bookstore1.gif (6054 bytes)

bill3.gif (2043 bytes)

bill4.gif (2504 bytes)

bill5.gif (1911 bytes)

SUBCOMMITEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES
Christopher Shays, Connecticut
Chairman
Room B-372 Rayburn Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Tel:. 202 225-2548
Fax: 202 225-2382
E-Mail: hr.groc@mail.house.gov
July 22, 1998

Dear Colleague:
    Several weeks ago we introduced two bills implementing the legislative recommendations of the oversight report Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses: VA and DoD Continue to Resist Strong Evidence Linking Toxic Causes to Chronic Effects. (House Report 105-388, 105th Cong., 1st. Sess.) We now have about 60 co-sponsors on each bill (see attached).

    The bills have also received support from veterans and veterans organizations, including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, American Veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, National Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans Coalition, and the National Gulf War Resource Center.

    The first, the Persian Gulf War Veterans Health Act of 1998 (HR. 4036), would establish in law the presumption of service-connection for illnesses associated with exposure to toxins present in the war theater. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) would be required to accept the findings of an independent scientific body as to the illnesses linked with actual and presumed toxic exposures. By establishing a rebuttable presumption of exposure, and the presumption of service-connection for exposure effects, the bill places the burden of proof where it belongs -- on the VA, not the sick veteran. The bill would also require the VA to commission an independent scientific panel to conduct ongoing health surveillance among Gulf War veterans.

    The second bill, the Drugs and Informed Consent Armed Forces Protection Act of 1998 (H.R. 4035), would amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to require presidential concurrence in any Department of Defense (DoD) request for a waiver of informed consent in connection with the administration of an investigational or experimental drug to members of the armed forces. The bill would also amend a section of last year’s Defense Authorization bill to require DoD to provide detailed, written information about investigational or experimental drugs to U.S. forces before being administered. The current provision allows DoD to require use of an investigational or experimental drug and only provide basic information, such as the name of the drug, reason for use, side effects and drug interactions, within 30 days after initial administration.

Gulf War Veterans Legislation
June 22, 1998
Page 2

 
    Another bill, H.R 3661, introduced by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) reflects our recommendation that an agency other than DoD or VA control the Gulf War research agenda. That proposal would give the National Institutes of Health (NIH) the responsibility to focus VA, DoD and other research on toxic exposure effects and treatments.

    We are encouraged by Senate passage of an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 3616), sponsored by Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), requiring presidential approval prior to the mandatory administration of experimental drugs to U.S. military personnel. The amendment is similar to our bill, H.R. 4035. The Pentagon continues to demonstrate its inability, or unwillingness, to provide adequate information, or to collect vital medical data, about the drugs military personnel are ordered to take. We saw it in the Gulf War. We’re seeing it in Bosnia.

    Together, these bills embody the oversight findings and legislative recommendations of our oversight report, and 13 hearings, on Gulf War veterans’ illnesses. The report was adopted without dissent by the Government Reform and Oversight Committee last November. The 22 original co-sponsors of these bills include the entire membership of the Human Resources Subcommittee, Government Reform and Oversight Committee Chairman Dan Burton, and others. More than 35 additional co-sponsors have signed-on since introduction of the bills.

    Many Gulf War veterans are not receiving adequate medical care or compensation for their war-related exposure to a variety of toxic agents. We owe it to the brave men and women who fought in the Gulf War to follow through with the proposals contained in these bills.

    To be listed as a co-sponsor, or if you have questions about the legislation, please contact me or Robert Newman of the Subcommittee staff at 225-2548.

bill2.gif (4525 bytes)

Original Co-Sponsors

H.R. 4036

1.   Rep. Edolphus Towns (NY)
2.   Rep. Vince Snowbarger (KS)
3.   Rep. Bernard Sanders (VT)
4.   Rep. Benjamin Gilman (NY)
5.   Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
6.   Rep.DanBurton(IN)
7.   Rep. Jack Metcalf (WA)
8.   Rep. John McHugh (NY)
9.   Rep. Tom Allen (ME)
10. Rep. Tom Lantos (CA)
11. Rep. Tom Barrett (WI)
12. Rep. David McIntosh (IN)
13. Rep. Debbie Stabenow (MI)
14. Rep. James McGovern (MA)
15. Rep. Michael Pappas (NJ)
16. Rep. Mark Souder (IN)
17. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH)
18. Rep. Joseph Kennedy (MA)
19. Rep. Tom Davis (VA)
20. Rep. Nancy Johnson (CT)
21. Rep. Fred Upton (MI)
22. Rep. Henry Waxman (CA)
H.R. 4035

