WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) met with James Byrne, President Trump’s nominee to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Brown urged Byrne to work with him on key issues affecting Ohio veterans, including acting to help servicemembers and veterans harmed by toxic exposure such as Agent Orange, specifically Blue Water Navy Veterans affected by the recent Procopio decision, and burn pits veterans.
“Ohio veterans served our nation honorably, and we have a responsibility to ensure our veterans and their families have the care they earned,” said Brown. “I will continue to pressure VA to do the right thing and help veterans harmed by toxic exposure.”
Brown introduced legislation in January to help study the effects of burn pits on servicemembers’ health and has also requested that the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hold a hearing on toxic exposure in Washington, D.C. Brown continues working with Chairman Isakson and Ranking Member Tester to get a hearing on the schedule.
In September of 2018, Brown met with VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and pressed him on the need to secure benefits for these veterans. Brown also raised the issue during a Veterans’ Affairs Committee Hearing in September. Brown’s office has held more than a dozen roundtables with veterans across Ohio in the past few months, with Ohio veterans raising the Blue Water Navy issue time and time again.
Brown also asked Byrne to work with him to make sure community care providers in the new Veteran Community Care Program are held to the same high standard of care as VA providers when providing care to veterans.