Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Votes to Pass Legislation to Expand Care to Troops Exposed to Agent Orange

May 14, 2019
Press Release
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) voted to pass H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019. She is an original cosponsor of the bill.
 
H.R. 299 was passed by the House by a vote of 410-0 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
 
“While the war was fought long ago, our responsibility towards our veterans is no less important or urgent. We must ensure that every service member exposed to Agent Orange is able to receive the care and benefits they deserve,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “I urge the Senate to quickly pass this legislation. Any delay will only compound the hardship veterans have faced in their decades-long fight to get the care they need from the VA.”
 
Background: Between January 9, 1972 and May 7, 1975, service members who served on inland and coastal waterways of Vietnam were exposed to Agent Orange and subsequently suffered medical complications due to exposure to the toxic chemical. H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, recognizes that other veterans may have had similar exposure and expands affected geographic regions to include the Korean DMZ between September 1967 and 1971 as well as instructing the Department of Veterans Affairs to identify bases in Thailand where Agent Orange was used.
 
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been a steadfast advocate to recognize and secure treatment for veterans suffering the consequences of exposure to dangerous toxins, including Agent Orange, during the course of their military service. In the 116th Congress she re-introduced the Burn Pits Accountability Act to recognize the health consequences of troop exposure to burn pits used to dispose of waste at U.S. military bases in the Middle East. The bill has is supported by over 170 bipartisan Members of Congress as well as over 30 healthcare and veteran service organizations.
 
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawaii’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for 16 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard...
 
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