Press Releases

06.22.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Speaks with Reserve Officers Association to Discuss how Reservists are Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

RIVERSIDE, CA- Last week, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) spoke with Major General Jeffery Phillips (Ret.), Executive Director of the Reserve Officers Association (ROA), about Reserve and National Guard parity and how Reservists are faring throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as DoD stop movement orders disrupt servicemembers' plans. See the full conversation here. Watch the full conversation here. "Thank you for joining us Major … Read More

06.18.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano, Brownley, Rice Call on VA to Update Exclusionary Motto, Honor Women, LGBTQ Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D- Calif.), Women Veterans Task Force and Subcommittee on Health Chair Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), and Representative Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y), who introduced H.R. 3010, the Honoring All Veterans Act, led a letter calling on Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to update VA's exclusionary motto to reflect our country's growing diversity. They were joined by Reps. Lamb (D-Pa.), Sablan (D-M.P.), … Read More

06.17.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Responds to President Trump’s PREVENTS Roadmap to Combat Veteran Suicide

RIVERSIDE, CA - Today, House Committee of Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) released the following statement regarding the release of the President's Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) report: "It is disappointing that the President's PREVENTS report was advanced with limited input from Veteran Services Organizations and the lawmakers charged with implementing veterans policy and working on behalf of our nation's veterans. Tepid … Read More

06.11.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano: “The pandemic has exposed some alarming vulnerabilities and gaps in VA’s pandemic readiness.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (CA-41) delivered openingremarks before the first full committee hybrid hearing since the COVID-19 pandemic forced Congress to go virtual entitled, "Assessing VA's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: 90 Days Later." Despite this crisis, the Committee has never stopped working for America's veterans-since the pandemic began, the Committee has passed six bills, sent nine letters, and held four virtual forums … Read More

06.09.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Speaks with Military Officers Association of America to Discuss National Guard and Reserve Parity, VA’s Response to the Pandemic

RIVERSIDE, CA - Last week, House Committee of Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) spoke with Lieutenant General Dana T. Atkins, President of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), about VA's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, how the restructuring of DoD's medical treatment facilities has impacted MOAA members, as well as how Representative Mike Levin's Guard and Reserve GI Bill Parity Act (H.R. 5870) can help achieve parity for members of the National Guard and … Read More

06.05.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano, Subcommittee Chair Lee Statement on GAO’s Recommendations for VA’s Electronic Health Record Project

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D- Calif.) and Subcommittee on Technology Modernization Chair Susie Lee (D-Nev.) released the following statements regarding GAO's new report entitled, "Electronic Health Records: Ongoing Stakeholder Involvement Needed in the Department of Veterans Affairs' Modernization Effort." This report was prepared at the request of the Committee to examine VA's process as they configure the new Cerner Electronic Health … Read More

06.04.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Speaks with CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America to Discuss Veterans’ Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

RIVERSIDE, CA-- This week, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) spoke with Jeremy Butler, CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), about VA's response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as veterans' mental health, toxic exposure, and VA's push to add its exclusionary and outdated motto to all VA cemeteries. See the full conversation with Jeremy Butler here. View their full conversation here "As you know, veteran suicide prevention is my … Read More

06.02.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Speaks with National Guard Association of the United States to Discuss Impact On National Guard During Pandemic

RIVERSIDE, CA - This week, House Committee of Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) spoke with retired Brigadier General J. Roy Robinson, President of the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), about how National Guard members are serving throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and how Congress can better support them. They also discussed Representative Mike Levin's Guard and Reserve GI Bill Parity Act (H.R. 5870) that would be an important step towards achieving parity … Read More

06.01.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Speaks with Johns Hopkins University’s Dr. Josh Sharfstein to Discuss Contact Tracing and How Veterans Can Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

RIVERSIDE, CA - Last week, House Committee of Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) spoke with Dr. Josh Sharfstein, Vice Dean of Public Health and Community Engagement at Johns Hopkins University, to discuss their innovative contact tracing training to slow the spread of COVID-19 and how veterans can get involved. This training is especially critical as veteran unemployment climbed to nearly 12 percent last month-veterans are already uniquely skilled to step up in times of crisis … Read More

05.29.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano, Tri-Caucus Call On VA to Provide Demographic Data For Minority Veterans Affected By COVID-19

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) led a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie requesting additional data on the impact of COVID-19 on minority veterans and veterans of color. Chairman Takano was joined by Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Joaquin Castro, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair Judy Chu, and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass in sending the letter. The Members … Read More

