The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill to vastly expand health care resources and disability benefits for combat veterans exposed to toxic burn pits while serving overseas.
Known as the Honoring Our PACT Act, the legislation will now go to President Joe Biden’s desk for a signature. The Senate’s final vote tallied at 86-11, rocketing past the 60-vote minimum needed to succeed in the chamber.
The passage of the act comes after days of intense campaigning from more than 60 veterans groups, many of whom camped out on the Capitol steps. Among them was comedian Jon Stewart, a longtime advocate for veterans’ rights, who sat in the Senate chamber alongside a few dozen veterans on Tuesday evening. Visibly emotional, Stewart held his head in his hands as the vote began, according to a Bloomberg reporter.