Six House Members Cosponsor IAVA-Backed Burn Pits Legislation
WASHINGTON, DC (September 7, 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. Ted Deutch (D-FL), David Cicilline (D-RH), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Conor Lamb (D-PA), Thomas Suozzi (D-NY), and Barbara Comstock (R-VA) have become cosponsors of the Burn Pits Accountability Act (S. 3181/H.R. 5671), to require the Department of Defense to track and report servicemembers’ exposure to burn pits and airborne toxins during their deployments.
Rep. Deutch serves as the Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee, Rep. Cicilline serves on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, Rep. Dingell sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Rep. Lamb sits on Veterans’ Affairs Committee as well as serving in the Marine Corps Reserves as a Major, Rep. Suozzi sits on the House Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Comstock serves on the Transportation & Infrastructure and Science, Space, and Technology Committees.
“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 the leadership of Reps. Deutch, Cicilline, Dingell, Lamb, Suozzi, and Comstock in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.”
The Burn Pits Accountability Act, sponsored by Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Brian Mast (R-FL), now has 132 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.