The men and women who have honorably served our nation in uniform deserve our utmost respect, and when they return home we need to make sure our veterans get the benefits and care they earned. Sen. Tina Smith believes this includes ensuring they’re able to pursue higher education, find housing and good jobs, and helping them heal from the wounds of war and access health care. It also means making sure veterans receive quality, timely care, and that we actively seek out legislative fixes when we find gaps in the law that prevent them from receiving the benefits they’ve justly earned.
In order to do this, Sen. Smith encourages you to reach out to her when you hear about a veteran who needs assistance. Whether it be helping to connect them to services, advocating on their behalf, or working to fix a legislative issues, Sen. Smith is here to help.
Senator Smith’s Bipartisan Legislation to Secure Health Care for Veterans Exposed to Radiation Passes Senate
WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.3.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that her bipartisan legislation securing health care benefits for “Atomic Veterans” who were exposed to harmful radiation has passed the Senate and is headed to President Biden’s desk. The bill was passed as part of the historic Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act, which ensures millions of veterans exposed to noxious fumes emanating from burn pits will have access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care and benefits. It is co-led by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC). The Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act would allow veterans who participated in the cleanup of Enewetak Atoll on the Marshall Islands to receive the same health care and benefits given to other servicemembers who were involved in active nuclear tests. From 1946 to 1958, the U.S. military conducted more than 40 nuclear tests in the islands, but the thousands of servicemembers who cleaned up the area were never made eligible to receive health benefits under the Radiation Compensation Exposure Act. “We have a solemn duty to take care of the men and women who serve in our armed forces. A big part of that is ensuring they can get the health care they need both during and after their service,” said Sen. Smith. “Americans who cleaned up the radiation-exposed Marshall Islands—where more than 40 nuclear tests took place in the 20th century—have been fighting for proper care for a long time. I’m proud to see this legislation become law
Senator Smith Announces Passage of Historic Bill to Ensure Veterans Receive the Health Care They’ve Earned
WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.3.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced the Senate passed the most significant expansion of benefits and health services for veterans in more than 30 years. The historic Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act ensures millions of veterans exposed to noxious fumes emanating from burn pits will have access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care and benefits. The bill’s passage comes after Senate Republicans voted to block the bipartisan deal last week, which many of them had previously voted for. The bill will now head to President Biden’s desk where it will be signed into law. “I have heard heartbreaking stories from veterans in Minnesota and across the country who have fallen ill after serving our country and can’t access the health care they were promised,” said Senator Smith. “This bill is the largest expansion of benefits for service-connected health issues in 30 years and will mean quicker access to health care services for the millions of veterans who have been exposed to harmful toxins. I am thrilled to see this legislation on its way to President Biden’s desk, though it should have been there sooner. The health of American veterans should never be used as a political bargaining chip, and I thank the advocates and veterans who made their voices heard and ensured this bill made it across the finish line.” Named after Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson who died in 2020 from toxic exposure as a result of his military
WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/03/18]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) is helping to lead a bipartisan push to get the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to quickly clarify how it intends to “make whole” the more than 360,000 veterans in Minnesota and across the country who are at risk of being denied the full housing benefits they’ve earned. In response to recent reports that the VA plans to withhold retroactive payments for missed or underpaid monthly housing benefits from some veterans because it would create a backlog, Sen. Smith joined 12 of her Congressional colleagues in asking the VA’s Inspector General to investigate
Sens. Tina Smith, Thom Tillis Lead Bipartisan Reintroduction of Bill to Support Health Care for “Atomic Veterans”
Sens. Tina Smith, Thom Tillis Lead Bipartisan Reintroduction of Bill to Support Health Care for “Atomic Veterans” Senators Smith and Tillis, Congresswoman Meng Reintroduce Bill To Ensure Radiation-Exposed Veterans Who Cleaned Up Nuclear Testing Sites in Marshall Islands Receive Health Benefits WASHINGTON, D.C. [02/26/19]—Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) reintroduced their bipartisan legislation to secure health care benefits for “Atomic Veterans” who were exposed to harmful radiation when they cleaned up nuclear testing sites during the late 1970s. U.S. Representative Grace Meng (N-NY) reintroduced the House companion bill, and the Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act would allow veterans who participated
U.S. Senator Tina Smith Fights to Protect Veterans’ Economic Security Bipartisan Reform Amends Current Bankruptcy Law to Better Support Veterans and Their Families Experiencing Financial Hardship WASHINGTON, D.C. [03/07/19]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) pushed for reforms to current bankruptcy law in order to protect veterans experiencing financial hardship in Minnesota and across the country. The bipartisan Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act, led by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) excludes Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense disability benefits from veterans’ monthly income calculations, preventing those funds from being taken by creditors. “Disability benefits are not a luxury. They are essential for ensuring veterans are