Current Legislation

1

House Bill

4

Senate Bills

1

Joint Bill

HR 5957

“K2 Veterans Toxic Exposure Accountability Act of 2020”
  • Introduced by Reps. Green and Lynch
  • Epidemiological study
  • K2 Registry
  • Independent scientific review
  • Presumption of service connection for K2 illnesses

S 4429

“K2 Veterans Toxic Exposure Act of 2020”
  • Introduced by Sens. Blackburn, Baldwin, and Feinstein
  • Epidemiological study
  • K2 Veteran eligibility for the VA Burn Pits Registry
  • K2 Veteran eligibility for depleted uranium programs
  • Access to studies conducted by the VA and DoD.

S 4384

“S 4384 K2 Veterans Advocacy Act of 2020”
  • Introduced by Sen. Sullivan
  • Requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into an agreement with the Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to complete a study on illnesses and report to Congress within two years.
  • Uzbekistan is included in certain registries, including burn pits.

S 4415

“S 4415 K2 Veterans Care Act of 2020”
  • Introduced by Sen. Blumenthal
  • Combined into S. 4384
  • Requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into an agreement with the Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to complete a study on illnesses and report to Congress within two years.
  • Uzbekistan is included in certain registries, including burn pits.

S 4393

“Toxic Exposure in the American Military Act of 2020 (TEAM Act)”
  • Introduced by Sen.Tillis
  • Does not include Uzbekistan
  • Testing for veterans exposed to toxic substances
  • VA must respond to new scientific evidence
  • Research health effects of toxic exposure
  • VA must conduct scientific studies
  • Portal for veterans to exposure record
  • Training for VA personnel
  • Exposure screening questionnaire

S.4572/HR 8261

"Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Toxins Act of 2020"
  • Introduced by Sen. Gillibrand and Rep. Ruiz
  • Includes Uzbekistan
  • Requires an epidemiological study for all toxic exposures
  • Provides presumptive service connection
    • Many locations
    • Many toxicants
  • Give access to NASEM to studies by the VA and DoD

Introduced by:

  • Representative Mark Green (R-TN-7) and
  • Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA-8)
My Portrait Sessions

STUDY:  Requires DoD to conduct an epidemiological study

  • An Assessment of conditions of Karshi Khanabad Airbase, Uzbekistan, including an identification of toxic substances contaminating the Air Base.
  • An epidemiological study of the health consequences of a member of the Armed Forces deployed to the Air Base
  • An assessment of any association between exposure to toxic substances identified and the health consequences

REGISTRY:  Creates a registry for all veterans exposed

  • Establish and maintain a registry for eligible individuals who may have been exposed to toxic substances at Karshi Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan, at any time during the period beginning October 1, 2001, and ending December 31, 2005
  • Include any information in such registry that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines necessary to ascertain and monitor the health effects of the exposure of members to such substances;
  • Develop a public information campaign to inform eligible individuals about the registry, including how to register and the benefits of registering; and
  • periodically notify eligible individuals of significant developments in the study and treatment of conditions associated with such exposure.
  • The Secretary shall take actions necessary to ensure that the registry may be updated with the cause of death of a deceased registered individual

REPORT TO CONGRESS:

  • REPORTS BY INDEPENDENT SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATION.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall enter into an agreement with an independent scientific organization to prepare reports
  • SUBMITTAL TO CONGRESS
    • INITIAL REPORT.—Not later than two years after the date on which the registry is established, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress the initial report
    • FOLLOW-UP REPORT.—Not later than five years after submitting the report the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress a follow-up report

Links

S 4429 K2 Veterans Toxic Exposure Accountability Act of 2020

Introduced by:

  • Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN),
  • Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
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2004 101

STUDY ON TOXIC EXPOSURE AT KARSHI KHANABAD AIR BASE, UZBEKISTAN.

STUDY - The Secretary of Defense shall conduct a study on toxic exposure by members of the Armed Forces deployed to Karshi Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan, at any time during the period beginning October 1, 2001, and ending December 31, 2005.

