as of 1 JAN 2016

Both the House and Senate Veteran Affairs Committees are sitting in a holding pattern, waiting for the VA to submit new Regulations regarding Blue Water Navy issues that were raised in the Gray v. McDonald case and ordered by the CAVC. Although on the surface that appears to only be related to bays, ports and harbors AND dispersion of contaminated particles from the river mouths into the South China Sea, I strongly believe that the Gray Ruling opened the door for all of the 7th Fleet to challenge any exposure to Agent Orange anywhere in the Fleet. Read Here

The Congressional Budget Office is also "on hold" waiting for that information from the VA, because they know that whatever the VA does to acknowledge more sailors being eligible for presumptive coverage in the harbors and river mouths under existing law, the lower the cost of our legislation will be. They are waiting on the VA also, so they won't have to do their cost analysis more than once.

So, the VA is successfully stopping the progress (Delay, Deny, until they Die!) and no one has a hammer big enough to make the VA do anything at all. We continue to maintain the support in both the House and Senate, and that will carry into this new year, 2016. My own expectation is that the Bill will pass this spring, but at this point in time, no one has the slightest idea what the VA is preparing to release in the new rulings or the requirements for evidence might contain. However, we support requests to the White House to let the VA release their new rules because we can’t object to them if we don’t know what they are. There have been a couple communications with Sloan Gibson's office regarding this, but to date nothing substantial has been said.

John Rossie
1 JAN 2016

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