Veterans Affairs

Committee on Veterans Affairs

Phil Roe

Full Committee Markup: Markup on H.R. 2942, H.R. 2943, and H.R. 3504

2019/07/11

On Thursday, July 11, 2019, the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a markup on H.R. 2942, H.R. 2943, and H.R. 3504.  The Committee will meet at 10:00 a.m., in 210 of the House Visitors Center. Watch the meeting here See meeting documents here   Read More

Subcommittee on Health Oversight Hearing: "The Cost of Caring."

2019/07/10

On Wednesday, July 10, 2019, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Health will hold an oversight hearing entitled, " The Cost of Caring."  Watch the meeting here See meeting documents here   Read More

Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity Oversight Hearing: Economic Well-being of Women Veterans.

2019/07/10

On Wednesday, July 10, 2019, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity will hold an oversight hearing entitled, "Economic Well-being of Women Veterans."  Watch the meeting here See meeting documents here WITNESS LIST   Mrs. Lauren Augustine Vice President of Government Affairs Student Veterans of America   Mrs. Maureen Casey, J.D. Chief Operating Officer Institute for Veterans and Military Families Syracuse University   Mrs. Jas Boothe Founder Final Salute, Inc   Ms. Christine Schwartz Chief Executive Officer Service to School   Ms. Jodie Grenier  Chief Executive Officer Foundation for Women Warriors     Read More

Subcommittee on Health Oversight Hearing: Beyond the Million Veterans Program: Barriers to Precision Medicine

2019/06/26

On Wednesday, June 26, 2019, the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Subcommittee on Health will hold an oversight hearing entitled, " Beyond the Million Veterans Program: Barriers to Precision Medicine.”  Watch the meeting here See meeting documents here   Read More

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

2019/06/26

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 of 2019 is finally law and is the culmination of a decades-long bipartisan effort on Capitol Hill to properly recognize these veterans’ claims and grant them the justice they have waited for. This day would not be possible without the leadership and unwavering commitment of our House and Senate colleagues, countless veteran voices, and the Veterans Service Organizations behind them including the Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, The American Legion, AMVETS, Fleet Reserve Association, Military Officers Association of America, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and Paralyzed Veterans of America. We are so grateful to each of them and look forward to continuing our work together to ensure that every one of those who have bravely fought for our country is afforded the care, benefits, and services that they deserve.” Background: The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 will extend benefits to servicemembers that served in the territorial waters off the coast of Vietnam and were exposed to Agent Orange. This was the first bill Chairman Takano introduced this Congress after a similar bill was passed unanimously in the House of Representatives last Congress but stalled in the Senate. This legislation will ensure tens of thousands of Vietnam veterans finally get the benefits they’ve earned and deserve. ###   Read More

Women's Veterans Task Force Roundtable Discussion: Challenges in Advocacy for Women Veterans

2019/06/26

On Wednesday, June 26, 2019, the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Women’s Task Force will hold a roundtable discussion entitled, " Challenges in Advocacy for Women Veterans.”  Read More

Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Oversight Hearing: Learning from Whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

2019/06/25

On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold an oversight hearing entitled, “Learning from Whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”  Watch the meeting here See meeting documents here Read More

