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Senate Passes Previously Stalled Veterans Act

Facts

  • The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act passed the Senate by a bipartisan vote of 86-11 on Tues., after Democrats allowed votes on a series of Republican-sponsored amendments related to the budget component of the bill. The amendments failed to pass.
  • The PACT Act, which passed the House in July, will now advance to the White House, where Biden is expected to sign it into law.
  • Tuesday's vote came after Republicans, led by Pat Toomey of Pa., blocked a procedural vote on the bill last week after they alleged the bill lacked the proper spending guardrails. Eleven Republicans, including Toomey, still voted against the bill.

Sources

Spin

Democratic narrative

This important bill shouldn't have taken so long to pass, and obviously, the Republicans were playing a political game with it because, without the bill changing, dozens of Republicans switched their vote from no to yes. Credit is due to the activists who didn't relent in pressuring the GOP throughout.

Republican narrative

This bill could've passed long ago had Democrats not tried the old Washington trick of taking a bill to benefit veterans and adding something unrelated, which wouldn't pass on its own. This bill still has major issues, but it's important to get it passed for the sake of veterans who need it.