U.S. Representative Mike Rogers, R-Saks, said on Friday he opposed the idea of ââseeking suspected service health connection status for veterans who served at Fort McClellan.
The congressman expressed his opinion during an appearance on Zoom from Washington at the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce. He was speaking at a House public affairs event at the Anniston Visitor Center.
Rogers, the prominent member of the House Armed Services Committee, said such efforts encourage lawyers to file class actions and describe the Anniston area as a “toxic town.”
His response came to a question regarding the unanimous action of the State Veterans Council on Oct. 1, requesting that the Alabama congressional delegation look into the matter, approving the idea of ââcreating a registry of health in order to better document any health problem. Fort McClellan vets may have known.
The council believes that such a register could provide documents that would essentially allow those who served there to benefit from the doubt that their service there has caused health complications.
The same designation was given to those who served around outbreaks in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as those at Camp Lejeune after a contaminated water problem at this base in North Carolina.
âI’ve heard from these people the entire time I’ve been here,â Rogers said. âThe Veterans Administration has already looked at this in depth and couldn’t find any evidence of it.
âThis is really motivated by the trial lawyers who want the federal government to put together a list of everyone who has served there before, and they can file a class action lawsuit and sue Monsanto,â the congressman said.
One leader of a veterans group disagreed with this characterization.
âWe are not looking for anything through a lawyer. We are looking for legislation in which the VA establishes a health registry and a suspected login service, âState Veterans Council deputy chairman Col. (retired) Scott Gedling told The Star in a report. interview later. âIt’s the same as the legislation that created deemed exemptions for burns and Camp Lejeune. We are deliberately trying to keep trial lawyers out of this. “
Rogers told the Chamber Group that he lived âa bird’s-eye mileâ from the main gate of the fort.
âIf there was ever a health problem in McClellan, I would know it and I would do something, but there is not,â he said. âThis is just another example of litigators trying to start a class action lawsuit and make money and again portray our community as a ‘toxic city.’ I’m just not going to be a part of it.
Rogers also discussed the two main bills in President Joe Biden’s “Build Better” program that are currently the subject of fierce debate within the Democrats’ own party.
âThe Senate Liberals said they wanted to see the wording of the bills and they should,â Rogers said. âThe president returned to Capitol Hill on Thursday, and they are sticking to their guns. I have to admit I respect them for wanting to see the wording of the bill and not just say they will vote for a plan because that’s all the president and leaders gave, that’s a preview what all bills would do if passed.
Rogers said that if these were Republicans in the same position, âA lot of our members would like to see the language of the bills. The devil is in the details. “