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

2019/06/20

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: [[{"fid":"58","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"link_text":null,"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"style":"height: 348px; width: 500px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]]   Good afternoon. I call this hearing to order. I would like to start by thanking the Veteran Service Organizations for being here—without your advocacy the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act would not be on the President’s desk awaiting his signature. We rely on you to provide feedback and expert testimony on legislation affecting veterans. Today, we ask you for the same. The legislation on the agenda for this hearing covers a range of veterans’ issues from healthcare to educational and housing benefits to transition assistance. Today we hope to generate discussion on each of the agenda items, so we can make informed decisions on whether the legislation is ready to be considered in markup. Four agenda items are related to medicinal cannabis.    Cannabis must be objectively researched. Period. Medicinal cannabis may have the potential to manage chronic pain better than opioids and treat PTSD. However, other research shows that cannabis may significantly affect brain development into early adulthood. Young servicemembers enlisting at age 17 or 18 and separating from the military at age 22 may be particularly vulnerable to its negative side effects. I want to make sure any research legislation this Committee votes on is not written to achieve one outcome or used to “fast-track” treatments for veterans. Clinicians need to understand the efficacy of this drug and any negative side effects. In those states that allow medicinal cannabis, VA doctors should be able to provide recommendations to veterans for medicinal cannabis programs. I also placed H.R. 3083, the AIR Acceleration Act on the agenda today because I have serious concerns about VA’s implementation of the AIR Act. We have received no information from VA on the market assessments to give this Committee confidence that the Commission, when it is scheduled to meet, will have the data it needs to make informed decisions. It’s important that we have a public discussion of these concerns and hear from stakeholders because I do not believe it makes sense to speed up this process right now. VA’s lack of transparency should be concerning to us all.  I would also like to highlight two bills introduced by Representative Cisneros that I support. H.R. 2942, that  authorizes an existing Air Force women’s health TAP pilot program and H.R. 2943 would codify an existing regulation that all VA fact sheets be available to veterans in Spanish. During a recent visit to the VA Medical Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Committee staff saw firsthand why VA should be mandated by law to provide materials in Spanish. I was shocked to learn that key letters, fact sheets, and employee training modules developed to educate veterans and staff on the MISSION Act, were only produced and mailed to veterans in English. In Puerto Rico, where Spanish is the predominant language, this meant veterans and hospital employees were not notified about the upcoming changes with the MISSION Act and employees were not prepared to implement the law on June 6th. Hospital staff in San Juan—to their credit—translated and reproduced the materials in Spanish on their own because the translation provided by a contracted vendor was poor and inadequate. The Veterans Crisis Line – a lifeline for veterans thinking about suicide –operates only in English. The Puerto Rico VA Medical Center established its own local crisis line in Spanish, but when my staff called the number, on several occasions no one answered. Think about that for a moment: help is only available at the VA if you understand English. According to 2015 census data: “On average 73 percent of Hispanics speak a language other than English at home and 31 percent of Hispanics state that they are not fluent in English.” “VA statistics predict an increase in the Hispanic veteran population from 7.4 percent in 2017 to 11.2 percent by 2037.” Failing to provide veterans with clear explanations of their benefits in Spanish mean Latinx veterans will lose out on GI Bill benefits, VA home loans, or healthcare programs like the MISSION Act. Veterans won’t receive their burial benefits if their surviving family members do not understand English. A Spanish-speaking veteran’s call to the Veterans Crisis Line would, in effect, remain unanswered. VA should already be providing Spanish language materials, but it is falling short in too many cases. When I became Chairman of this Committee, I committed to you that we would work to break down barriers for veterans from minority and underserved communities. Mr. Cisneros’s bill is one small step towards this effort. It’s not enough that this is VA regulation. We must make this the law and exercise this Committee’s oversight authority to make sure VA is following it.  Let me say that again, though slightly differently. Esta propuesta legislativa, presentada por el Congresista Cisneros, representa un avance para abordar este importante tema y aumentar el número de materiales disponibles en español para nuestros veteranos. No es suficiente que el Departamento de Veteranos ya tenga una regla en vigor. Nosotros, como miembros de esta cámara legislativa, tenemos que crear una ley con este requisito y también asegurar que el comité ejerza su mandato de supervisión sobre este departamento. ###   Read More

Full Committee Legislative Hearing

2019/06/20

On Thursday, June 20, 2019, the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a legislative hearing on Pending Legislation. Including: H.R. 2943; H.R. 2942; H.R. 2676; H.R. 2677; H.R. 712; H.R. 1647; H.R. 3083; H.R. 485; Discussion Draft, Specially Adaptive Housing, and Discussion Draft, Work Study Watch the meeting here Read More

DAMA Subcommittee Oversight and Legislative Hearing: Ensuring Access to Disability Benefits for Veteran Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma.

2019/06/20

On Thursday, June 20, 2019, the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs will hold a legislative and oversight hearing entitled, "Ensuring Access to Disability Benefits for Veteran Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma" that will address H.R. 1092 and an August 2018 VA OIG Report entitled, "Denied PTSD Claims Related to Military Sexual Trauma." Watch the meeting here Read More

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Contact Information

335 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3527
Fax 202-225-5486
veterans.house.gov


Membership

Jodey Arrington

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Jim Banks

INDIANA's 3rd DISTRICT

Jack Bergman

MICHIGAN's 1st DISTRICT

Gus Bilirakis

FLORIDA's 12th DISTRICT

Mike Bost

ILLINOIS' 12th DISTRICT

Neal Dunn

FLORIDA's 2nd DISTRICT

Bill Flores

TEXAS' 17th DISTRICT

Clay Higgins

LOUISIANA's 3rd DISTRICT

Brian Mast

FLORIDA's 18th DISTRICT

Amata Radewagen

AMERICAN SAMOA

Phil Roe

TENNESSEE's 1st DISTRICT