Texas Senator Ted Cruz voted to advance a landmark bill that would provide care for veterans impacted by toxic burn pits on Tuesday after facing fierce criticisms for its delay last week.
The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022, but is colloquially known as the PACT Act. Many U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan were exposed to toxic smoke from burn pits, which incinerated hazardous materials, including jet fuel and medical waste. The PACT Act would expand treatment eligibility and ensure these veterans receive proper medical care.
Last week the bill fell four votes short on a procedural vote that needed 60 senators, due to Republican opposition. After the bill was blocked, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was seen on the Senate floor, congratulating Sen. Steve Daines with fist-bumps after the Republican Montanan voted against advancing the bill. There was significant public backlash against the senator from veterans, families, widows and supporters of veterans. On Tuesday, he joined Senators in passing the legislation.
“While I ultimately supported the bill, because we need to take care of our veterans who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe, I’m disappointed that we couldn’t come together to fix the Democrat-created budget gimmick that will allow Congress to subsequently spend another $400 billion in pork, on top of and completely unrelated to the laudable funding in this bill for veterans harmed by burn pits,” Cruz said in a statement after Tuesday’s vote.