Dear Secretary McDonough,
As you well know, President Biden recently signed into law S.3373, The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022. This new law expands the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare and benefits to an estimated 3.5 million post 9/11 toxic-exposed veterans and thousands of veterans who served in the Vietnam war. This law will undoubtably impact current operations at the VA, and it is of the upmost importance that this new law does not interfere with the VA's ability to provide timely care and benefits that veterans deserve.
Regardless of whatever previously stated reservations many Members of Congress have had about the bill's details, our offices stand ready to assist impacted veterans in our districts as they navigate its consequential changes to the VA and their overall care. Pursuant to this goal, we request the VA schedule a staff-level virtual briefing in the coming weeks on the PACT Act's implementation and any ramifications it may have on standard casework processes.
To ensure we are successfully prepared to assist our nation's heroes as the VA works to implement the PACT Act, it is imperative that the VA give our congressional offices -- particularly our district-based constituent services staffers -- the opportunity to hear directly from the VA and get answers to any outstanding questions our offices may have. This first step in ensuring our offices provide proper information to constituents is essential to effectively serving not just toxic-exposed veterans, but all veterans receiving care and benefits from the VA.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.