(WKBN) – Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, joined dozens of senators and veterans organizations Thursday after a toxic exposure bill failed to pass the Senate.
The bill previously passed the Senate, 84-14, but was reconsidered after a technical error. It then failed.
The Hill reports that all Democrats and eight Republicans voted for the Sgt. 1st Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act, but the 55 yes votes fell short of the 60 needed to end a filibuster in the Senate. Three senators did not vote.
It would have expanded veterans’ access to medical care and disability for those who were exposed to toxic burn pits and Vietnam-era veterans exposed to the deadly herbicide Agent Orange.
According to the Associated Press, the VA denies more than 70% of disability claims related to burn pit exposure.
“It’s time we do this… every day we wait are more soldiers, and more Marines and more people coming home and not getting the health care,” Brown said.
According to The Hill, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) said on the Senate floor that he didn’t support the bill because it would create $400 billion in unrelated spending, which he called a “budgetary gimmick.” He said he supported the bill but argued that they should be working to curb wasteful spending.
Brown suggested that Congress postpone scheduled recess next week until the bill gets passed.
Chelsea Simeon contributed to this report.