1.   Rep. Edolphus Towns (NY)
2.   Rep. Vince Snowbarger (KS)
3.   Rep. Bernard Sanders (VT)
4.   Rep. Benjamin Gilman (NY)
5.   Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
6.   Rep.DanBurton(IN)
7.   Rep. Jack Metcalf (WA)
8.   Rep. John McHugh (NY)
9.   Rep. Tom Allen (ME)
10. Rep. Tom Lantos (CA)
11. Rep. Tom Barrett (WI)
12. Rep. David McIntosh (IN)
13. Rep. Debbie Stabenow (MI)
14. Rep. James McGovern (MA)
15. Rep. Michael Pappas (NJ)
16. Rep. Mark Souder (IN)
17. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH)
18. Rep. Joseph Kennedy (MA)
19. Rep. Tom Davis (VA)
20. Rep. Nancy Johnson (CT)
21. Rep. Fred Upton (MI)
22. Rep. Gary Condit (CA)

Additional Co-Sponsors

H.R. 4036

23. Rep. John Tierney (MA)
24. Rep. Bob Filner (CA)
25. Rep. Tony Hall (OH)
26. Rep. Pat (Patsy) Danner (MO)
27. Rep. Connie Morella (MD)
28. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL)
29. Rep. Bob Etheridge (NC)
30. Rep. Gerald Kleczka (WI)
31. Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY)
32. Rep. Bart Stupak (MI)
33. Rep. Jim Maloney (CT)
34. Rep. Leonard Boswell (IA)
35. Rep. Michael Oxley (OH)
36. Rep. James Traficant (OH)
37. Del. Carlos Romero-Barcelo (PR)
38. Rep. Martin Meehan (MA)
39. Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA)
40. Rep. Charles Norwood (GA)
41. Rep. Carrie Meek (FL)
42. Rep. Richard Neal (MA)
44. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR)
45. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY)
46. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (RI)
47. Rep. Sherrod Brown (OH)
48. Rep. Lynn Rivers (MI)
49. Rep. Peter Deutsch (FL)
50. Rep. Jon Christensen (NE)
51. Rep. Charles Schumer (NY)
52. Rep. Ted Strickland (OH)
53. Rep. Karen Thurman (FL)
54. Rep. Louise Slaughter (NY)
55. Rep. Sue Kelly (NY)
56. Rep. John Baldacci (ME)
57. Rep. Julia Carson (IN)
58. Rep. Jim McDermott (WA)
59. Rep. Lynn Woolsey (CA)
60. Rep. Patsy Mink (HI)
61. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY)
62. Rep. Corrine Brown (FL)
63. Rep. Scotty Baesler (KY)
64. Rep. Phil English (PA)
H.R. 4035

23. Rep. John Tierney (MA)
24. Rep. Bob Filner (CA)
25. Rep. Tony Hall (OH)
26. Rep. Pat (Patsy) Danner (MO)
27. Rep. Connie Morella (MD)
28. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL)
29. Rep. Bob Etheridge (NC)
30. Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY)
31. Rep. Bart Stupak (MI)
32. Rep. Michael Oxley (OH)
33. Rep. James Traficant (OH)
34. Del. Carlos Romero-Barcelo (PR)
35. Rep. Martin Meehan (MA)
36. Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA)
37. Rep. Charles Norwood (GA)
38. Rep. Pete Sessions (TX)
39. Rep. Bill Redmond (NM)
40. Rep. Carrie Meek (FL)
41. Rep. Richard Neal (MA)
43. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR)
44. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY)
45. Rep. Neil Abercrombie (HI)
46. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (RI)
47. Rep. Lynn Rivers (MI)
48. Rep. Charles Schumer (NY)
49. Rep. Ted Strickland (OH)
50. Rep. Karen Thurman (FL)
51. Rep. Louise Slaughter (NY)
52. Rep. Jim McDermott (WA)
53. Rep. Lynn Woolsey (CA)
54. Rep. Patsy Mink (HI)
55. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY)
56. Rep. Corrine Brown (FL)
57. Rep. Scotty Baesler (KY)
58. Rep. David Skaggs (KY)
59. Rep. Phil English (PA)
60. Rep. Virgil Goode (VA)

                       List as of 7/22/98

Gulf War Vets Home Page.