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
Sen. Tina Smith Helps Introduce Bill to Make Sure Veteran, Minority, and Immigrant Farmers Have Access to USDA Services
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith helped introduce legislation to make sure producers from diverse backgrounds—including veteran and immigrant farmers—are able to access services through a vital Department of Agriculture (USDA) program. The Assist Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Act of 2018 would ensure the USDA’s Outreach to Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program continues through the end of the current Farm Bill, and would strengthen the program by making it a more efficient resource for veteran, minority population, and immigrant farmers and ranchers. You can learn more about the bill and access a list of supporting organizations here. “We
Sen. Tina Smith Introduces Bill to Help Veterans Get Care for Hearing Loss, Their Most Common Service-Related Health Issue
WASHINGTON [07/18/18]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced legislation to reduce the red tape many veterans face when trying to get care for hearing loss as a result of their service—something many veterans say is an enormous burden despite being the most common service-connected ailment. Sen. Smith heard about this problem through her office’s veterans’ health care tour, which visited some 10 communities throughout Minnesota to hear what health challenges veterans are facing. You can access a summary of the bill here and text of the bill here. Currently, veterans receiving benefits through the VA must document hearing loss or tinnitus incurred while in
Klobuchar, Smith, Reed Call on Administration to Protect U.S. Troops and Families from Financial Fraud
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith joined Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and 46 other senators in calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to maintain financial protections for servicemembers and their families under the Military Lending Act (MLA). Recent reports have indicated that the Administration is planning to stop examining lenders for violations of the MLA. In their letter, the senators urged CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney not to end its examinations of payday lenders and other financial institutions for MLA compliance, and to not undertake measures that risk leaving U.S. troops and their families vulnerable to exploitation.
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