Tester warns against cuts to veterans health coverage
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester is warning that funds committed to helping veterans exposed to toxic burn pits could be lost to House Republican demands of spending cuts in exchange for their votes to raise the debt ceiling.
Tester, chairman of the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee, raised the issue this week during a review of the Pres. Joe Biden’s 2024 budget for the Veterans Administration. Veterans for the first time received health coverage for illnesses stemming for exposure to toxic burn pits and Agent Orange in 2022 when Congress passed the PACT ACT, or Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022.
“We send folks off to war. We put it on the credit card. They come back and we make excuses not to fund their benefits. In Montana they say that that is something that comes out of the backside of a bull,” Tester said in opening remarks. “Anyway, after finally making good on our long overdue pledge to address these costs of war for toxic exposed veterans, our next step cannot be to immediately renege on that pledge. I’m also concerned with the House efforts to rescind $1.8 billion we already appropriated for delivering