Senator Casey Becomes Latest Cosponsor of the IAVA-Led Burn Pits Bill
WASHINGTON, DC (November 16, 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. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) has become a cosponsor of the Burn Pits Accountability Act (S. 3181/H.R. 5671), to improve the tracking and reporting of service members’ exposure to burn pits and airborne toxins during their deployments.
Elected to the Senate in 2006, Sen. Casey was an original cosponsor of the IAVA-led Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, a law to improve mental health and suicide prevention programs and increase information for veterans about available VA services. He has also authored legislation, recently signed into law, to increase transparency and accountability at the VA by requiring annual reports on bonuses awarded to senior VA employees around the country.
“Our most recent IAVA Member Survey told us that 80% of IAVA members report being exposed to burn pits and 63% of those exposed report symptoms,” said IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff. “Approximately 3.5 million service members and veterans are eligible for enrollment in the VA’s Burn Pit and Toxic Exposures Registry, according to the VA, yet only 161,000 are enrolled. We want to thank Senator Casey for cosponsoring this important legislation to require accountability by the Department of Defense to track airborne toxic exposures.”
The Burn Pits Accountability Act, sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), now has 12 Senate cosponsors, and 145 in the House. The bill is among IAVA’s Big Six priorities for 2018, including Suicide Prevention, Government Reform, #SheWhoBorneTheBattle, #DefendTheGIBill, and Medicinal Cannabis Research for Veterans.