Walorski Supports Record Funding for Veterans

Friday, June 8, 2018

Walorski Supports Record Funding for Veterans

House Passes VA Funding Bill with Increased Resources, Stronger Oversight

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today voted for legislation that provides a record level of funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and strengthens accountability measures.

“As Americans, we have a responsibility the brave men and women who fought for us,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “This legislation will help our veterans get the resources and care they earned, and it will strengthen oversight to restore a culture of accountability at the VA. As we continue working to fix the VA, we are making the investments needed to rebuild trust in the VA and keep our nation’s promise to our veterans.”

BACKGROUND

The Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019 (H.R. 5895) provides $85.3 billion in discretionary funding for the VA, an increase of $3.9 billion from current funding levels and the highest dollar amount ever for the department. It passed the House by a vote of 235 to 179.

The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs portion of H.R. 5895 includes:

  • $71.2 billion overall for medical care, including mental health services, suicide prevention outreach, traumatic brain injury treatment, homeless veteran services, opioid abuse prevention, and rural veterans health initiatives;
  • $1.2 billion to modernize the VA’s electronic health record system so veterans can seamlessly transition to from military service;
  • $1.1 billion for the new Veterans Community Care Program and the Family Caregivers Program under the VA MISSION Act;
  • Resources to process disability claims for the 450,000 veterans waiting for the compensation they deserve;
  • Funding for VA oversight offices to protect whistleblowers and investigate reports of poor patient care;
  • Stronger oversight of VA claims processing and construction projects to ensure the VA is accountable to veterans and taxpayers; and
    $10.3 billion for military construction projects, including military installations, schools and housing for military families, and medical facilities for servicemembers.

Earlier this week, President Trump signed into law the VA MISSION Act. The new law streamlines VA community care programs into one cohesive program and provides funding to extend the Veterans Choice Program until the new program is implemented. It also creates a nonpartisan process for reviewing and modernizing VA’s medical infrastructure, expands caregiver benefits, and improves provider recruitment, training, and retention.

Walorski recently testified before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, calling for greater accountability across the VA to improve care for veterans. Video of her testimony is available here.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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