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Republicans, Beware: America's Veterans Have Very, Very Long Memories

Those legislators who voted against the Honoring Our Pact Act (HR 3967) will pay the price come this November.

By KenPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
Republicans, Beware: America's Veterans Have Very, Very Long Memories
Photo by Daniel Páscoa on Unsplash


Every person who enlists or is drafted into one of the Armed Forces of the United States of America enters into a pact with our federal government that says, if injured while performing our duties, we are entitled to compensation and personal care at no cost to us.

There is a bill currently being discussed in the Senate that would amend our existing laws to include more disabilities from exposure to certain toxic chemicals/substances.

The full name of this bill is the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022 or the Honoring our PACT Act of 2022

This bill addresses health care, the presumption of service connection, research, resources, and other matters related to veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during military service —

It was first introduced in Congress on June 17th, 2021, and has undergone the changes necessary to introduce the bill to the full House for a vote. The timeline of these events can be found here.

Holdup on the final vote.

Congress held a vote on this legislation, and it passed, 256–174, making it a bipartisan bill that was next sent to the Senate.

While discussing the merits of the bill, the Senate made some changes to the language included in the bill, but then voted in favor of it becoming law by a margin of 84–14, with two abstentions — again a bipartisan bill that had substantial support from both sides.

Since changes to the bill were made, it next had to be resubmitted to the House of Representatives to undergo the process of reconciliation. It passed overwhelmingly, with one minor change, which sent the bill back to the Senate.

In the most recent vote, the measure failed by a vote of 55–42, five votes short of the 60-vote minimum required to send the legislation to the President for his signature, making it law--which means 27 of them voted the opposite of how they first embraced this law.

There were 41 Republicans who voted against this measure, even though many of them had voted for the bill on the first vote. They are listed below:

Here are the 41 Republican senators who opposed the bill:

John Barrasso of Wyoming

Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming

Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee

Bill Hagerty of Tennessee

Josh Hawley of Missouri

Roy Blunt of Missouri

Mike Braun of Indiana

Todd Young of Indiana

Richard Burr of North Carolina

Thom Tillis of North Carolina

Bill Cassidy of Louisiana

John Kennedy of Louisiana

John Cornyn of Texas

Ted Cruz of Texas

Tom Cotton of Arkansas

Dan Sullivan of Arkansas

Kevin Cramer of North Dakota

Steve Daines of Montana

Joni Ernst of Iowa

Deb Fischer of Nebraska

Ben Sasse of Nebraska

Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi

Roger Wicker of Mississippi

Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma

James Lankford of Oklahoma

Ron Johnson of Wisconsin

Mike Lee of Utah

Mitt Romney of Utah

Roger Marshall of Kansas

Mitch McConnell of Kentucky

Rand Paul of Kentucky

Rob Portman of Ohio

Mike Crapo of Idaho

James Risch of Idaho

Mike Rounds of South Dakota

John Thune of South Dakota

Rick Scott of Florida

Tim Scott of South Carolina

Richard Shelby of Alabama

Tommy Tuberville of Alabama

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

Now, we all know how “politics makes strange bedfellows” when it comes to one-upmanship between the two parties. What is truly discouraging and disappointing about this vote is that, sooner rather than later, this bill will become law.

This recent vote was an attempt by the Republicans to smack the Democrats hard for what they perceive to be a deceptive move regarding assurances there weren’t enough votes needed on prior legislation for it to pass — specifically, the Inflation Reduction Act, a.k.a. the spending bill.

The trouble is…

The problem with the Republicans’ thought process is that they didn’t factor in the effect this would have on the disabled veterans they serve.

These people have already been waiting for 40–50 years for this legislation. As a disabled veteran myself, I have been waiting since 1979 for the VA to declare that hypertension can be caused by exposure to Agent Orange.

Another problem they have is that they didn’t factor in how many of us veterans vote!

Thanks for reading this!

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  • The Rhonda Marie 2 years ago

    Hello Ken. I was so saddened, frustrated, and angry that this bill did not pass. I hope that when we all go to vote we keep things like this in mind. There is no excuse for not passing this and helping so many veterans that need this. Thank you for your service sir.

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