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‘Blue slip’ problem hangs up veterans toxic exposure bill

WASHINGTON — A Senate-passed bill to expand health care and disability benefits to veterans exposed to burn pits or other toxic substances during their service has run into a constitutional objection from the House.

The bill, which would make it easier for veterans to access benefits by presuming that certain types of cancer and respiratory illnesses are connected to service-related exposure, passed the Senate on a bipartisan 84-14 vote last week.

The House had planned to vote on it as soon as Wednesday. But lawmakers in that chamber are now raising a “blue slip” issue that could send the bill back to the Senate with just two days left to act before both chambers are scheduled to depart for their July Fourth recesses.

The bill has a blue slip issue because it contains a tax provision, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters Wednesday. Under the Constitution’s origination clause, all revenue and tax bills must begin in the House.

—CQ-Roll Call

 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis snubs Trump endorsement amid 2024 GOP White House drama

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is reportedly not seeking former President Donald Trump’s endorsement for his reelection bid this fall as the pair jockey for position in the 2024 Republican White House sweepstakes.

DeSantis has decided not to ask for Trump’s blessing, in part because he is in a commanding position against his Democratic opponents, Politico reported Wednesday, quoting four insiders.

But the governor also wants to avoid owing any political chits to Trump as the two most famous Florida residents in GOP politics size up their options ahead of the 2024 race.

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