On January 3, 2019, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member, Dr. Phil Roe (TN), introduced H.R. 203, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019. On January 8, 2019, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman, Mark Takano (CA), introduced H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019.
Nearly identical legislation was approved in the House last year by a vote of 382 to 0. Unfortunately, the legislation was not approved by the Senate so it must be approved again by the new 116th Congress.
Both bills would expand the presumptions for service connection related to exposure to herbicides containing dioxin, including Agent Orange, to veterans who served in the territorial seas of the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Veterans who served on ships in the waters off shore of Vietnam are arbitrarily and unjustly denied benefits of the presumption of exposure, and thereby are ineligible for presumption of service connection for herbicide-related disabilities. These bills would correct that injustice.
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