  • An assessment regarding the conditions of Karshi Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan, during the period beginning October 1, 2001, and ending December 31, 2005, including an identification of toxic substances contaminating the Air Base during such period.
  • An epidemiological study of the health consequences of a member of the Armed Forces deployed to the Air Base during such period.
  • An assessment of any association between exposure to toxic substances identified under subparagraph (A) and the health consequences studied under subparagraph

REPORT - Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, submit to Congress a report containing

  • The study above,
  • A description of:
    • The benefits administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that a veteran may be eligible to receive by reason of being exposed to toxic substances at Karshi Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan while serving in the Armed Forces; and
    • The outreach conducted by the Secretary to inform such veterans of such benefits.Armed Forces; or
    • The illness first became manifest prior to the covered veteran’s exposure.

INCLUSION OF UZBEKISTAN IN CERTAIN REGISTRIES AND PROGRAMS.

  • OPEN BURN PIT REGISTRY.—Section 201(c)(2) of the Dignified Burial and Other Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–260; 38 U.S.C. 527 note) is amended by striking ‘‘Afghanistan or Iraq’’ and inserting ‘‘Afghanistan, Iraq, or Uzbekistan’’.
  • DEPLETED URANIUM FOLLOW-UP PROGRAMS - The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall ensure that any individual who deployed as a member of the Armed Forces to Karshi Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan, at any time during the period beginning 25 October 1, 2001, and ending December 31, 2005, is covered by the Depleted Uranium Follow-Up Programs of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACCESS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES, ENGINEERING, AND MEDICINE TO INFORMATION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

  • Upon request by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (in this section referred to as the ‘‘Academies’’), the Secretary of Defense shall provide to the Academies such information in the possession of the Department of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall provide to the Academies such information in the possession of the Department of Veterans Affairs as the Academies determine useful in performing a covered study. Such information includes, at a minimum, all environmental sampling data relative to any location included in the study.
  • COVERED STUDY DEFINED. —In this section, the term ‘‘covered study’’ includes
    • The study conducted above
    • Any subsequent study or any study conducted by the Academies regarding the effects of exposure of humans to toxic substances at Karshi Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan, at any time during the period beginning October 1, 2001, and ending December 31, 2005.

Links

S 4384 K2 Veterans Advocacy Act of 2020

Introduced by:

  • Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK),
  • Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Official Portrait

STUDY ON EXPOSURE BY MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES TO TOXICANTS AT KARSHI-KHANABAD AIR BASE IN UZBEKISTAN.

AGREEMENT AND STUDY  - Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall enter into an agreement with the Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry for the Administrator to complete, not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this Act, a study to identify and assess any causation or correlation between -

  • Exposure to toxicants at the KarshiKhanabad (K2) Air Base in Uzbekistan during the period beginning on October 7, 2001, and ending on November 21, 2005; and
  • Incidents of cancer and other diseases or illnesses experienced by individuals who were members of the Armed Forces during the period described in above and exposed to toxicants as described in such paragraph.

ELEMENTS - The study conducted under subsection (a) shall include the following:

  • An assessment regarding the conditions of Karshi–Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan, during the period beginning on October 1, 2001, and ending on December 31, 2005, including an identification of toxic substances contaminating the Air Base during such period.
  • An epidemiological study of the health consequences of individuals who were members of the Armed Forces deployed to the Air Base during such period.

SUPPORT FOR STUDY -

IN GENERAL - The Secretary shall provide the Administrator with assistance in carrying out the study required by subsection (a), including by gathering such information as the Administrator may consider useful in carrying out the study, including environmental sampling data relative to any location included in the study.

OBTAINING INFORMATION CONCERNING EXPOSURE - Assistance under paragraph (1) provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall include compiling information on exposure described in subsection (a)(1) and any head of a Federal department or agency with information concerning such exposure, including the Secretary of Defense, shall provide the Secretary of Veterans Affairs with such information concerning such exposure as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs considers appropriate for purposes of the study required.

