Press Releases

08.23.19 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Calls For VA-Wide Stand-down to Address Veteran Suicide

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) issued the following statement after the VA Office of Inspector General (IG) released a report on the tragic veteran suicide at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center in March 2019. "After 3 suicides on VA property in 5 days in April, I directed this Committee to address the national crisis of veteran suicide and made it this Committee's top priority. We took immediate steps, held hearings, and … Read More

08.21.19 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Statement on President Trump Action Eliminating Student Loan Debt for Disabled Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Cali.) issued the following statement after President Trump announced a memorandum discharging the student debt of totally and permanently disabled veterans. "Disabled veterans have given more than their fair share in service to our country-- they should be recognized for their sacrifice. While today's announcement is laudable, it is frustrating that the Administration and Secretary DeVos have dragged their … Read More

08.12.19 • Press Release

Senate, House Leaders Demand VA Fix Emergency Care Claims Errors Impacting an Estimated 60,800 Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-MT), House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-CA), Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Member Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), and House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Dr. Phil Roe led a bipartisan, bicameral letter to VA today following a damning report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) outlining errors in VA's processing of non-VA emergency care claims. The OIG found … Read More

07.24.19 • Press Release

Chairman Takano: “We simply cannot put veterans’ lives at risk while they wait for care”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (CA-41) delivered opening remarks before the full committee oversight hearing entitled "True Transparency? Assessing Wait Times Five Years after Phoenix" to address VA's "secret wait lists" on the fifth anniversary of an HVAC hearing on the Phoenix VA wait time scandal. Below is a link to the video of the Chairman's opening statement and his remarks as prepared: Good morning. I call this hearing to … Read More

07.23.19 • Press Release

Three Bills Pass the House to Deliver Key Wins for Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the House of Representatives passed all three bills brought to the floor by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs to deliver clear results for veterans by extending the Women's Health Transition Training program, requiring VA to provide materials in Spanish and Tagalog, and making key improvements to the specially adapted housing (SAH) grant program. Full list of passed legislation: 1.H.R. 2942, (Rep. Cisneros) To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry … Read More

07.23.19 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Questions VA Decision to Delay Processing for All Blue Water Navy Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano and many Democratic members of the Committee released a letter, sent to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, questioning VA's decision not to decide any claims for Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans until January 2020. In their letter, Members wrote that while H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, gives VA the ability to stay Blue Water claims, "we have questions about the decision to stay all claims … Read More

07.22.19 • Press Release

Chairman Takano: “VA has to learn from the lessons of Hurricane Maria”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano released the following statement after the Committee's Congressional Delegation to Puerto Rico this past weekend: "After several reports, from both my staff and the media, surfaced alleging that VA may not be prepared for the next hurricane, we travelled to Puerto Rico to learn from VA and hear from some of the 90,000 veteran survivors of Hurricane Maria first hand. Unfortunately, this visit confirmed many of … Read More

07.17.19 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Leads Bipartisan Congressional Delegation to VA Medical Center in Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Friday, July 19, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Cali.) will lead a Congressional Delegation to the VA Medical Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico to meet with VA leadership, VSO leaders, and veterans themselves to see first hand how well the island, and VA specifically, is prepared for the next natural disaster. "Despite San Juan VA leadership indicating that 'no one is more prepared' to support veterans during and after Hurricane Maria, our … Read More

07.15.19 • Press Release

House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Launches New Website

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs is pleased to announce the launch of its new website, veterans.house.gov, featuring an updated design that will help veterans and their families stay up-to-date with the Committee's activities, as well as provide them with valuable Committee and Department of Veterans' Affairs resources. The Committee is working to serve the next generation of veterans, but we know the demographic profile of our nation's veterans is changing … Read More

07.11.19 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Statement on Medicinal Cannabis Research

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Cali.) issued the following statement after today's roundtable on medicinal cannabis research: "Cannabis must be objectively researched. Period. That's why we came together today with experts, researchers, and veterans to discuss the best bipartisan path forward for VA sponsored medicinal cannabis research. I want to make sure any research legislation this Committee votes on is not written to achieve one … Read More

