The House of Representatives has passed several bills that would impact veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs. These bills will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Jeff Miller (R-FL) had this comment about these bills:
“Today (May 23rd) the House took noteworthy steps to improve the welfare of our nation’s veterans and reform VA into an organization truly worthy of the veterans it is charged with serving. These bills will help aid our veterans throughout their lives by improving their transition from active duty to civilian life, providing adult day health care for eligible veterans and holding VA to higher standards of care. I applaud my colleagues in the House for stepping up to pass these important measures, and I call on the Senate to act on them without delay.”
Here is a quick summary of these bills:
- H.R. 3956, the VA Health Center Management Stability and Improvement Act, as amended, would direct the VA to develop and implement a plan to hire a director for each VA medical center without a permanent director, prioritize hiring for facilities that have been without permanent leadership for the longest times, certify compliance with scheduling policy, and ensure that directives and policies apply to each VA office or facility in a uniform manner.
- H.R. 3715, the Final Farewell Act of 2016, as amended, would require VA to permit the interment or funeral, memorial service, or ceremony of a deceased veteran at a national cemetery during weekends, other than federal holiday weekends, upon the request of the veteran’s next-of-kin.
- H.R. 3989, the Support our Military Caregivers Act, as amended, would allow a veteran or caregiver of a veteran to elect to have an independent contractor perform an external clinical review of their caregiving arrangement through the Family Caregiver Program. It would also require VA to produce a directive for the Family Caregiver Program and require GAO to study the Family Caregiver Program.
- H.R. 2460 would direct VA to enter into an agreement or a contract with state veterans homes (SVHs) to pay for adult day health care for a veteran eligible for, but not receiving, nursing home care.
- H.R. 5229, the Improving Transition Programs for All Veterans Act, as amended, would require VA to research and report to Congress how the Transition Assistance Program addresses differentiated needs of groups of minority veterans, including women veterans, disabled veterans, Native American veterans, veterans who are residents of a U.S. territory, veterans who are part of the indigenous population of a U.S. territory, and other minority groups.