Senate Passes Burn Pits Legislation, Expanding Benefits for Veterans & More Breaking News

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Written by enews

The House approved the bill last month, and Mr. Biden, who has championed the measure, was expected to quickly sign it. He has speculated that toxic substances from burn pits contributed to the brain cancer that killed his son Beau Biden, who served in Iraq, in 2015.

The legislation had drawn broad support on Capitol Hill, but just as it was expected to clear the Senate last week, Republicans in the chamber abruptly withdrew their backing, insisting that Democrats allow them a chance to limit the funding available to treat veterans.

The bill would provide guaranteed funding for treating veterans exposed to toxins by setting up a dedicated fund that would not be subject to the annual congressional spending process. Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, warned that the measure was written in a way that could allow for immense new spending unrelated to veterans’ care.

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Mr. Toomey tried and failed to cap the amount of money that could be put into the fund every year, a move that Denis McDonough, the secretary of veterans affairs, had warned could lead to “rationing of care for vets.”

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