Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2014by Representative Ann Kirkpatrick
Posted on 2014-09-16
KIRKPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may
I would like to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for all of the hard work and dedication that went into H.R. 5404, the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2014.
This bill would extend a number of important programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. We must ensure that the VA has the resources and authority to provide high-quality health care services and benefits that veterans have earned and deserve, no matter where they choose to live.
[[Page H7581]] H.R. 5404 extends the Department's authority to deliver nursing home care to our veterans, give child care assistance for veterans so they can make their medical appointments, and provide counseling retreats for our women veterans.
For veterans who live in highly rural areas like my district, this bill extends VA's authority to give grants to veterans' service organizations to transport our rural veterans to their medical appointments, which is critical for increasing access to VA health care.
This bill also extends critical homeless programs that the VA needs to end veteran homelessness by 2015. Programs such as housing assistance, financial assistance, counseling, and reintegration services will continue so that veterans who experience homelessness or are at risk of being homeless have a safety net of services to help themselves in their time of need.
Finally, H.R. 5404 contains several extensions that will assist the Department in its efforts to provide specially adapted housing to veterans who have difficulty getting around their own homes, permit the VA to recruit and retain needed medical specialists, improve education benefit programs, and allow the VA to maintain an effective, functioning home loan guaranty program.
I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 5404, and I reserve the balance of my time.