Friday, December 14, 2018

Bill to extend Agent Orange benefits to U.S. Navy Vietnam vets dies in U.S. Senate

Dec. 10, 2018

A bill that would extend Agent Orange benefits to thousands of ailing U.S. Navy veterans hit a last-second snag in the U.S. Senate.

The so-called “Blue Water Navy Bill” died in the U.S. Senate when Sen. Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, objected, expressing concerns about the bill’s cost, according to Stars and Stripes.

The bill would make tens of thousands ailing veterans eligible for disability compensation and health care from the VA.

Those veterans served on ships that patrolled territorial waters off the Vietnam coast during the war and were exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides.


The Senate plans to adjourn for this session by week’s end, which means the bill is likely doomed until next year. The House has already voted unanimously for passage.

Montana Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines vowed Monday to keep up the fight for the Blue Water Bill and plan to hold a news conference Tuesday to draw more national attention to the issue.

Tester is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.


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