WASHINGTON – Eleven Republicans voted Tuesday against a bill that funds research and benefits for as much as 3.5 million veterans who were impacted by toxic substances while they served.
The measure, known as the PACT Act or the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxic bill, passed with an 86-11 vote.
It was a result of months of bipartisan negotiation, and it had already passed the Senate in June with strong Republican support.
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However, last week 41 Republicans blocked the final passage of the legislation, arguing about how the legislation will be financed. The block caused backlash from veterans groups, lawmakers, and comedian and veterans’ advocate Jon Stewart.
Here are the 11 senators who opposed the bill:
- Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah
- Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
- Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho
- Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla.
- Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah
- Sen. Cynthia Lumis, R-Wyo.
- Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho
- Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.
- Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
- Sen. Tommy Turberville, R-Pa.
- Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.
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Senators explain why they voted no
Toomey, who led the opposition to the measure, said in a tweet , “Tonight, the Senate voted to give us the chance to fix a completely unnecessary budget gimmick in the underlying text of the PACT Act. This gimmick allows $400B in spending completely unrelated to veterans care.”
Tuberville, expressed his disapproval of the bill Tuesday in a tweet, saying “the bill will enable the VA to efficiently deliver care and benefits to veterans suffering from illnesses related to toxic exposure.”
Tillis said through a statement in June that “while well-intentioned, the PACT Act creates new promises to veterans while breaking existing ones, which is why I could not support its passage.”
The bill now goes to President Joe Biden’s desk for signature.