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Congressman Tim Ryan

Representing the 13th District of Ohio

Congressman Tim Ryan Praises Passage of Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act

May 15, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) praised the passage of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 (H.R. 299). The House of Representatives passed the bill last night with a vote of 410-0. It now moves to the Senate for a vote. The bill would provide benefits to 90,000 Blue Water Navy veterans who were exposed to dioxin – a toxin found in Agent Orange -- during the Vietnam War.

“I am extremely thankful the House unanimously passed this important legislation to help our Vietnam veterans. These benefits have been long overdue. We owe it to our Blue Water Navy veterans to keep our promise and give them the care they deserve,” said Congressman Ryan. “We cannot allow another congressional term to pass us by without making this into law. That’s why I’m strongly encouraging my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill and send it to the President’s desk today. Our veterans can’t wait any longer.”

In January 2019, Congressman Ryan applauded a federal court decision to extend benefits to Blue Water Navy Veterans.

In December 2018, Congressman Ryan called on the U.S. Senate to pass the bill.

In August 2018, Congressman Ryan wrote to U.S. Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Benefits Paul Lawrence urging him to reconsider his opposition to the House bill.  

In June 2018, the House in the 115th Congress unanimously passed the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act (HR 299) with a vote of 382-0.

The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 would extend the presumption of exposure for service connection for diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange to US Navy veterans who served offshore of the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War and veterans who served in or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). In addition to disability compensation, Blue Water Navy veterans may be eligible for healthcare if they develop a disease linked to herbicide exposure. The bill also extends eligibility for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits to certain children with spina bifida who were born to veterans who served in Thailand and were exposed to Agent Orange.