House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement after the House passed the Department of Veterans Affairs Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks “MISSION” Act (S.2372), sponsored by Chair Phil Roe.
“We just took another important step to rebuild the VA so it can improve care, restore trust, and roll out the red carpet for our veterans. The VA MISSION Act, which consolidates VA’s multiple community care programs and temporarily extends the Choice Program, will help ensure that our veterans will get the care they have earned when they need it. If veterans are happy with the health care services at their local VA clinic, they should be able to continue seeing their doctors there. But those who have to travel long distances to reach a VA facility or who are facing excessive wait times shouldn’t feel trapped by a system that isn’t meeting their needs. That’s why this bill requires access to community care if the VA does not offer the care or services the veteran needs.
“For the nearly 70,000 veterans I represent in Eastern Washington, I’m also grateful the VA MISSION Act will create a non-partisan process for reviewing the VA’s assets and infrastructure to ensure the VA isn’t squandering resources on unused or unneeded facilities and instead targets resources on caring for veterans. Additionally, the VA MISSION Act expands the Post-9/11 Caregivers Program to all generations.
“I would like to thank Chair Roe and the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee for their tireless work on this legislation to improve care, bring this agency into the 21st Century, and hold the VA accountable to its sole mission– to serve our veterans.”
NOTE: Chair McMorris Rodgers represents Fairchild Air Force Base in Eastern Washington, which is the largest tanker refueling base in the country. She’s a leader on reforming the VA, which she believes has lost its mission to put our veterans first. In her remarks at the 2018 CPAC, Chair McMorris Rodgers offered her thoughts on the importance of restoring trust in government, especially at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Ahead of CPAC, Chair McMorris Rodgers penned an op-ed on National Review Online, “There’s a Trust Crisis in Government. It Must Be Fixed”, on this same topic. And in a Washington Post op-ed, the Chair outlined her vision for a 21st Century VA.
The Chair, whose husband is a retired Navy veteran, is a strong advocate for military families. She and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) co-founded the Military Family Caucus to bring together Members of Congress, Administration officials, and service members and their families to draw attention to the needs of military families and advocate for legislative ideas on their behalf. Each year, Chair McMorris Rodgers and Rep. Bishop host the Military Family Summit to hear from service members and their families.