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PACT ACT, failed due to Senators changing their vote!

A bill aimed at protecting veterans exposed to toxic materials during their service was shut down yesterday in the Senate, in a 55 to 42 vote that failed to meet the 60-vote threshold necessary to advance the legislation.

Of the 42 senators who voted against the Pact ACT, 41 were Republicans. These are all the Republican Senators who voted against the bill:

  1. John A. Barrasso, WY

  2. Marsha Blackburn, TN

  3. Roy Blunt, MO

  4. Mike Braun, IN

  5. Richard Burr, NC

  6. Bill Cassidy, LA

  7. John Cornyn, TX

  8. Tom Cotton, AR

  9. Kevin Cramer, ND

  10. Mike Crapo, ID

  11. Ted Cruz, TX,

  12. Steve Daines, MT

  13. Joni Ernst, IA

  14. Deb Fischer, NE

  15. Bill Hagerty, TN

  16. Josh Hawley, MO

  17. Cindy Hyde-Smith, MS

  18. Jim Inhofe, OK

  19. Ron Johnson, WI

  20. John Neely Kennedy, LA

  21. James Lankford, OK

  22. Mike Lee, UT

  23. Cynthia Lummis, WY

  24. Roger Marshall, KS

  25. Mitch McConnell, KY

  26. Rand Paul, KY

  27. Rob Portman, OH

  28. Jim Risch, ID

  29. Mitt Romney, UT

  30. Mike Rounds, SD

  31. Ben Sasse, NE

  32. Rick Scott, FL

  33. Tim Scott, SC

  34. Richard Shelby, AL

  35. Dan Sullivan, AK

  36. John Thune, SD

  37. Thom Tillis, NC

  38. Patrick Toomey, PA

  39. Tommy Tuberville, AL

  40. Roger Wicker, MS

  41. Todd Young, IN

Only one Democrat, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, voted against the bill. Two Democrats and one Republican abstained, while 47 Democrats, 8 Republicans and 2 Independent voted to pass the bill.

New benefits for burn pit victims in limbo after Senate Republicans block plan By Leo Shane III Jul 27, 08:38 PM A Mainre disposes of trash at a burn pit in Forward Operating Base Zeebrudge in Afghanistan on March 6, 2013. (Sgt. Anthony L. Ortiz/Marine Corps)

A surprise deal on health care and environmental policies announced by Senate Democratic leaders Wednesday afternoon produced an unexpected casualty: the comprehensive toxic exposure legislation veterans advocates expected to pass this week. The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act — better known as the PACT Act — had been up for a procedural vote in the chamber with an expectation of final passage before the end of the week. The measure is the culmination of years of work by advocates to improve health care and benefits for veterans suffering injuries from burn pit smoke, Agent Orange spraying and other military contaminant exposure. It has been widely celebrated as a potential landmark legislative victory in veterans policy. RELATED Burn Pits Here are the veterans who will benefit from Congress’ sweeping toxic exposure bill Veterans who served in Afghanistan, the first Gulf War, Vietnam and numerous other overseas locations could see new benefits under the plan. By Leo Shane III The measure passed the Senate by a comfortable 84-14 vote in early June, and by a 342-88 vote in the House two weeks ago with significant Republican support. But on Wednesday, after technical corrections sent the measure back to the Senate for another procedural vote, 41 Senate Republicans blocked the measure, leaving its future uncertain. Republican lawmakers who had previously voted against the measure, including Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., reiterated objections to how the money connected to the measure (about $300 billion over 10 years) would be accounted for in the regular appropriations process. But the block came just as Democratic leaders announced plans for a comprehensive budget reconciliation measure — a plan that the GOP caucus previously pledged to oppose, including increased efforts to snarl normal business in the chamber. Democratic leaders immediately attacked their colleagues putting political vendettas ahead of needed veterans benefits. “This eleventh-hour act of cowardice will actively harm this country’s veterans and their families,” said Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester, D-Mont. “Republicans chose today to rob generations of toxic-exposed veterans across this country of the health care and benefits they so desperately need.

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