Veterans legislation includes Moran provisions to address residual wounds of war
Dec 13 2016
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, this week praised the Senate’s unanimous passage of a bipartisan veterans care reform package (H.R. 6416), including the Moran-Blumenthal Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2016. These provisions prioritize studying toxic exposure and the potential connection of toxic exposure to heath conditions affecting descendants of veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during their military service.
“Those who dutifully serve our country do not expect their choice to serve will negatively impact the health of their children or grandchildren,” Sen. Moran said. “Often the impacts of toxic exposure don’t appear until long after veterans have returned home. We must address these painful wounds of war for future generations by understanding the health risks and symptoms of exposure. I am pleased that toxic exposure research was prioritized in this VA reform package, and that we may now begin to address the potential health conditions in family members of veterans exposed to toxic substances.”
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) National President John Rowan added: “Vietnam Veterans and their families owe a great debt of gratitude to Senator Moran and his staff for their dogged determination and dedication to our nation’s veterans—the senator came to our town hall meetings; he listened to the stories of our children and grandchildren; and he acted. Senator Moran and his staff worked tirelessly to ensure passage of this critical legislation which lays the groundwork for the research we need on the health of our children and grandchildren, whom we believe have been impacted by exposures during our military service—and in keeping with our founding principle, this legislation will ensure that our newer veterans will not have to wait 50 years for answers.”
Specifically, this legislation includes a scientific review and assessment conducted by National Academy of Medicine regarding toxicological and epidemiological research on descendants of individuals with toxic exposure. It also addresses the scope and methodology required to conduct adequate scientific research of descendants of individuals with toxic exposure. Additionally, it calls for the creation of a board to advise the VA Secretary and the research entity potentially conducting the research on toxic exposure.
Sen. Moran has been a vocal advocate for researching toxic exposure, securing the inclusion of a study on the subject during the April mark-up of the Fiscal Year 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.
The U.S. House of Representatives previously approved H.R. 6416 by a vote of 419-0. Following its Saturday, Dec. 10, passage by the Senate, it now heads to the president’s desk for his signature.