House Passes Bill To Expand Health Care For Vets Exposed To Burn Pits
The bill passed a 256-174 House vote Thursday. It would open up Veterans Affairs health care to more service members exposed to toxic burn pits during the Iraq or Afghanistan wars and expand disability benefits to veterans who have become sick.
House Backs Bill To Help Veterans Exposed To Toxic Burn Pits
A bill that would dramatically boost health care services and disability benefits for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan won approval Thursday in the House. The measure has the backing of the nation’s major veterans groups and underscores the continued cost of war years after the fighting has stopped. The bill’s fate is unclear in the Senate, but if passed into law, it would increase spending by more than $300 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. ... The bill passed by a vote of 256-174 with 34 Republicans joining all House Democrats in voting for it. (Freking, 3/3)
House Approves Bill To Help Veterans Exposed To 'Burn Pits'
The push to support military veterans plagued with health issues caused by toxic exposure to burn pits got a significant boost during President Joe Biden's State of the Union address Tuesday -- his support coming just before the House was set to vote Thursday. "I'm calling on Congress: pass a law to make sure veterans devastated by toxic exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan finally get the benefits and comprehensive health care they deserve," Biden said, calling it part of "a sacred obligation to equip all those we send to war and care for them and their families when they come home." (Khan, 3/3)
And the U.S. Senate votes to end the covid emergency —
Senate Passes Resolution To End COVID-19 National Emergency
The Senate passed a resolution Thursday that would end the national emergency for COVID-19, but it is unlikely to pass the House. The resolution, which was sponsored by Senate Republicans, narrowly passed 48-47 along party lines. Five senators, including three Democrats, were absent, giving Republicans the votes needed for the resolution to pass. (Hellmann, 3/3)
In other news from Capitol Hill —
DeLauro Requests IG Investigation Into FDA's Handling Of Infant Formula Recall
House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro today asked the Health and Human Services office of the inspector general to investigate whether the FDA “took prompt, appropriate, and effective action” in the lead up to the massive recall of Abbott Nutrition infant formula last month, POLITICO has learned. How we got here: The request comes after POLITICO reported that FDA, CDC and Abbott were told of the first infant with a Cronobacter sakazakii infection in September. (Evich, 3/3)
The Washington Post:
Sen. Ben Ray Luján Returns To Senate, Just One Month After Major Stroke
Sen. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico returned to work in the Senate on Thursday morning, barely a month after suffering a major stroke that left him hospitalized for weeks and sent a chill through fellow Democrats clinging to a 50-50 majority. Luján, 49, walked in and out of a Senate Commerce Committee meeting without assistance, where he was greeted with a bipartisan standing ovation. (DeBonis, 3/3)