with a vote of 342 – 88. The Senate must now pass the bill once again, yet on July 27th, the bill did not receive enough votes to end debate (through a cloture vote), thus further delaying passage of the bill. There are limited days left before the August recess and then momentum could be lost on the bill all together.
The Ask: Tell your senators to ensure swift passage of the PACT Act. No senator should leave for their vacation or campaigns in August before they pass this important legislation.
Q: Has the bill changed since the Senate last passed it?
A: The ONLY part of the bill that changed was the necessary technical removal of a single sentence. There were NO additional sections added.
Q: Did Democrats add a "budget gimmick” to this bill?
A: No. The funding structure in the bill was supported by 84 senators in June. That provision has not changed. It is unclear why some senators now oppose it. New amendments will only serve to further delay the bill which already received strong bipartisan support.
Q: Will the PACT Act add $400 billion in new spending?
A: No. Nothing in the bill authorizes $400 billion in new spending. If you look at the bill text, you will not find this anywhere. The Congressional Budget Office gave that estimate, however, the guard rails on the spending is on the Senate which must appropriate these funds every year.
Q: What provisions in the PACT Act are unrelated to veterans? Some say non-veteran issues were snuck in.
A: Absolutely nothing. This bill is 100% dedicated to health care and benefits for toxic-exposed veterans. Any inferences or accusations to the contrary are untrue.
Q: Senator Toomey asked for an amendment. Why is it not being considered?
A: He was offered a vote on his amendment. He turned it down.
Q: Which senators should be contacted?
A: These senators voted yes on final passage of the PACT Act in June but flipped to no votes on the recent vote. They pulled the rug out from under veterans who are sick and dying from toxic exposure.