Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Steve Daines (R-MT) today called on the Senate to quickly pass their bipartisan Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act after the House passed this legislation with unanimous support this evening.
“Thousands of Vietnam veterans are still waiting for VA benefits for the ailments they developed through exposure to Agent Orange while serving off the Vietnamese coast during the war,” said Senator Gillibrand. “While the courts have forced the VA to cover some of those offshore, Congress must ensure that all exposed sailors are covered by passing the bipartisan Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, and I’m thankful the House took action and passed this bill tonight. Now it’s time for the Senate to follow suit and immediately pass this bipartisan bill so our Blue Water Vets can finally be guaranteed the benefits they have earned and deserve.”
“Our Vietnam veterans who served both on land and sea deserve equal care for their service in protecting our freedoms,” said Senator Daines. “I’m pleased to see the House take this important step to restore care for our Vietnam veterans, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act swiftly.”
Gillibrand and Daines reintroduced the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act last month. Gillibrand has championed the fight to ensure Blue Water veterans get the health and disability benefits they earned. She led the Senate version of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, which she first introduced in 2009. Last Congress, Gillibrand and Daines’ bill had the support of 51 additional Senators. The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act passed the House by a vote of 382-0 in June 2018.