Madison County veteran speaks after PACT Act of 2022 fails Senate

SPC Sean Chapman - Army
SPC Sean Chapman - Army(WAFF)
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 10:14 PM CDT

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Madison County veteran Sean Chapman has a question for Alabama Senators Tommy Tuberville and Richard Shelby.

”How do you not vote for something that is going to help take care of a lot of people down the road?” Chapman said.

Chapman joins a group of roughly three-and-a-half million service members who the Department of Defense says could have been exposed to burn pits during wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, the bill known as the Pact Act of 2022 needed 60 votes to advance but failed. Senator Tuberville and Senator Shelby voted no.

“If you did it here, you would at a minimum probably have the fire department called out,” he said. “And at a maximum, you’d probably be facing fines from the EPA.”

From human waste to unneeded materials and chemicals, Chapman says those burn pits left him with a myriad of health issues that are hard to prove to the VA without proper documentation.

Senator Tuberville addressed his reasoning for voting against the bill Wednesday afternoon. His statement said the following: “Because of the way the bill is written, the VA will be required to cover healthcare and process disability compensation claims for veterans who report having conditions that have no evidence of association to burn pits or other drivers of toxic exposure.”

For now, the bill has not been rescheduled for another vote, but Chapman says other veterans don’t have time to waste.

“The way the VA works, the way the politics work, and the politicians work is deny deny deny deny until you die. If you die from it, your VA stops. So they can keep dragging this out then they don’t have to pay you for it once you’re gone,” Chapman said.

As of now, there is no timetable for the next time the PACT Act will be voted on.

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