06.26.19 • Press Release

Chairman Takano, Ranking Member Roe Statement on Passage of Historic Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano and Ranking Member Dr. Phil Roe issued the following statement after the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, H.R. 299, was officially signed into law: "Today, we are proud to say that the tens of thousands of Blue Water Navy veterans can rest easy tonight knowing that the benefits that they earned while serving off the coasts of Vietnam will be guaranteed. The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act … Read More

06.20.19 • Press Release

Chairman Takano: “We Must Break Down Barriers for Veterans from Minority and Underserved Communities”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (CA-41) delivered opening remarks before the full committee legislative hearing to address pending legislation on educational and housing benefits, medicinal cannabis, and a requirement to provide critical VA resources in Spanish. Below is a link to the video of the Chairman's opening statement and his remarks as prepared: Good afternoon. I call this hearing to order. I would like to start by thanking the … Read More

06.19.19 • Press Release

House, Senate Leaders Introduce Resolution to Commemorate 75th Anniversary of G.I. Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Chairman Mark Takano (D-Cali.) and Ranking Member Dr. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, along with Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, introduced a resolution to designate the week of June 17, 2019, as "National G.I. Bill Commemoration Week" and celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Servicemen's Readjustment … Read More

06.18.19 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Statement Following Reports that VA Fast-Tracked Controversial Drug Spravato to Treat Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Chairman Mark Takano released the following statement after reports from the Guardian and the Center for Public Integrity that the depressant Spravato has been fast-tracked through FDA approval processes and hurried through VA's contracting process: "I am incredibly alarmed by reporting today that suggests Spravato, a controversial new drug, is being rushed through critical reviews and may be prescribed to veterans before fully vetting the potential risks and … Read More

06.12.19 • Press Release

Senate Unanimously Passes the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Chairman Mark Takano released the following statement after the Senate unanimously passed the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, H.R. 299. "Tonight, we can finally tell the tens of thousands of veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War but wrongly denied benefits that justice is finally coming. By passing the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, Congress has proven to the nation, to our veterans and their families, and the … Read More

06.06.19 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Statement on the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano issued the following statement in recognition of the 75th anniversary of D-Day. See a video of Chairman Takano's floor speech here and his remarks as prepared below: Madam Speaker, I rise today in gratitude for the bravery and sacrifices made by American and Allied Armed Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944. This week marks the 75th anniversary of that "Longest Day"- a moment in history when … Read More

06.04.19 • Press Release

Chairman Takano, Ranking Member Roe Statement on DOJ Decision Not to Appeal Procopio

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano and Ranking Member Dr. Phil Roe issued the following statement after the Department of Justice announced it will not appeal the Procopio decision: "We are encouraged by DOJ's decision not to appeal Procopio and further delay benefits to our Blue Water Navy veterans. It's now up to the Senate to finally right this wrong and pass H.R. … Read More

05.27.19 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Statement on Memorial Day 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano issued the following statement in recognition of Memorial Day 2019. “This Memorial Day, we must take a moment to honor the sacrifice of all those who’ve served our country in war and in peace-- it is our moment to pay tribute to those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice and commit to remembering their stories. “As Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, it’s my privilege to advocate for … Read More

05.22.19 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Delivers Remarks on “Kiddie Tax” Fix for Gold Star Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (CA-41) spoke at a press conference highlighting Representative Elaine Luria's bill, the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, which would fix the "kiddie tax" loophole that forces Gold Star families to pay extra taxes on their survivors benefits. Below is a link to the video of the Chairman's speech and his remarks as prepared: Thank you to Speaker Pelosi, Representative Luria, and my colleagues who have been … Read More

05.22.19 • Press Release

VA Skips Hearing Addressing Government Watchdog Recommendations

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held its first Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Improving the Department of Veterans Affairs Effectiveness: Responding to Recommendations from Oversight Agencies” to address VA’s plan to remove itself from the GAO High Risk List. But, in unprecedented and unacceptable fashion, VA refused to participate in the hearing. “By not appearing today, VA is ignoring an opportunity to show that it cares … Read More

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