Representative Larson Cosponsors IAVA-Backed Burn Pits Legislation
WASHINGTON, DC (August 21, 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. Rep. John Larson (D-CT) has become a cosponsor 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. Larson has served in the House since 1999 representing the 1st District of Connecticut, which includes the state capital of Hartford. He currently sits on the powerful Ways and Means Committee and is the former chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.
“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 Rep. Larson for signing onto this important piece of legislation.”
“Our soldiers not only put themselves in danger on the frontlines, but thousands have also been exposed to the harmful chemicals associated with burn pits over the past three decades. Having seen many of my friends and peers suffer the consequences of Agent Orange, it is incumbent on us to make sure the Department of Veteran’s Affairs monitors the unique effects of such toxic exposure on veterans’ health and ensures that those brave men and women receive the necessary care they deserve,” said Rep. Larson.
The Burn Pits Accountability Act, sponsored by Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Brian Mast (R-FL), now has 119 House cosponsors, and 5 in the Senate. The bill is among IAVA’s Big Six priorities for 2018, including Suicide Prevention, Government Reform, #SheWhoBorneTheBattle, #DefendTheGIBill, and #CannabisForVets.