Sens. Bob CorkerBob CorkerWeek ahead in defense: Anticipation builds for State pick; Pentagon chief's last trip abroad Former Ford CEO possible candidate for secretary of State: report Reid bids farewell to the Senate MORE (R-Tenn.) and Tom UdallTom UdallTom Udall eyes NM governor bid Court ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Tensions rise over judicial nominees MORE (D-N.M.) questioned the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) delay in creating the Open Air Burn Pit Registry.
The senators wrote to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki Tuesday demanding answers on why the VA hasn’t followed the law, which gave them one year to develop an open burn pit registry of service members and veterans exposed to toxic chemicals and fumes from open air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.
President Obama signed a provision into law more than one year ago that required the completion of the registry by Jan. 10. Corker and Udall said since the VA hasn’t followed the law, it should at least give Congress an explanation.
“In an effort to address this failure, we ask that you provide Congress with information on the current status of the Open Air Burn Pit Registry, an accounting of problems that have arisen during the development of the registry, detailed information on remaining benchmarks to be completed before the Open Air Burn Pit Registry will become fully operational, and any information on how Congress can help to expedite the implementation of this critical program,” the letter stated.
It’s unclear how many service members have health problems after being exposed to toxic burn pits, which is why lawmakers wanted to start the registry.