Washington, DC – Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) today introduced a pair of bills to improve the lives of America’s veterans.
The first, the bipartisan Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2014, introduced with Congressman Dan Benishek, M.D. (R-MI01), calls for research into the effects that toxic exposure during active service have had on the descendants of veterans. The second, The Incentives for our Nation’s Veterans in Energy Sustainability Technologies (INVEST) Act of 2014, introduced with Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA13), extends the work opportunity tax credit to companies in the green technology field who employ veterans.
“It is our responsibility as a nation to ensure that our returning veterans and their families can achieve the American dream,” Congressman Honda said. “Providing needed medical care, and making it easier for vets to find quality jobs, are two ways we can achieve our goal.”
“Our nation has a sacred responsibility to take care of those who serve our country in uniform, and their loved ones.” Congressman Honda said. “The Toxic Exposure Research Act is an important piece of bi-partisan legislation that will help us keep our promise to our veterans. While we know that our servicemen and women have been exposed to toxic substances while fighting for our country, we also know that many of their children have consequently suffered with various forms of birth defects. We need to know the full effects of such toxic exposures.”
“Through the bill’s establishment of a national research center, the VA can determine what effect toxins like Agent Orange have had on the children and grandchildren of our veterans who were exposed. This will allow us to know what we need to do to take care of these descendants who have been affected by these poisons.”
Congressman Benishek, M.D. said, “Having had the opportunity to treat our veterans as a doctor at a VA hospital for nearly 20 years, I understand that not all injuries our returning service members suffer from are immediately evident. Wounds from exposure to toxic chemicals can have lifelong and generational effects, the impacts of which we are still determining today. The bipartisan Toxic Exposure Research Act will help address the need to better understand the toxins that many of our heroes have been exposed to, and ensure we focus on understanding the effect exposure may have on their descendants.”