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Pottsville News

Meuser Co-sponsors Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Bill for Agent Orange Coverage

Rep. Dan Meuser (PA-9) spoke on the House floor Tuesday in support of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill unanimously. It now goes to the Senate once again where it still faces a likely challenge over funding.

Meuser, who represents Schuylkill County voters in Washington, D.C., co-sponsored the bill, known as HR 299.

Blue Water Navy Veterans Agent Orange Funding

The bill aims to provide healthcare funding to Blue Water Navy vets affected by Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

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Americans serving on land and on inland waterways in Vietnam get these benefits. However, those rights aren’t available to Blue Water Navy veterans.

“With this bill, we ensure that Blue Water Navy Veterans will be treated fairly and will receive the benefits and care they deserve,” Meuser said Tuesday.

A similar bill passed the House in 2018 but failed in the Senate.

According to Stars and Stripes, there’s a push to try and get the 2019 version of this bill through the Senate before Memorial Day on May 27.

Blue Water Navy veterans currently face an ongoing court battle over benefits eligibility. And that battle, along with the costs of providing additional care to these veterans, hold up the bill any time the subject is mentioned.

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Passing HR 299 into law would expedite getting veterans the care so many believe they deserve. Earlier this year, a federal appeals court ruled Blue Water Navy veterans eligible for benefits..

Funding for these benefits likely comes from fees tacked on to VA home loans awarded to non-disabled veterans.

You can check out what Meuser said about his support of HR 299 Tuesday on the House floor:

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