House backs bill to help veterans exposed to toxic burn pits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has passed legislation that would dramatically boost health care services and disability benefits for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The bill has the backing of the nation’s major veterans groups.

If passed into law, the Congressional Budget Office says the bill would increase spending by more than $300 billion over the next decade.

The Senate has unanimously passed a much narrower bill extending how long combat veterans are guaranteed Department of Veterans Affairs health care, but House Democrats say that is a fraction of assistance that is needed.