HR-543 Introduced in the House of Representatives

The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act was introduced to the House Floor by Rep. Chris Gibson (D-NY) along with 41 strongly bipartisan initial co-sponsors on February 6, 2013. This legislation will return the presumption of exposure to herbicide to Navy and Marine veterans who served in the off shore waters of Vietnam. HR-543 now replaces HR-3612, which was the number used by the previous 112th Congress. The wording is the same, but the new designating number is HR-543.

The Senate Companion Bill to HR-543 will be introduced by Senator Gillibrand to the Senate Floor with a currently unknown but growing number of bipartisan co-sponsors sometime before the end of February. In the last Congressional Session, this Bill was numbered as S-1629, but it will be assigned a new number when it is re-introduced. Again, the wording of the new Bill should be the same as S-1629. In the 112th Congress, HR-3612 and S-1629 were identically worded.

Those Bills in the 112th Congress were supported by nearly 35 Veteran and Military Organizations including the unanimous approval of all 28 members of The Military Coalition.

What held this Bill from being released from Committee during the last 112th Congress was the lack of a CBO Score a cost figure provided by the Congressional Budget Office. A preliminary cost estimate was finally released the second week of October, 2012, too late in the session for any action to be taken on the legislation before that Congress adjourned. That preliminary cost estimate should be finalized by the CBO before the end of February also.