House Passes Legislation to Extend Benefits to Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans
Washington, D.C. - Today, Ranking Member Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) released the following statement after the House passed the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, H.R. 299. The bill unanimously passed the House, 410 - 0.
"I applaud the House's passage of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act," said Roe. "This bill will ensure that our Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans receive the long overdue benefits that they earned. Last Congress, while I was Chairman of the Committee, the House unanimously passed nearly identical legislation. Unfortunately, despite the steadfast efforts of Chairman Isakson and Ranking Member Tester, that bill stalled in the Senate. I want to thank Chairman Takano for reintroducing this bill and working with me to ensure it remains a priority. I look forward to continuing our efforts to advocate for this bill with our Senate colleagues and, ultimately, send it to President Trump's desk so that we can finally deliver on the promises made to these well-deserving veterans.”Background: Agent Orange was an herbicide used during the Vietnam era that has been known to be associated with certain health issues in people who have been exposed to its chemical components. The Agent Orange Act of 1991 stipulated that if a veteran served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975 and has a disease that has been associated with exposure to Agent Orange, they are automatically presumed to have been exposed and, therefore, qualify for VA disability compensation. The Blue Water Navy Veterans Act of 2019 would extend the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange to veterans who served offshore of Vietnam. Click here for more information. Read the bill here