Our veterans represent the very best of us. But for far too many of our men and women in uniform, their military service involved exposure to hazardous environments and substances—exposures that could lead to harmful health effects including cancer, respiratory illnesses, or hypertension. That’s why I was proud to sign the bipartisan Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act into law last August – the most significant expansion of benefits and services for toxic exposed veterans and survivors in over thirty years.
This week, our Administration reached a critical milestone as a direct result of this law: veterans and survivors submitted 500,000 PACT Act-related claims to the Department of Veterans Affairs and three million veterans received toxic exposure screenings since August. My Administration is processing claims at record rates, and is delivering on our sacred obligation to care for America’s veterans and their families. But that work hangs in the balance with Republican Members of Congress’ proposals to drastically cut VA programs, resulting in significant increases in backlogs and tens of millions fewer health care visits – harming those the PACT Act most aims to help.
We will continue to honor our nation’s veterans by providing them the care and support they need – and oppose any efforts to cut critical services for veterans and their families, caregivers, and survivors.