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Courtney Re-iterates call for Senate Action on House-Passed Blue Water Navy Legislation

November 12, 2018
Press Release

Norwich, CT – As we celebrate Veterans Day, Representative Joe Courtney (CT-02) renewed his call for Senate action on the House-passed Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act (H.R. 299). Courtney is the lead Democratic co-sponsor of this legislation in the House, and has advocated strongly for passage of this long overdue effort to provide fairness for veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

 “Blue Water Navy Vietnam war veterans have already waited far too long for recognition of the medical conditions they have suffered due to exposure to the Agent Orange toxin,” Courtney said.  “The House worked for months to negotiate a bipartisan compromise that passed the House unanimously in June and which the Senate has had nearly five months to consider. As we honor and celebrate the contributions our veterans have made this Veterans Day, it is critical that we remember our Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans and honor their sacrifices by providing the care and compensation they clearly and fairly deserve. It is time for the Senate to act.”

With time running out to pass H.R. 299 in the 115th Congress, Rep. Courtney has twice written to the Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia, urging him to allow the bill to move forward and some to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

  • In September, Courtney joined H.R. 299 co-lead Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) and 115 other Members of Congress in writing to Chairman Isakson and calling into question aspects of the Veterans Administration’s stated opposition to the bill. You can read a copy of the letter here.
  • In October, Courtney joined House Veterans Affairs Committee Ranking Member Tim Walz (D-MN) again urging Chairman Isakson to allow the bill to move forward. That letter noted the significant, good faith, bipartisan effort that Members of the House made to find agreeable sources of funding care and compensation for Blue Water Navy Veterans and ultimately led to the House’s unanimous vote of 382-0 in favor of H.R. 299 in June. You can read a copy of the letter here.


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