June 16, 2022
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement applauding Senate passage of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 84-14, with Blunt voting in favor of the legislation.
“Toxic-exposed veterans may not develop an illness for months or even years after their service. That should not prevent them from receiving the care and benefits they’ve earned,” said Blunt. “The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act expands eligibility for VA health care to millions of post-9/11 veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits, adds more than 20 toxic exposure-related conditions to the VA’s list of service presumptions, and provides resources to the VA to help ensure they’re able to serve all generations of toxic-exposed veterans. I’m glad the bill also includes resources for health-related VA research that could substantially enhance our state’s role in developing new precision medicine therapies. The strong, bipartisan support for this bill underscores our shared commitment to keeping the promises we made to service members and their families.”
The PACT Act also includes authorization for major medical leases, including leases for a facility for research in Columbia and outpatient clinics in Farmington, Kansas City, and Rolla. Blunt has long led efforts supporting a lease for a facility for research in Columbia to establish a Department of Veterans Affairs partnership with public research universities to further the discovery and application of precision medicine therapies. The University of Missouri’s NextGen Precision Health Initiative will be eligible to compete for the lease.