REPORT - 

IN GENERAL - Not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the matters covered by the study completed under subsection (a).

CONTENTS - The report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:

  • The findings of the Administrator with respect to the study completed under subsection (a).
  • A description of -
    • The benefits administered by the Secretary that a veteran may be eligible to receive by reason of being exposed to toxic substances at Karshi–Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan while serving in the Armed Forces; and
    • the outreach conducted by the Secretary to inform such veterans of such benefits.

APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS

  • The Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate; and
  • The Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.

INCLUSION OF UZBEKISTAN IN CERTAIN REGISTRIES AND PROGRAMS - Section 201(c)(2) of the Dignified Burial and Other Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–260; 38 U.S.C. 527 note) is amended, in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking ‘‘Afghanistan or Iraq’’ and inserting ‘‘Afghanistan, Iraq, or Uzbekistan’’.

Links

S 4415 K2 Veterans Care Act of 2020

Introduced by:

  • Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT),
  • Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Official Portrait

PRESUMPTIONS OF SERVICE CONNECTION FOR CERTAIN DISEASES ASSOCIATED WITH EXPOSURE TO CERTAIN TOXIC SUBSTANCES BY MEMBERS OF ARMED FORCES SERVING AT KARSHI KHANABAD AIR BASE, UZBEKISTAN.

In General - For purposes of section 1110 of title 38, United States Code, and subject to section 1113 of such title, a disease specified below becoming manifest in a veteran who served on active duty in the Armed Forces at Karshi Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan, at any time during the period beginning on January 1, 2001, and ending on December 31, 2005, shall be considered to have been incurred in or aggravated by such service, notwithstanding that there is no record of evidence of such disease during the period of such service.

Diseases Specified.—The diseases specified in this subsection are the illnesses and diseases that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determine have a positive association, including a sufficient, limited, or suggestive association, with exposure to any of the following substances:

  • Jet fuel.
  • Volatile organic compounds.
  • High levels of particulate matter and dust resulting from open burn pits, as defined in section 201(c) of the Dignified Burial and Other Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–26038 U.S.C. 527 note).
  • Depleted uranium.
  • Asbestos.
  • Lead-based paint.

HEALTH CARE FOR VETERANS EXPOSED TO TOXIC SUBSTANCES WHILE SERVING AS MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES AT KARSHI KHANABAD AIR BASE, UZBEKISTAN.

Section 1710(e) of title 38, United States Code, is amended - in paragraph (1), by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

“(G) A veteran who served on active duty in the Armed Forces at Karshi Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan, during the period beginning on January 1, 2001, and ending on December 31, 2005, is eligible for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care under subsection (a)(2)(F) for any illness or disease for which the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determine has a positive association, including a sufficient, limited, or suggestive association, with exposure to any of the following substances, notwithstanding that there is insufficient medical evidence to conclude that such illness or disease is attributable to such service:

“(i) Jet fuel.

“(ii) Volatile organic compounds.

“(iii) High levels of particulate matter and dust resulting from open burn pits, as defined in section 201(c) of the Dignified Burial and Other Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–26038 U.S.C. 527 note).

“(iv) Depleted uranium.

“(v) Asbestos.

“(vi) Lead-based paint.”; and

(2) in paragraph (2)(B), by striking “or (F)” and inserting “(F), or (G)”.

INCLUSION OF VETERANS EXPOSED TO TOXIC SUBSTANCES WHILE SERVING AS MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES AT KARSHI KHANABAD AIR BASE, UZBEKISTAN IN OPEN BURN PIT REGISTRY. - Section 201(c)(2) of the Dignified Burial and Other Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–26038 U.S.C. 527 note) is amended, in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking “Afghanistan or Iraq” and inserting “Afghanistan, Iraq, or Uzbekistan”.

