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Senator Hassan & Colleagues’ Historic Military Toxic Exposure Bill Heads to President’s Desk

Package to Deliver Comprehensive Relief to All Generations of Veterans Exposed to Toxic Substances for the First Time in the Nation’s History

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have now passed Senator Maggie Hassan and colleagues’ historic, bipartisan military toxic exposure legislation that will deliver to all generations of veterans exposed to toxic substances the VA health care and benefits that they need. The bill now goes to the President’s desk to be signed into law.  


For more than a year, Senator Hassan and fellow members of the Senate and House veterans committees worked together with the VA and Veterans Service Organizations, resulting in the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022. The legislation includes provisions from the Toxic Exposure in the American Military (TEAM) Act that Senators Hassan and Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced more than a year ago and continued to push for throughout negotiations. 


“Following critical advocacy by veterans about the terrible health consequences caused by toxic exposure and the need to fundamentally change how the VA cares for those exposed to toxic substances during their military service, I am proud to have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to deliver this historic legislation to the President’s desk,” said Senator Hassan. “This bipartisan bill finally recognizes the devastating impact that toxic exposure can have, and ensures that many more veterans exposed to toxic substances get the health care and benefits that they have earned and deserve.”


New Hampshire and national Veterans Service Organizations applauded the passage of this important legislation.


“This toxic exposure bill will literally save the lives of countless veterans,” WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington said after the Senate vote. “Thousands of veterans and supporters made their voices heard on Capitol Hill. We want to thank every U.S. Senator who supported the vital legislation. Sen. Hassan deserves a lot of credit for working in a bipartisan way to get this bill across the finish line.”


"It is long past time for this legislation to pass. Veterans effected by toxic exposures should have a known course to follow to receive their earned benefits. We appreciate Senator Hassan’s leadership in passing this legislation in the Senate, and we look forward to the President signing this into law,” said Leon Rideout, State Commander NH VFW.


“This comprehensive toxic exposure legislation will make a real difference in veterans’ lives now and for years to come. I am grateful for Senator Hassan’s bipartisan work to develop and pass this legislation through the Senate, and we are excited for it to become law,” said Rick Borrazas, Commander, NH DAV.


Among its many priorities, the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022 that Senator Hassan and colleagues developed will:


  • Expand VA health care eligibility to Post-9/11 combat veterans, which includes more than 3.5 million toxic-exposed veterans;
  • Create a framework for the establishment of future presumptions of service connection related to toxic exposure;
  • Add 23 burn pit and toxic exposure-related conditions to VA’s list of service presumptions, including hypertension;
  • Expand presumptions related to Agent Orange exposure;
    • Includes Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Guam, American Samoa, and Johnston Atoll as locations for Agent Orange exposure;
  • Strengthen federal research on toxic exposure;
  • Improve VA’s resources and training for toxic-exposed veterans; and
  • Set VA and veterans up for success by investing in:
    • VA claims processing;
    • VA’s workforce; and
    • VA health care facilities.