What’s on the agenda for the House Committee on Veterans Affairs?
We recently highlighted the two Chairmen of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs. These two committees effectively serve as the voice of America’s veterans in Congress and have broad jurisdiction over all veteran related issues. So what’s on the agenda of the two committees in the new Congress? Here are a few key issues they will be working on in 2019.
VA MISSION Act implementation
The VA MISSION Act will likely be the top issue for the House Committee on Veterans Affairs this year. The law, passed in 2018 by the Republican-controlled Congress, will expand outside healthcare options for veterans to ensure more timely access to care.
Last week, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs Mark Takano sent a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie demanding to know more details on the implementation of the new law.
“We expect regular, detailed briefings to continue and that you will take a collaborative approach that maximizes transparency and demonstrates your intent that Congress be a full and true partner in implementation of these critical laws and initiatives,” said Tanako in his letter.
Takano, a Democrat, is apprehensive about the new law like many others in his party who see it as a move to privatize the VA.
Veterans Access to Child Care Act
The Veterans Access to Child Care Act would expand child care assistance to veterans who must travel to receive treatment at VA facilities. Recently, the bill took a major step forward after passing the House Veterans Affairs Health Subcommittee.
“Providing cost-free, safe, and convenient child care so that veterans can get the care they need is the least we can do to make their lives easier,” said Chairman Takano. “We ask our servicemembers to risk their lives in service to our country, and in return, we promise to provide healthcare and benefits, so they can live happy, healthy, and successful lives, and provide for their families.”