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Representative Ocasio-Cortez Cosponsors IAVA-Backed Burn Pits Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC (March 14, 2019) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the leading voice of the Post-9/11 generation of veterans, is proud to announce that U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has become a cosponsor of the Burn Pits Accountability Act (S. 191/H.R. 663), to improve the tracking and reporting of service members’ exposure to burn pits and airborne toxins during their deployments. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez became a co-sponsor during IAVA’s Storm The Hill – a quarterly advocacy push in Washington, DC.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was first elected in 2018 and represents parts of the Bronx and Queens in New York City. She currently serves on both the powerful House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and the House Financial Services Committee.

“Per our most recent IAVA Member Survey, 82% of IAVA members report being exposed to burn pits and 84% of those exposed report symptoms,” said IAVA Chief Executive Officer, Jeremy Butler. “According to the VA, about 3.5 million service members and veterans are eligible for enrollment in the VA’s Burn Pit and Toxic Exposures Registry yet only 169,000 are enrolled. We want to thank Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in helping us by signing onto this important piece of legislation.”

The Burn Pits Accountability Act, sponsored by Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Brian Mast (R-FL), now has 134 House cosponsors, and 31 in the Senate. The bill is among IAVA’s Big Six priorities for 2019, including Suicide Prevention, Government Reform, #SheWhoBorneTheBattle, #DefendTheGIBill, and #CannabisForVets.

Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 8,000 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.