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VA Committee Leaders Unveil Bipartisan Veterans Package

House and Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs leaders Chairman Mike Bost (R-Ill.), Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), introduced H.R. 8371, the Senator Elizabeth Dole 21st Century Veterans Healthcare and Benefits Improvement Act. This legislation includes a number of bipartisan and bicameral proposals to reform and improve the delivery of healthcare, benefits, and services at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for veterans, their families, and their survivors.

“Since I became Chairman, I have long said that the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our nation have earned a VA that works with them – not against them,” said Chairman Bost. “Over the past year and a half, we have listened to veterans and stakeholders to find the gaps within VA’s services and consider commonsense legislation to improve them where we can. The bipartisan bill from my friend from Arizona, the Senator Elizabeth Dole 21st Century Veterans Healthcare and Benefits Improvement Act, is a product of that work. This bill would expand economic opportunities for veterans, give veterans more choice in where they choose to live out their sunset years or receive healthcare, improve mental health support for veteran caregivers, hold VA accountable to the taxpayers and veterans they serve, and so much more. Each of these improvements will make a positive impact on veterans and their families every single day, and I look forward to passing this good bill out of the House soon.”

“In the past few years, we’ve done right by veterans by passing critical legislation like the PACT Act, but there’s still work to be done to ensure we’re fully honoring our commitment to them and their families,” said Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Tester. “That starts with improving the health care and benefits they earned, and I’m proud to have helped negotiate this bipartisan veterans’ package on behalf of veterans in Montana and across the nation. By improving veterans’ access to the care they need, bolstering long-term care options and assistance for homeless veterans, strengthening life-saving mental health services, and increasing transparency and oversight of VA’s new Electronic Health Record program, this package is a common sense step towards delivering veterans and their families the kind of support they earned and deserve.”

“The Elizabeth Dole 21st Century Veterans Healthcare and Benefits Improvement Act will make critical changes to VA and provide life-saving support to veterans, caregivers and survivors across the country,” said Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Moran. “This legislation will improve access to health care and benefits, expand long-term care programs and make it easier for veterans struggling with mental health and addiction to get needed treatment. In addition, it strengthens support for veteran caregivers in honor of a caregiver and honorary Kansan, Senator Elizabeth Dole. I applaud my colleagues in the House and Senate for coming together to support our nation’s veterans and their families and I thank the veteran service organization community for their support.”

To learn more about the Senator Elizabeth Dole 21st Century Veterans Healthcare and Benefits Improvement Act, click here. Bill text can be found here.

The Senator Elizabeth Dole 21st Century Veterans Healthcare and Benefits Improvement Act is supported by a growing list of the following organizations: The American Legion (TAL), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), AMVETS, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Reserve Organization of America (ROA), The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA), Mission Roll Call (MRC), Black Veterans Empowerment Council (BVEC), National Association of State Approving Agencies (NASAA), National Association of Veteran Program Administrators (NAVPA), National PACE Association, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), Hospice Action Network (HAN), and the National Association of State Veterans Homes (NASVH). Homelessness Prevention Groups: U.S. VETS, New England Center and Home for Veterans. VET-TEC Education Training Providers: TLG Learning, Divergence Academy, Skill Distillery, Intellectual Point, Prime Digital Academy, and the VET TEC Working Group. Additional Organizations: Lyft, I AM ALS.

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