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    Wednesday, August 21, 2019-2:59:14P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Regional News

US House passes Amata-cosponsored Blue Water Navy Veterans bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the American Samoa Congressional Delegate) — On Wednesday, U.S. Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed the House passage of the bipartisan Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, which she cosponsored and supported in a prior committee vote last week.

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Congresswoman Amata with Chairman Mark Takano, speaking, and ranking member Dr. Phil Roe, in support of the Blue Water Navy veterans.  Office of the American Samoa Congressional Delegate photo

On Tuesday, Congresswoman Amata and other congressional leaders held a press event on the U.S. Capitol grounds in support of the Blue Water Navy veterans and highlighting their health needs and service.

“We take special pride in supporting our veterans in American Samoa, and this bill contains important assistance for some veterans who need it,” said Aumua Amata. “Those who served in Vietnam’s regional waters faced dangers and health risks that need to be recognized. This bill helps keep that commitment, and honors all those who served. I have a brother among those who served in the Navy during this era, including the Gulf of Tonkin, and I’m pleased to see that mission honored and this legislation pass the House.”

H.R. 299 would extend the presumption of service-connected diseases linked to exposure to herbicides like Agent Orange to veterans who served in the territorial seas of Vietnam, known as Blue Water Navy veterans. This is vitally important to these veterans, and an important part of keeping the nation’s commitment to keeping the nation’s promises to veterans.

Last year, Congresswoman Amata spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of the Blue Water Navy veterans. Congresswoman Amata also cosponsored the legislation in 2018 when it passed the House, however, it did not pass the Senate before the end of the 115th Congress, so the bill was reintroduced this year with widespread support in the House.