Conference Report on H.R. 3230, Pay Our Guard and Reserve Actby Representative Corrine Brown
Posted on 2014-07-30
BROWN of Florida. Mr. Speaker, as the most senior member of the
House Veterans' Affairs Committee, I strongly believe that the VA
provides the best care for our Nation's servicemembers returning from
protecting the freedoms we most hold dear, and I am committed to VA
continuing their critical mission of serving our veterans.
VA has served the special needs of our returning veterans for over 75 years and has expertise in their unique health care needs, including prosthetics, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a host of other veteran-specific injuries. My focus continues to be on ensuring that the VA retains the unique responsibility for the health care our veterans receive, regardless of the provider.
The bill includes critical language that I discussed with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont to ensure the VA has the final authority over the care that the veterans receive, whether at the VA or at non-VA providers. We need to continue to work with our veteran stakeholders to ensure the VA has all the resources it needs to provide superior health care to our veterans.
I am looking forward to working with the new VA Secretary. And I want to thank the past Secretaries. I have worked with past Secretaries from Jesse Brown to the present one.
I know a lot of people will say that we have given the VA everything they need. But of course many of us don't have institutional memory.
I remember the first time the VA got the real budget they wanted in 2009 under President Barack Obama, when we had a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate. So a lot of us talk the talk, walk the walk, but don't really roll the roll.
So we have got to make sure as we move forward that we don't just talk about providing service, but that we really provide service and we ensure that the veterans have the service that the first President, George Washington, promised the veterans.
And I do want to thank our chairperson, Mr. Miller of Florida, for his leadership and the way he has conducted our meetings, and also our ranking member.