WASHINGTON, DC (October 11, 2018) – 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. Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Bradley Byrne (R-AL) have become cosponsors of the Burn Pits Accountability Act (S. 3181/H.R. 5671), to improve the tracking and reporting of servicemembers’ exposure to burn pits and airborne toxins during their deployments.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee serves as Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, and Rep. Bradley Byrne serves on the House Armed Services Committee.
“Per our most recent IAVA Member Survey, 80% of IAVA members report being exposed to burn pits and 63% of those exposed report symptoms. I count myself among the 63%,” said IAVA Chief Policy Officer, Melissa Bryant. “According to the VA, about 3.5 million servicemembers and veterans are eligible for enrollment in the VA’s Burn Pit and Toxic Exposures Registry yet only 154,000 are enrolled. We want to thank Reps. Jackson Lee and Byrne 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 10 in the Senate. The bill is among IAVA’s Big Six priorities for 2018, including Suicide Prevention, Government Reform, #SheWhoBorneTheBattle, #DefendTheGIBill, and Medicinal Cannabis Research for Veterans.
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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.