 

Links

Blumenthal & Baldwin Push for VA to Cover K2 Veterans' Toxic Exposure Care

S 4393 Toxic Exposure in the American Military Act of 2020 (TEAM Act)

Introduced by:

  • Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), and
  • Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN),
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EXPANSION OF HEALTH CARE AND BENEFITS FOR VETERANS EXPOSED TO TOXIC SUBSTANCES

  • Consultation, testing, and treatment for certain veterans who received hazardous duty pay or were exposed to toxic substances.
  • Permanent reauthorization of authority of Secretary of Veterans Affairs to prescribe regulations providing that a presumption of service connection is warranted for a disease associated with exposure to a herbicide agent.
  • Presumptions of service connection for diseases associated with exposure to certain toxic substances.

 

RESEARCH AND REVIEW REGARDING EXPOSURE TO TOXIC SUBSTANCES

  • Establishment of Toxic Exposure Review Commission.
  • Agreement with National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concerning the exposure of humans to toxic substances.
  • Analysis of results of consultation, testing, and treatment of veterans for disabilities related to exposure to toxic substances.
  • Report to evaluate and identify groups at-risk of exposure to toxic substances.

 

IMPROVEMENT OF RESOURCES OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS REGARDING EXPOSURES TO TOXIC SUBSTANCES

  • Publication of list of resources of Department of Veterans Affairs for veterans exposed to toxic substances and outreach program for such veterans and caregivers and survivors of such veterans.
  • Incorporation of toxic exposure questionnaire during primary care appointments.
  • Portal for access by veterans to individual longitudinal exposure record.
  • Training of personnel of Department of Veterans Affairs on illnesses related to exposure to toxic substances.

S 4572/HR 8261 Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Toxins Act of 2020

Introduced by:

  • Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Representative Raul Ruiz (D-CA-36)
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IN GENERAL - Subchapter II of chapter 11 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section: § 1119. Presumption of service connection for certain diseases associated with exposure to toxins

PRESUMPTION OF SERVICE CONNECTION -

For the purposes of section 1110 of this title, and subject to section 1113 of this title, a disease specified below becoming manifest in a veteran described shall be considered to have been incurred in or aggravated during active military, naval, or air service, notwithstanding that there is no record of evidence of such disease during the period of such service.

  • The diseases specified in this paragraph are the following:
    • Asthma that was diagnosed after service in a country or territory listed.
    • Cancer of any type, except skin cancers.
    • Chronic bronchitis or obliterative bronchiolitis.
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
    • Constrictive bronchiolitis.
    • Emphysema.
    • Granulomatous disease.
    • Interstitial lung disease.
    • Lymphoma.
    • Pleuritis.
    • Sarcoidosis.
    • Any other disease with respect to which final regulations have been prescribed.
  • A veteran described in this paragraph is any veteran who, on or after January 1, 1990 -
    • Served as a member of the Armed Forces in support of a military operation
    • Was present for 15 or more cumulative days in a country or territory listed
    • A military operation described in this paragraph is -
    • Any contingency operation (as defined in section 101(a)(13) of title 10); or any military operation in any of the following countries or territories:
      • Afghanistan
      • Burkina Faso
      • Cameroon
      • Chad
      • Diego Garcia
      • Djibouti
      • Egypt
      • Ethiopia
      • Gabon.
      • Ghana
      • Iraq
      • Jordan
      • Kenya
      • Kuwait
      • Kyrgyzstan
      • Libya
      • Mali
      • Niger
      • Nigeria
      • Pakistan
      • Saudi Arabia
      • Somalia
      • South Sudan
      • Sudan
      • Syria
      • Tajikistan
      • Tunisia
      • United Arab Emirates
      • Uzbekistan

DETERMINATIONS BY NATIONAL ACADEMIES - If the Secretary receives a determination described in paragraph (2), not later than 180 days after receipt of such determination, the Secretary shall -

    • Publish in the Federal Register proposed regulations to add the disease covered by the determination to the list of diseases specified above
    • Publish in the Federal Register, and submit to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the House of Representatives–
    • The decision of the Secretary not to publish such proposed regulations; and the basis for such decision, including specific medical science refuting the determination; or publish in the Federal Register a decision that insufficient evidence exists to take action.
    • A determination described in this paragraph is a determination by the National Academies that there is a positive association between the exposure of humans to one or more covered toxins; and the occurrence of the disease in humans; and
    • May be made pursuant to—
      • A request from the Secretary; or
      • An agreement between the Secretary and the National Academies under section 3 of the Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Toxins Act of 2020.
      • Not later than 180 days after the date on which the Secretary publishes any proposed regulations under paragraph (1)(A) for a disease, the Secretary shall prescribe final regulations for that disease.
      • Such regulations shall be effective on the date of issuance.

