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Opening Statement of Honorable Bill Flores

Good afternoon.  We have a full plate of bills and witnesses so I will limit my opening remarks to a comment on VA’s testimony on my bill, H.R. 2481.

I introduced H.R. 2481 in response to suggestions from the Atlanta Regional Procession Office staff who noted that mistakes on the application for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits cause significant delays in processing original claims.  

Apparently, some veterans are revoking programs for which they have no entitlement or choosing older programs and giving up the Post-9/11 benefit.  My bill would have VA review an application and if it is obvious the veteran made what appears to be a bad choice, choose the best program and contact the veteran and offer the veteran the opportunity to reject VA’s recommendation. This process would not stop their application from moving forward and could reduce processing time for original claims.

VA has already provided us with technical assistance on the bill and I am grateful that they have offered additional help.  Given that assistance and staff conversations, I am surprised that VA is not commenting on the bill today and I will have that discussion with them after their testimony.

I now recognize the distinguished Ranking Member from our third-largest state, Mr. Takano for his opening remarks.