VA Begins Adjudicating Claims for New Agent Orange Presumptions Included in NDAA FY2021 [August 6, 2021] [open pdf - 635KB]
From the Background: "On January 1, 2021, the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA FY2021) [hyperlink] became law (P.L. [Public Law] 116-283) [hyperlink] after the House and Senate voted to override then-President Donald Trump's veto of the bill on December 28, 2020, and January 1, 2021, respectively. Section 9109 of the NDAA FY2021 amended Section 1116(a)(2) of Title 38 [hyperlink] of the 'U.S. Code' by adding bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism (a term for neurological disorders that cause movement problems similar to that of Parkinson's disease) to the list of presumptive conditions for Vietnam-era veterans exposed to Agent Orange. This brought an end to a multiyear attempt to expand the list of presumptions for this specific group of veterans. As background, during the 116th Congress, H.R. 2200, H.R. 5610, and S. 3444 were introduced. These bills sought to statutorily add the aforementioned conditions as presumptions. In addition, H.Res. 729 and S.Res. 420 would have encouraged then-President Trump to act on creating these presumptions. [...] In July 2020, Senator Jon Tester proposed S. Amdt. 1972 to the annual National Defense Authorization Act to address the issue. The amendment was included, and the legislation passed. Now bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism [hyperlink] are presumptive conditions for veterans exposed to Agent Orange."
CRS Insight, IN11718
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/