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  • Conference Report on H.R. 3230, Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act

    by Representative Gus M. Bilirakis

    Posted on 2014-07-30

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    BILIRAKIS. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

    Today I rise in support of the VA conference report on H.R. 3230. The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 is a positive first step toward reforming the VA, which provides, among other things, relief to veterans who have waited excessively to receive the health care they have earned at a level of quality they deserve, Mr. Speaker.

    This bill also includes real accountability provisions, allowing the VA Secretary to fire or demote Senior Executive Service employees for lack of performance and management negligence.

    This reform package is focused around ensuring the veteran has timely access to quality care and includes language to authorize 27 major medical facility leases, including one in Pasco County, Florida, in my congressional district.

    The veterans in my area will soon have the ability to seek treatments at a consolidated clinic, thanks to Chairman Miller, as opposed to having to travel between the main clinic and four other satellite facilities.

    Authorizing these leases will improve the timeliness for veterans to receive care in Pasco County and in 17 other States throughout the Nation, as well as Puerto Rico.

    Passage of this bill is the beginning, not the end. Obviously much work needs to be done. However, immediate action needs to be taken to get veterans off waiting lists and ensure they receive care within the VA health system or in the private sector, if they so choose. The veteran should have the choice. We need to get this done for our veterans.

    I urge passage of the bill.

    Mr. MICHAUD. Mr. Speaker, at this time, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from California (Mr. Takano).

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