As President Biden’s Historic PACT Act Reaches the Milestone of 1 Million Approved Claims, the Biden-Harris Administration Is Delivering for Veterans Where Trump Failed 

As President Biden announces that the administration has reached 1 million approved PACT Act claims, DNC Deputy National Press Secretary Nina Raneses released the following statement: 

“Today, President Biden reached a new milestone in his fight to deliver for our nation’s veterans: the Biden-Harris administration has now granted more than 1 million claims through his historic PACT Act, with more than 880,000 veterans across the country now able to receive the care they deserve. The PACT Act is the most significant expansion of benefits and services for toxic-exposed veterans in decades, and as millions more veterans are getting screened for toxic exposure, the VA’s capacity to serve veterans has increased, veterans with cancer are being prioritized, and veterans and their survivors across the country are finally getting the benefits they need. Providing essential care for those who have served our country should be a priority across partisan lines, and that’s why the American people will continue to side with our service members over those who would disparage their sacrifice, like Donald Trump. Trump repeatedly called veterans and those who sacrificed their lives in service to our country ‘suckers’ and ‘losers,’ proposed slashing VA funds for elderly vets, and railed against the G.I. Bill. Today’s milestone is only the beginning for the PACT Act, and President Biden and Vice President Harris are committed to providing essential care for every veteran in this country who needs it.” 

NEW: More than 1 million PACT-related claims have now been granted thanks to the Biden-Harris administration — with more than 888,000 veterans and survivors across all 50 states and U.S. territories now receiving new benefits.

New York Times: “President Biden plans to announce on Tuesday that his administration has approved more than one million claims from veterans injured by toxic exposures during their service, actions made possible by a new law he championed, officials said.”

White House Fact Sheet: “Under President Biden’s leadership, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has processed claims at the fastest rate in history, and is delivering health care to more veterans than ever before.”

President Biden reached across the aisle to pass the historic PACT Act, the largest expansion of benefits and services for toxic-exposed veterans in decades

Since the PACT Act was signed into law, the Biden-Harris administration has helped veterans in every state and territory receive the services and care they deserve by: screening veterans for toxic exposures, delivering benefits to veterans and their survivors, prioritizing veterans with cancer, spreading the word to veterans and their survivors, increasing VA’s capacity to serve veterans, and eliminating benefits delays for veterans.

Associated Press: “About 111,000 veterans who are believed to have toxic exposure have enrolled in VA health care since the law was enacted. In addition, more than 4.1 million veterans have completed toxic screenings, which are questionnaires to analyze their potential exposure and determine whether additional tests are required.”

“[An Air Force veteran] said recent changes have made services more efficient, particularly at his location in Wilmington, Delaware, where a worker helped clue him in about the PACT Act. He applied for help with his psoriasis, a skin condition, and his disability benefits expanded. ‘It’s been a huge impact for me,’ he said.”

Spectrum News: “March 5, 2024 marks the first day of one of the largest expansions in VA health care for veterans across the country.”

“Starting on March 5, veterans with toxic exposure from the Vietnam War, Gulf War and post-September 11th era, will now be covered.”

Disabled veteran and advocate Ted Corcoran: “405,000 veterans have enrolled in VA healthcare since President Joe Biden signed the PACT Act. To put that number into perspective, that is equal to Michigan Stadium, Beaver Stadium, Ohio Stadium, and Rose Bowl at full capacity COMBINED. That is a massive number of veterans.” 

Donald Trump failed our nation’s veterans: He slashed funds for elderly vets, outsourced essential care for veterans to his ultra-wealthy Mar-a-Lago friends who cared more about profiting off the backs of service members, and railed against the G.I. Bill. “Elderly Vets Could Face Benefits Cut Under Trump Budget”

“Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin defended Wednesday a proposal in President Donald Trump’s federal budget plan that would cut a benefit paying thousands of dollars annually to disabled elderly veterans.”

Military Times: “Congressional investigators found evidence that the three men helped steer policy decisions on VA medical records issues and discussed ways to potentially monetize VA patient health data. Along with emails to senior VA staff, the trio also frequently contacted senior White House staff on VA policy issues and briefed the president on their proposals, all without any official federal role.”

Chris Cuomo, CNN: “So is that a yes, ‘I do support the current G.I. Bill?’”

Trump: “No.”

Trump has no respect for service men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our country. 

Axios: “Former President Trump didn’t want to visit a cemetery near Paris for Americans who fought and died in World War I because it was filled with ‘suckers’ and ‘losers,’ John Kelly, his longest-serving chief of staff, said in a statement to CNN on Monday.”

The Atlantic: “In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as ‘suckers’ for getting killed.”

Washington Post: “[Trump’s comments] stunned nearly everyone in the room, and some vowed that they would never repeat them. Indeed, they have not been reported until now. ‘I wouldn’t go to war with you people,’ Trump told the assembled brass. Addressing the room, the commander in chief barked, ‘You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.’”

Washington Post: “Trump unleashed his disdain, calling Afghanistan a ‘loser war.’ That phrase hung in the air and disgusted not only the military leaders at the table but also the men and women in uniform sitting along the back wall behind their principals. They all were sworn to obey their commander in chief’s commands, and here he was calling the war they had been fighting a loser war. ‘You’re all losers,’ Trump said. ‘You don’t know how to win anymore.’”

The Hill: “President Trump on Wednesday minimized the injuries of several U.S. service members who suffered concussions during an Iranian missile attack on two Iraqi bases that house American personnel.”

Trump’s record of failing our nation’s veterans is so bad he resorted to taking credit for President Obama’s accomplishments. 

Associated Press: “Boastful on the occasion of Memorial Day, President Donald Trump and his Veterans Affairs secretary are claiming full credit for health care improvements that were underway before they took office. Trump said he passed a private-sector health care program, Veterans Choice, after failed attempts by past presidents for the last ‘45 years.’ That’s not true. The Choice program, which allows veterans to see doctors outside the government-run VA system at taxpayer expense, was first passed in 2014 under President Barack Obama.”

MAGA Mike Johnson, Trump’s top minion in Congress, voted against the PACT Act and other legislation meant to support veterans and their families. “Here’s How New House Speaker Mike Johnson Voted on Veteran and Military Issues”

“On veterans issues, last year he voted against the PACT Act, considered the biggest increase of veterans benefits in a generation that expanded benefits and health care for those exposed to toxic substances during their military service.”

“Johnson also voted against a year-end package of smaller veterans and military family measures last year. Among other provisions, the bill mandated that states recognize service members and spouses’ valid professional licenses from other states and ensured veterans won’t lose GI Bill benefits if schools have to close in a future emergency like they did for the COVID-19 pandemic.”

And let’s not forget — extreme MAGA Republicans in the Senate celebrated by fist bumping after they attempted to block passage of the PACT Act, despite bipartisan support for the bill. 

HuffPost: “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was captured on video Thursday fist-bumping Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) shortly after Republicans managed to block the PACT Act, which would allow soldiers, sailors and airmen exposed to pits of smoldering waste in combat zones to be covered by the Veterans Affairs health care system for linked illnesses. Many are suffering from cancer.”