116th Congress: It’s been one month since H.R.6395, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, passed over a veto on 1/1/21 and became Public Law No: 116-283.
It includes an important AO amendment, pushed through by Sen. Tester of Montana, now also law. (Four years + AO advocacy)
TITLE XCI–VETERANS AFFAIRS MATTERS
Sec. 9109. Additional diseases associated with exposure to certain
herbicide agents for which there is a presumption of service
connection for veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam.
SEC. 9109. ADDITIONAL DISEASES ASSOCIATED WITH EXPOSURE TO CERTAIN HERBICIDE AGENTS FOR WHICH THERE IS A PRESUMPTION OF SERVICE CONNECTION FOR VETERANS WHO SERVED IN THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM. Section 1116(a)(2) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraphs: ``(I) Parkinsonism. ``(J) Bladder cancer. ``(K) Hypothyroidism.''
Now what? Don’t see anything on the VA website, or the Federal Register yet. VSO’s quiet but I found this:
NY Vietnam Vets writes (1/8) :”Please note, once proposed legislation has been signed into law, the Executive Branch is responsible for implementing it. VVA will work with Congress and the Department of Veteran Affairs to ensure that these new bills are fully implemented.” More at VVA.
So the Biden Administration will implement this–but when? Robert Wilke is gone; Dat Tran is interim secretary. Denis McDonough has been nominated for VA Secretary.
Send Questions to the Tippy Top People
White House VA Hotline (VEO): 24/7 call line
The 2020 Agent Orange (AO) Newsletter, published irregularly by VA’s Public Health department, is the most recent.
Unlike the Blue Water Navy Act, I don’t see a reference to any Effective Date of Award. Alex advises submitting a claim as soon as possible.
58,318 Americans died in Vietnam. Tens of thousands died after the war from Agent Orange; tens of thousands of oldies are still fighting AO. Only about 32% remain.
Who in the Senate doesn’t get it or care?
Without unbiased research, informed lawmakers, and fair-minded patriotic citizens, I think life for disabled or injured veterans and their families will not improve. Maybe term limits would help?
The 117th U. S. Congress has convened with over 65 new members. There is a new-old administration. One hopes for speedy reforms. Younger vets are experiencing the same delay and deny tactics that have been used in the past. They have seen elder vets suffer needlessly. On the streets. Fifty years to get welcomed home...(VFW).
And it’s 1, 2, 3, what’re we fighting for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn
Next stop is vietnam
And it’s 5, 6, 7, open up the pearly gates
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why
Whoopee! We’re all gonna die
Laura (Guest author)