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House Passes Four Veterans Bills

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Today, Chairman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Tim Walz (D-Minn.) released the following statement after the House passed four bills to expand access to quality care and instill further accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) :

“This has been quite a week. We began on Monday by passing the Forever GI Bill and seven other bills to improve the lives of America’s veterans, and now we close with another four veterans’ bills, including a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to ensure veterans can continue accessing care through the Choice Program. The House has clearly demonstrated this week that taking care of the men and women who have worn the uniform of this great nation remains one of our highest priorities.

“The four bills passed today will instill further accountability at  VA, improve the department’s ability to hire and retain top-notch medical providers and remove barriers to care for veteran patients. We are most proud of the legislation that will allow the Choice Program to continue serving veterans for six months while we continue the hard work of creating a stronger, more integrated VA health care system for the years ahead.

“We are grateful to have willing partners in Senators Isakson and Tester and House Leadership, and very much appreciate their efforts and willingness to do the sometimes difficult work of finding a solution that is in the best interests of both veterans and taxpayers. Of course, we could not have gotten these important pieces of legislation over the finish line without the support and input of our Veterans Service Organization partners, and we thank them for their continued commitment to veterans.” 

The House passed the following bills

S. 114: The Department of Veterans Affairs Bonus Transparency Act

S. 114 provides $2.1 billion to continue the Choice Program for six months while Congress works on other reforms to the Choice Program. It would also authorize 28 major medical facility leases and enhance the recruitment, retention and training of the VA workforce. To offset that, the bill would extend the current $90 per month limit on pensions paid to veterans residing in Medicaid-funded nursing homes, extend the requirement to collect fees for housing loans guaranteed by VA and extend the authority to utilize other agency income information. Click here for more information. Read the bill here.

H.R. 2772: The VA Senior Executive Accountability Act

The VA Senior Executive Accountability Act, introduced by Rep. Taylor, will improve transparency by requiring VA to inform Congress about where senior executives are being moved. Click here for more information. Read the bill here.

H.R. 3262: Grow Our Own Directive: Physician Assistant Employment and Education Act

The Grow Our Own Directive: Physician Assistant Employment and Education Act, introduced by Rep. Kuster, would direct VA to carry out the Grow Our Own Directive or G.O.O.D. pilot program to provide educational assistance to certain former members of the Armed Forces with medical or military health experience for education and training as VA physician assistants. Click here for more information.

H.R. 95: Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act

The Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act, introduced by Rep. Brownley, requires VA to carry out a pilot program to assess the feasibility and advisability of providing child care services for veterans receiving mental health services and other intensive health care services. Click here for more information. Read the bill here.

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