Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gillibrand Introduces AO Equity Act in Senate!

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the Agent Orange Equity Act of 2009 in the Senate today. The bill will, when enacted, restore presumptive eligibility for exposure to herbicides to Veterans of the Vietnam War who served in the Blue Water Navy, the Blue Sky Air Force, and those who served in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, all of whom were included in the original Agent Orange Act of 1991, but were later removed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Senate bill joins its companion, HR 2254, introduced in the US House of Representatives in May of this year by Congressman Bob Filner, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. We do not have a bill number yet, but will post that as soon as it becomes available.

Ostensibly, the introduction of the same bill in the Senate as in the House will shorten its path to enactment, making very real the possibility of a signed bill by the end of this year, certainly by the end of February.

Now is the time to concentrate on contacting your US Senator to support, and fund the bill in the Senate, and to co-sponsor it. There are already some co-sponsors [the list isn't up quite yet], but we are shooting for 67, a veto proof majority.

Please contact your Senators [both!] and ask them to co-sponsor the bill today! Phone is good, in person is best, fax is also good. Letters will not work as they sit in a warehouse waiting to be checked for anthrax for at least a month. Here is a link to a directory of contacts in the US Senate.

We have never been closer that this in the last few years.

Keep the momentum going! Get your Senators to co-sponsor the Agent Orange Equity Act of 2009!


”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

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