WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) yesterday spoke on the Senate floor advocating for his amendment to fix a budget gimmick in the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins Act (PACT) Act that would enable $400 billion in spending completely unrelated to veterans’ care.
The PACT Act as written includes a budget gimmick that would allow $400 billion of current law spending to be moved from discretionary to mandatory spending. This provision is completely unnecessary to achieve the PACT Act’s stated goal of expanding health care and other benefits for veterans. This gimmick would allow for an additional $400 billion in future discretionary spending completely unrelated to veterans over the next 10 years.
Senator Toomey’s amendment does not reduce spending on veterans by a single dollar or affect the expansion of care and benefits in the underlying bill. The amendment simply ensures that the $280 billion expansion of veterans benefits, all classified as mandatory and unoffset, does not also include a transfer of current law spending to mandatory that would enable $400 billion of spending for items completely unrelated to veterans.
As Senator Toomey said on Monday:
“The oldest trick in Washington is to craft a bill to help vulnerable Americans, and then sneak in an unrelated provision that would never pass on its own. That’s exactly what Democrats are doing with the PACT Act.”
Senator Toomey will support the PACT Act if his amendment is adopted. He has been advocating for this legislative fix since mid-June.
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