CORPUS CHRISTI , Texas — A breath of relief for Le Roy and Rosie Torres who co-founded Burn Pits 360 to help veterans who have been affected by toxic chemicals that came from burn pits.
The 'Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics', or PACT Act passed in a 256 to 174 vote in the House of Representatives on Thursday. The bill aims to expand eligibility for VA health care and benefits for millions of veterans suffering from health issues because of exposure to burn pits and other toxins in war zones.
Le Roy Torres said that he is ecstatic.
"One example trying to get specialized health care, just one of thousands of veterans, but seeing this go forward is just one step forward towards justice," he said.
Rosie Torres said its been a fight to get this passed.
"More than a decade, right, we have lost a lot of people along the way and we continue to lose people along the way," she said.
Democratic congressman Vicente Gonzalez with District 15, voted for the bill. The statement he provided us is provided below:
“I am proud to vote for the PACT Act that will provide much needed care to over 3.5 million veterans who were exposed to toxic substances. Congress and the Biden Administration must prioritize veterans and commit to taking care of those who bear the true cost of war.”
Republican congressman Michael Cloud voted against the bill, and, sent us this statement"
"Veterans who were exposed to burn pits and other toxins are suffering and deserve to receive the quality care their service to our nation has earned. That's why I am a co-sponsor of the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act, a bipartisan bill that has already passed the Senate and would expand health care services to toxic exposed veterans. However, instead of bringing this bill to the floor which could have immediately been sent to the White House for signature, Speaker Pelosi instead chose partisan politics and forced consideration of the PACT Act which many members of Congress had concerns with."
The bill will now head to the Senate. Rosie and Le Roy say it's now time to make sure the bill gets to the president's desk as soon as possible.