On August 10, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022 which addresses health care, presumption of service-connection, research, resources, and other matters related to veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during military service. The journey to completing this over the past month was one of ups and downs.
On June 17, 2021 in the 117th Congress, Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41) introduced H.R. 3967, shortly titled the Honoring Our PACT Act of 2021. The bill was introduced to address health care for veterans who were exposed to toxic substances while serving in the military and covers the health of future service members. The bill also provided funding for research and other benefits for those veterans.
Capitol Steps -- Starting July 28, 2022, Burn Pits 360 along with Grunt Style and passionate veterans & advocates peacefully protested on the steps of the Capitol for nearly a week gaining national momentum on the PACT Act.
H.R. 3967 was on track to be signed into law by mid-late July. On July 27, 2022 Senate Republicans procedurally blocked the PACT Act from moving forward. This obviously created a public outrage which led to a press conference on July 28 with Speaker Pelosi, Sen. Tester, Sen. Gillibrand, Jon Stewart and other advocates.
Senate Swamp -- On July 28, 2022, Speaker Pelosi, Jon Stewart, Rosie Torres and Burn Pits 360 Advocates at a press conference following the blocking of the PACT Act by Senate Republicans.
The press conference was followed by them visiting offices of Senators who flipped their vote from YEA to NAY, and a "fire-watch" on the steps of the Capitol. The peaceful protest on the steps of the Capitol is the longest in American history lasting 6 days. Activists from David Hogg to Chef Jose Andres to various Members of Congress and Senators stopped by to lend their support for our cause.
Senate Swamp -- On August 2, 2022, Rosie Torres has Le Roy Torres on Facetime during a press conference with Sen. Schumer and Sen. Gillibrand following the final passage of the PACT Act.
On August 2nd, after much national media and pressure on those who flipped their vote, Majority Leader Schumer brought the PACT Act up for a vote in the Senate again. The Honoring Our PACT Act cleared the Senate with a YEA to NAY vote of 86 - 11, guaranteeing it being signed into law by President Biden.
On August 10, 2022 President Biden signed the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022 into law with Rosie & Le Roy Torres of Burn Pits 360 standing by his side.