REFERENCE TO NATIONAL ACADEMIES - In the case that the Secretary enters into an agreement with another organization as described any reference in this section to the National Academies shall be treated as a reference to the other organization.

    • DEFINITIONS.—In this section:
      • The term ‘covered toxin’ includes the following:
      • Any toxic chemical or toxic fume.
      • Hazardous waste, mixed waste, solid waste, or used oil (as those terms are defined
      • in section 1004 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6903)).
      • Radiological waste.
      • Any other carcinogen.
      • The term ‘veterans service organization’ means an organization recognized by the Secretary for the representation of veterans under section 5902 of this title.
    • EFFECTIVE DATE - 
    • IN GENERAL - the amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
    • WRITTEN PETITIONS - With respect to a written petition described in section 1119(b)(1) of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), that was received by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs before the effective date described the Secretary shall make a request of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine under such section, as so added, not later than 90 days after such effective date.
    • CLERICAL AMENDMENT - The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 11 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1118 the following new item: 1119. Presumption of service connection for certain diseases associated with exposure to toxins.
    • CONFORMING AMENDMENT - Section 1113 of such title is amended by striking or 1118’’ each place it appears and inserting 1118, or 1119.

AGREEMENT WITH THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES, ENGINEERING, AND MEDICINE CONCERNING THE EXPOSURE OF HUMANS TO TOXINS.

