Home | news | Press Releases

Press Releases

Tonko Fort McClellan Legislation Advances Out of House

Legislation included in Honoring our PACT Act responds to Biden call during State of the Union to address toxic exposure in veterans

  • veteran photo

WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Paul D. Tonko today voted to advance H.R. 3967, the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act or Honoring our PACT Act, which will finally treat toxic exposure as a cost of war by addressing the full range of issues impacting toxic-exposed veterans’, and includes Tonko’s Fort McClellan Health Registry Act. Tonko’s bill establishes a health registry to track links between service at Fort McClellan and the severe life-long health problems plaguing many of the veterans who served there. In the past, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has not accepted any link between adverse health effects and service at Fort McClellan despite acknowledging that toxic substances were present at the base.

“The advance of the Honoring our PACT Act marks a pivotal moment for the thousands of veterans enduring extraordinary suffering from their time served at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama,” Congressman Tonko said. “When I was first elected in 2008, I heard from a constituent who had been stationed at Ft. McClellan and whose health was affected by toxic exposure, and over the years I have fought to right this wrong done to our men and women in uniform. I thank Chairman Takano for his leadership passing this legislation and I call on the Senate to join us in doing our duty to support our veterans.”

The Honoring our PACT Act is a comprehensive legislative package that will open up healthcare to over 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service and finally concede exposure to burn pits and airborne hazards. It will create presumptions for 23 respiratory illnesses and cancers, shifting the burden of proof off our veterans.

Leaders from 11 Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) including the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), The American Legion (TAL), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Blinded Veterans Association (BVA), Minority Veterans of America (MVA), and Burn Pits 360, among others, support the comprehensive bipartisan package. 


Stay Connected