NEWS FROM CAPITOL HILL
President Obama signed legislation into law requiring the Veterans Affairs Department to establish a registry for troops and veterans who lived and worked near open-air burn pits used to dispose waste in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere overseas. Senate Bill 3202, aims to pinpoint the number of veterans who may have been exposed to burn-pit smoke so VA can track their medical histories and keep them apprised of new treatments for associated conditions.
FYI - Congressman Bishop’s original 2009 Burn Pit legislation (HR 2419), which was the original impetus for the exposure and awareness-raising of the burn pit issue. His original bill, HR 2419, included a clause calling for the implementation of a Formal Registry; however, it was stripped from his original bill as too cost prohibitive. With the provision in the bill, it would not have passed the House and Senate. It was, unfortunately, stripped in order that the bill would pass. Before we could do a separate registry bill, Congressman Bishop’s Burn Pit Registry provision was co-opted by Congressman Aiken…