05.28.20 • Press Release

House Unanimously Passes Three Bipartisan Bills for Veterans Despite COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington, D.C. -Today, the House of Representatives unanimously passed all three bipartisan bills brought to the floor by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee has continued to work virtually to ensure we can provide high quality care and benefits to our nation's veterans. The bills passed today showcase our commitment to veterans and their families by increasing veterans' disability compensation, allocating funds for medical facility … Read More

05.27.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano to VA: Fully and Fairly Implement Paid Sick Leave & Telework Policies During Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Last week, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) led a letter sent to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie urging VA to fully and fairly implement paid sick leave and telework policies and procedures after hearing that some VA employees had been unfairly denied these key benefits that keep them safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, at least one VA employee denied paid sick leave died after exposure to COVID-19 … Read More

05.22.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano on Memorial Day 2020: “It is our duty to mark this moment despite the uncertainty of our time.”

RIVERSIDE, CA - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) made the following statement in recognition of Memorial Day 2020. "As the nation continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Memorial Day will look a little different this year-but it remains our solemn duty to honor our fallen heroes and mark this moment despite the uncertainty of our time. Throughout this crisis, the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, has worked diligently to ensure VA is fully … Read More

05.15.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Statement on Passage of H. Res 965

WASHINGTON D.C. - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) released the statement below following the historic passage of H. Res. 965 which allows Committee's to conduct remote proceedings during the public health emergency due to COVID-19: "Despite working virtually to ensure the safety of our witnesses, stakeholders, and staff, our Committee has relentlessly worked to advocate for veterans and fulfill our oversight of VA's response to this crisis. We led … Read More

05.15.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Delivers Remarks In Support of The Heroes Act: “Congress Needs to Respond to Crisis with the Courageousness it Demands”

WASHINGTON D.C. - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) spoke on the House floor in favor of the Heroes Act. See a video of Chairman Takano's floor speech here and his remarks as prepared below. Video of Chairman Takano's remarks. Chairman Takano's remarks as prepared: The public health emergency our country is facing requires immediate, bold action. That's why I rise today in support of H.R. 6800, the Heroes Act. The Heroes Act will provide … Read More

05.15.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Meets with WWP’s Jose Ramos to Discuss Supporting Women Veterans, Access to Healthcare During the COVID-19 Crisis

RIVERSIDE, CA - This week, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) spoke with Jose Ramos, Wounded Warrior Project's (WWP) Vice President of Government and Community Relations, to discuss the unique challenges faced by women veterans during the pandemic and veterans' ability to access healthcare while unemployed. See the full conversation with the Wounded Warrior Project here. Watch the full conversation here. "I cherish and value the partnership that the … Read More

05.14.20 • Press Release

Veterans' Affairs Committee Leaders Call for GAO Oversight of Medical Supply Chain and VA COVID-19 Relief Funds

WASHINGTON, D.C. - This week, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) sent a joint letter with Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) requesting a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the use and management of the emergency relief funds that were appropriated to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) following passage of the CARES Act. In their … Read More

05.12.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano: “The COVID-19 pandemic requires immediate, bold action.”

RIVERSIDE, CA - Today, after introducing the Heroes Act, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) issued the following statement regarding the Committee's new legislation to aid veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure VA can continue to serve our nation's veterans as we address this public health emergency. "As veteran unemployment skyrockets to 12 percent and VA steps up to serve both our nation's veterans and civilians through its Fourth Mission, it is … Read More

05.08.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Responds to Rise in Veteran Unemployment to Nearly 12 Percent

RIVERSIDE, CA - Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) made the following statement after the announcement that April's veteran unemployment numbers rose to nearly twelve percent. "The COVID-19 crisis has seriously impacted our country's economy and laid bare that our veterans are not immune to this financial instability. As unemployment numbers have skyrocketed nationwide, veterans have been hit hard as well, and this month veteran unemployment soared … Read More

05.08.20 • Press Release

Chairman Takano Meets with VVA National President John Rowan to Discuss How Vietnam Veterans are Staying Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic

RIVERSIDE, CA -This week, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) spoke with John Rowan, the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) National President, to discuss how their members are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing practices-- especially in light of Vietnam veterans being at increased risk of contracting the novel coronavirus as a result of many veterans having pre-existing conditions. See the full conversation with the Vietnam Veterans of … Read More

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