August 02, 2022

Statement from Congressman Castro on Senate Passage of the Honoring Our PACT Act

SAN ANTONIO – Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) issued the following statement after the Senate voted to pass the Honoring Our PACT Act, the final step before the bill can be signed into law:

“Today’s vote is a hard-fought victory for Rosie and Le Roy Torres, Tim Jensen, and countless advocates who worked for years to get Congress to do the right thing,” said Congressman Castro. “The health of American veterans should never be used as a political bargaining chip, and I applaud the brave men and women who kept watch in front of the Capitol to make sure this bill would pass. Our duty to stand up for American veterans goes beyond politics.” 

The Honoring Our PACT Act 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
  • Expand presumptions related to Agent Orange exposure and include Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Guam, American Samoa, and Johnston Atoll as locations for Agent Orange exposure
  • Strengthen federal research on toxic exposure
  • Improve the VA’s resources and training for toxic-exposed veterans
  • Set VA and veterans up for success by investing in VA claims processing, the VA workforce, and VA health care facilities.