Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik co-led the introduction of the bipartisan Blast Overpressure Safety Act with Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) to better mitigate and protect service members from blast overpressure and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) they may be exposed to in the line of duty.

“As the Chief advocate for Fort Drum in Congress the safety and security of the 10th Mountain Division soldiers is one of my top priorities which is why I am proud to co-lead the bipartisan Blast Overpressure Safety Act in the House with Congressman Khanna to protect our brave service members from blast overpressure and TBI,” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. “This legislation will ensure soldiers, such as our 10th Mountain Division soldiers who were attacked in Iraq and Syria last year, receive adequate care.” 

"As ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems, I’m proud to partner with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik to lead the bipartisan Blast Overpressure Safety Act to protect American service members from the overlooked dangers of traumatic brain injuries and blast overpressure. By improving care, mitigating exposure, and providing greater transparency in our military's equipment procurement process, we can protect the health of the brave men and women who serve our country,” said Congressman Ro Khanna.

“Brain health plays a crucial role in many veterans’ overall quality of life. Head-related trauma, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), is sometimes referred to as the ‘signature injury’ for post-9/11 veterans due to the increased TBI prevalence among veterans of this generation. Wounded Warrior Project’s (WWP’s) 2022 Annual Warrior Survey found that 36.5% of WWP warriors self-reported experiencing TBI due to military service,” said Jen Silva, Chief Program Officer of the Wounded Warrior Project. “The Blast Overpressure Safety Act will help protect Service members from blast overpressure and TBI; improve research and data collection regarding brain health and safety; and expand access to effective treatments and support for veterans with a brain injury. WWP supports this bill, and we applaud the representatives for their efforts to address this critical issue.”

Specifically, Blast Overpressure Safety Act:

  • Mandates regular neurocognitive assessments over a service member’s career
  • Creates blast overpressure exposure and TBI logs for all service members
  • Increases transparency regarding blast overpressure safety in the weapons acquisition process
  • Improves data on concussive and subconcussive brain injuries service members sustain
  • Enhances efforts to mitigate exposure and help service members access care
  • Supports service member treatment
  • Mandates GAO review on DoD efforts to address blast exposure.
  • Implements DoD Inspector General (IG) recommendations from a 2023 report finding DoD does not consistently determine the care service members with TBI need

Rep. Elise Stefanik and Rep. Ro Khanna were joined by Reps. Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), Jen Kiggans (VA-02), Susie Lee (NV-03), Mike Waltz (FL-06), Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Jared Golden (ME-02),and Jimmy Panetta (CA-19)

Read the full text of the bill here.