PACT Act and Camp Lejeune Justice Act blocked by Senate
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Honoring Our PACT Act meant to extend healthcare benefits for veterans exposed to toxic chemicals both at home and abroad has just been blocked by the Senate.
55 senators voted in favor of concurring to the House amendment, 42 voted against the motion and three abstained from voting. The motion required a 3/5 majority to pass. North Carolina senators republicans Richard Burr and Thom Tillis voted against the bill.
The bill also included the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which would allow soldiers stationed at the base for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 to sue the government for damages after exposure to toxic substances in the water. Almost one million people lived and worked at the base between 1953 and 1987, and a study found that people staying in Camp Lejeune had significantly higher mortality rates for several forms of cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia and other conditions.
In 1980 officials at the base found the water to be contaminated after a requirement from the Environmental Protection Agency. A analyst hired by the U.S. Marine Corps two years later confirmed the water was contaminated, but the water treatment plant causing the issues wasn’t closed until 1987.
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