How they voted: 3 Nebraska, Iowa senators change PACT Act votes
(WOWT) - Here’s how senators from Nebraska and Iowa voted on the PACT Act on Tuesday.
S-3373 was put forward to honor the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, which aims to provide care to veterans exposed to toxic materials while serving their country as well as fund research on those health impacts; it also bolsters staffing and hiring at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Senate approved the bill, 86-11, on Tuesday after a cloture vote on the bill failed 55-42 last week, needing 60 votes to advance.
- Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.: YES
- Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb.: YES
- Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa: YES
- Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa: YES
Sen. Grassley was the only one of the four who supported the bill during Thursday’s cloture vote.
“Today, we were able to secure a series of previously promised amendment votes and get the PACT Act done. While I am disappointed Democrats rejected improvements to the bill, I was pleased to support the PACT Act’s final passage to ensure veterans have access to the care they deserve.”
“Since 9/11, over 3.5 million veterans have suffered from toxic exposure, and many more have faced other adverse health effects from their selfless service. The bipartisan Honoring Our PACT Act is a critical investment in our veterans, who deserve the best care possible. By making much-needed improvements to the VA, including strengthening its workforce and health care facilities, this bill will help ensure veterans who have sacrificed so much to defend freedom, peace and prosperity will be well taken care of. We’ve promised to care for our military men and women who sacrificed for our freedoms. This bill helps to keep that promise.”
“Our veterans, who have sacrificed so much and continue to pay the price for their service, deserve the life-saving benefits in this bill. The PACT Act works to fulfill our duty to care for those who put on the uniform in the name of protecting our freedom, both past and present.”
Mike Franken, who is challenging Sen. Grassley on the November ballot, issued a statement ahead of Tuesday’s vote, calling on the Senate to pass the bill.
“During my time as Commander of the Joint Task Force in Djibouti, toxic burn pits were a daily reality. We didn’t get to choose the environment–especially when there was a southwest wind wafting noxious blue-gray fumes across the base. As a cancer survivor, I am aghast that our service members are being given short shrift in the aftermath of their service to the nation. The Republican political games are nonsense.”
“Let’s not cause undue turmoil, mounting medical bills, and debilitating respiratory illnesses by denying medical care to the countless military veterans who’ve served our country with valor. To the legions of military personnel, aid workers, contractors and service professionals who have been impacted by burn pit toxics, you deserve better than what your government has delivered to you. These political games are shameful and must not be tolerated.”
“Senator Grassley voted right on this bill, but he doesn’t get credit for lacking the leadership and/or stamina to rally his colleagues to do what’s right. It is incumbent upon him to speak out when an injustice is done. He cannot claim to be a supporter of veterans when he only does the bare minimum during an election year. Now, sick veterans continue to wait for their Senators to do their jobs. Reprehensible, in a word.”
CNN contributed to this report.
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