Burn Pit Advocate Susan Zeier: JD Vance’s “actions told me he doesn’t care.”
In a new digital video released by Tim Ryan’s campaign for U.S. Senate, Susan Zeier, a leading advocate for burn pit victims and mother-in-law to the late SFC Heath Robinson, the Ohio veteran for whom the newly-passed PACT Act is named, calls out JD Vance for saying he “[hadn’t] paid much attention” to the battle to pass the largest expansion of veterans’ benefits in decades.
In the video, Zeier says the Senate’s decision to block the bill’s passage was “a punch in the gut,” and that Vance’s disregard for the PACT Act and its impact on Ohioans showed her “he doesn’t care.” She continues, “We can’t afford to have a senator who doesn’t pay attention to veterans’ issues.”
In a rare public appearance at the Ohio State Fair this week, JD Vance refused to say whether he would support the bipartisan PACT Act, which would provide lifesaving care to servicemembers harmed by toxic burn pit exposure, saying he “hasn’t followed it closely.”
The Senate’s initial failure to pass this bill received wall-to-wall coverage last week, sparking outrage and condemnation from national veterans’ advocacy groups and the Ohio veteran community. But when asked about the legislation, Vance told reporters “I’d be lying if I said I knew anything about it.”
At the same time as JD was shrugging off this top priority for Ohio’s military community, Tim Ryan was holding a roundtable discussion with veterans impacted by burn pits to discuss the legislation, which includes Tim’s own SFC Heath Robinson Burn Pit Transparency Act to help the VA better understand and treat burn pit exposure. This commitment to supporting veterans is why leaders like Susan Zeier “trust that Tim Ryan will always have the backs of Ohio veterans.”
“In a rare visit to Ohio, JD Vance once again showed Ohioans just how out of touch he is with the issues people here are facing every single day,” said Tim for Ohio spokesperson Jordan Fuja. “Advocates like Susan Zeier are fighting like hell so veterans can get the health care they earned while serving our country, and JD Vance clearly couldn’t care less.”