Daines Calls out Senate Democrats and Trial Lawyers for Blocking Veterans’ Benefits

“This is a Scandal in Plain Sight”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Veterans Day approaches, U.S. Senator Steve Daines today called out Senate Democrats and their trial lawyer allies for blocking veterans’ benefits, specifically for Marines who were exposed to chemicals at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Senate Democrats continue to block Daines’ “Protect Camp Lejeune VETS Act,” which would close a loophole that allows trial lawyers to charge veterans 40 percent or more to process veterans’ claims. Current law will cost taxpayers $200 billion and leave Marine veterans without benefits.

To watch Daines’ remarks, click HERE.

“I’m not a Marine, but I’m the son of a U.S. Marine. And I’m glad to be standing here with Senator Sullivan and these great group of veterans here from the American Legion here fighting on behalf of our veterans.

“Look, on Saturday, November 11th, it’s called Veterans Day. We didn’t call it Trial Lawyers Day. We call it Veterans Day for a reason. There’s one thing standing between the veterans and their Camp Lejeune benefits and it’s the [Senate] VA Committee and trial lawyers.

“Senator Sullivan has been the leader on this issue exposing the scandal. This is a scandal that’s going on right now where dollars that should be going to Marines from Camp Lejeune exposure are instead being directed to trial lawyers.

“There was a 
Wall Street Journal editorial written in March and it’s to the credit again of Senator Sullivan and I quote, it says, ‘This is a scandal in plain sight.’

“Well, Senator Sullivan and these veterans are exposing here a scandal in plain sight. Rather than fighting for veterans, our trial lawyers are preying on them.

“As Dan Sullivan mentioned, these exorbitant percentages that are being taken away from the benefits that should be going to our Marines. The barrier, the barrier right now is Democrats on the VA Committee who are standing in the way. This should be a bipartisan issue. Veterans should be a bipartisan issue. Supporting our veterans should be a bipartisan issue. But I’ll tell you why it’s partisan. And here’s the cold hard facts. Look at where the trial lawyers give their money in elections. Just go look at it. Look it up, it’s on Open Secrets. You can see the millions and millions of dollars that go to Democrats from trial lawyers every time they’re up for reelection.

“That’s true in Montana. That’s true in every state. And so, they are bought off by the trial lawyers and that’s why you’re not seeing the trial lawyers’ numbers coming down because the Democrats are not standing with our veterans here and asking for fair and reasonable compensation. We’re not suggesting the lawyers don’t get paid, but as Senator Sullivan said it should be a reasonable level.

“So again, I want to thank Senator Sullivan, I want to thank the American Legion. I’m grateful for the American Legion, by the way, for what they do in Montana. I went to Boys State, Ryan Zinke, the congressman from Montana. We met at Boys State in 1979, that’s a great program for the American Legion, grateful for what they do for our country and their service as well.”