  • AGREEMENT -
    • IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall seek to enter into an agreement with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering,and Medicine (referred to in this section as the National Academies’’) to perform the services covered by this section.
    • TIMING.—The Secretary shall seek to enter into the agreement described not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
  • REVIEWS OF SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE -
    • IN    GENERAL.—Under an agreement between the Secretary and the National Academies, the National Academies shall review and summarize the scientific evidence, and assess the strength there of, concerning the association between the exposure of humans to covered toxins and each disease suspected to be associated with such exposure.
    • REVIEWS UPON REQUEST.—Under an agreement between the Secretary and the National  Academies under this section, the National Academies shall conduct a review described in paragraph in response to each request made by the Secretary under section 1119(b)(1) of title 38, United States Code, as added.
  • SCIENTIFIC DETERMINATIONS CONCERNING DISEASES -
    • IN GENERAL.—For each disease reviewed under subsection (b), the National Academies shall determine (to the extent that available scientific data permit meaningful determinations) whether there is a positive association between the exposure of humans to one or more covered toxins and the occurrence of the disease in humans, taking into account the strength of the scientific evidence and the appropriateness of the statistical and epidemiological methods used to detect the association.
    • SUBMISSIONS FOR REVIEWS UPON REQUEST - Under an agreement between the Secretary and the National Academies under this section, not later than 270 days after the date on which the Secretary transmits a request to the National Academies with respect to a disease under section 1119(b)(1) of title 38, United States Code, as added by section 2(a), the National Academies shall submit to the Secretary the determination made with respect to that disease.
  • RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ADDITIONAL SCIENTIFIC STUDIES.—
    • IN    GENERAL.—Under an agreement between the Secretary and the National Academies under this section, the National Academies shall make any recommendations it has for additional scientific studies to resolve areas of continuing scientific uncertainty relating to the exposure of humans to covered toxins.
    • CONSIDERATIONS.—In making recommendations for additional scientific studies, the National Academies shall consider
    • the scientific information that is available at the time of the recommendation;
    • the value and relevance of the information that could result from additional studies; and
    • the feasibility of carrying out such additional studies.
    • SUBSEQUENT REVIEWS.—Under an agreement
    • between the Secretary and the National Academies under
    • this section, the National Academies shall –
    • conduct as comprehensive a review as is practicable of the evidence that became available since the last review of such evidence under this section; and make determinations and estimates on the basis of the results of such review and all other reviews conducted for the purposes of this section.
  • REPORTS.—
    • INITIAL REPORT.—
      • IN GENERAL.—Under an agreementbetween the Secretary and the National Academies under this section, not later than 540 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the National Academies shall submit to the Secretary and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the House of Representatives a report on the activities of the National Academies under the agreement.
      • ELEMENTS.—The report submitted under subparagraph (A) shall include the following:
      • The determinations described
      • An explanation of the scientific evidence and reasoning that led to such determinations.
      • Any recommendations of the National Academies.
    • PERIODIC UPDATES.—Under an agreement between the Secretary and the National Academies under this section, not less frequently than once every two years, the National Academies shall submit to the Secretary and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the House of Representatives an updated report on the activities of the National Academies under the agreement.
    • LIMITATION ON AUTHORITY.—The authority to enter into agreements under this section shall be effective for a fiscal year to the extent that appropriations are available.
  • ALTERNATIVE CONTRACT SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATION -
    • IN GENERAL.—If the Secretary is unable within the period prescribe enter into an agreement with the National Academies on terms acceptable to the Secretary, the Secretary shall seek to enter into such an agreement with another appropriate scientific organization that
      • is not part of the Government;
      • operates as a not-for-profit entity; and
      • has expertise and objectivity comparable to that of the National Academies.
  • TREATMENT.—If the Secretary enters into an agreement with another organization as described, any reference in this section, section 4, and section 1119 of title 38, United States Code, as added to the National Academies shall be treated as a reference to the other organization.
  • COVERED TOXIN DEFINED.—In this section, the term covered toxin’’ has the meaning given that term in section 1119(e) of title 38, United States Code, as added above.
  • AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of Veterans Affairs such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.

ACCESS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES, ENGINEERING, AND MEDICINE TO INFORMATION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE.

  • IN GENERAL.—Upon request by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (referred to in this section as the National Academies’’), the Secretary of Defense shall provide to the National Academies information in the possession of the Department of Defense that the National Academies determines useful in conducting a review.
  • INCLUSIONS.—The information described in subsection (a) shall include, at a minimum—
    • All environmental sampling data relative to any location included in the review; and
    • A list of all forward-deployed positions at which members of the Armed Forces were deployed or stationed.

PRESUMPTION RELATING TO PERSONAL INJURY OF CERTAIN FEDERAL EMPLOYEES

  • IN GENERAL.—Section 8102 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    • In this subsection, the term ‘covered employee’ means an employee who, on or after January 1, 1990, carried out the job responsibilities of the employee for not fewer than 15 total days in a country or territory listed under subparagraph (B) of paragraph (4) of section 1119(a) of title 38 in support of a military operation described in that paragraph.
    • Disability or death from a disease described in paragraph (2) of such section suffered by a covered employee is deemed to have resulted from personal injury sustained while in the performance of the duty of the covered employee, whether or not the covered employee was engaged in the course of employment when the disability or disability resulting in death occurred.
  • EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendment shall take effect on the date that is 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

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“The Stronghold Freedom Foundation is grateful for Senator Gillibrand’s proposed Presumptive Benefits for War Fighter Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act. Upon passage, this legislation will provide some respite for Karshi-Khanabad Airbase (K2) veterans denied the care and benefits earned through their service and will greatly benefit many more. The Stronghold Freedom Foundation will continue to advocate for full recognition by the government and agencies which placed K2 veterans in harm’s way and will continue working with legislators, the DoD, and VA to obtain complete recognition, preventative care, screening, and registry for all K2 veterans.” – The Stronghold Freedom Foundation

Our Full Press Release can be Read Here

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