Donovan, House Pass Series of Bills to Support U.S. Veterans
Washington, DC—July 25, 2017....Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) and the U.S. House of Representatives last night voted to pass a series of 8 bills to improve opportunities, benefits, and services for those who have bravely served our country. The package of legislation includes measures to improve educational benefits for veterans under the post-9/11 GI bill, strengthen quality of health care received at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), increase transparency and accountability at the VA, and enhance opportunities for businesses owned by veterans.
Congressman Donovan said, “Saying ‘thank you’ is not enough, and it’s our duty to support and create effective solutions to the challenges U.S. military service members face when returning home. Whether it’s improving education benefits, strengthening the quality of VA services, or equipping them with the tools they need to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities, these bills are actionable steps to show veterans that Congress is committed to meeting their needs. Our nation will never be able to repay the immeasurable debt we owe those who defended our freedom, but we can put in place policies that help ensure veterans receive the respect, benefits, and services they earned and deserve.”
The package of bills institutes bipartisan reforms on various topics. H.R. 3218, for example, makes several reforms to the post-9/11 GI bill to increase education benefits for veterans. Another, H.R. 2781, helps expand government contract opportunities for veteran-owned small businesses. The full list of bills passed yesterday is copied below.
Supporting this legislation is part of Donovan’s continued commitment to improve veteran care and services. Just last week, the House passed Donovan’s legislation to help fix a Basic Allowance Housing inequity faced by Staten Island student-veterans. This past year, Donovan helped pass the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 and extend the Veterans Choice Program. Additionally, Donovan has held multiple veterans roundtables in NY-11 to highlight issues and discuss solutions to problems faced by those who served our country.
Full List of Bills
- H.R. 3218: Makes several improvements to the post-9/11 GI bill, which provides educational benefits to veterans, service members and their families.
- H.R. 282: Gives military spouses the choice to establish the same state of residency as the service member to provide them the benefit of keeping the same state of residency for voting and tax purposes.
- H.R. 1058: Updates VA’s outdated qualifications for podiatrists to help attract high quality providers to respond to the increased numbers of foot and ankle injuries suffered by veterans.
- H.R. 1690: Requires the VA to submit an annual report to specified congressional committees on the performance awards and bonuses presented to Senior Executive Service (SES) employees.
- H.R. 2006: Creates efficiency and transparency in VA’s procurement process by establishing a uniform system for calculating the department’s savings from competition when awarding contracts.
- H.R. 2781: Directs the VA to work with the General Services Administration to increase the pool of veteran owned small businesses represented on government-wide strategic sourcing contracts.
- H.R. 2749: Requires participants in the Vets First Program to certify that they are performing the required percentage of work and directs VA to refer suspected violators to the Office of the Inspector General for investigation.
- H.R. 1848: Requires the VA to establish a two-year pilot program to increase the number of medical scribes employed at the department.