LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A few weeks ago, the passing of the bill to help veterans affected by toxic burn pits appeared to be a done deal.

After a trip back to the Senate for a quick, procedural vote, few people expected any issues, as the bill had previously passed the Senate with more than 80 votes.

This time, however, more than 20 Republican senators changes their minds, leaving the bill short of the 60 votes that it needed to move forward. This will delay the bill’s passage, and supporters say, veterans will die during that delay.

The rejection was a blow to both veterans and Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, who had helped write parts of the bill.

Slotkin called Republican senators who changed their minds “cowards.”

“You know, to be honest, I don’t say this very often: I’m pissed off,” said Slotkin. “Because now 3.5 million veterans, including veterans who are sick right now from those burn pits that they served next to in Iraq and Afghanistan, are not getting the access to care that they deserve.”