Important Bipartisan Veterans’ Bill Deserves Bipartisan Process

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the PACT Act:

“The Senate is in the middle of processing major legislation to expand healthcare access for veterans exposed to toxic substances in the line of duty.

“Doing right by our vets is a bipartisan priority. An 86-vote majority of us voted to begin processing this bill a few days back, myself included.

“This legislation is not a minor fix; it is a series of major changes to help more veterans.

“So the precise language of the final bill will have major consequences for veterans, for policy, and for government spending.

“Republicans have pushed to get votes on a few commonsense amendments that would make this bipartisan bill even stronger for our veterans.

“For example, one of these amendments would make sure the veterans who are already in line and waiting for treatment under the current rules are not disserved or treated unfairly as an unintended consequence of the new expansion. Surely that should be completely uncontroversial.

“Another amendment would clarify how the government accounts for the new funding, to make sure the legislation does not impose major unintended consequences on the appropriations process.

“Another amendment would make it clear that new medical presumptions must rest on sound science, so Congress does not substitute our judgment for the experts’.

“These are not controversial amendments. They are directly related to the substance of this important bill. And given the magnitude of the changes under consideration, the Senators sponsoring these amendments have every right to expect votes on the floor.

“There is no reason why this important, bipartisan bill should be denied a bipartisan floor process.”