VA Expiring Authorities Extension Act of 2013by Former Representative Michael H. Michaud
Posted on 2013-12-10
MICHAUD. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I rise in full support of H.R. 1402, as amended, the VA Expiring Authorities Extension Act of 2013.
Mr. Speaker, this bill, as amended, would extend a number of critical programs administered by the VA. It is a bipartisan measure. I appreciate the highly collaborative efforts of the committee staffs and the cooperative efforts of our colleagues in the other body.
H.R. 1402, as amended, would extend the authorization of appropriations for the VA to provide monthly stipends to athletes competing in large-scale adaptive sports programs and extend the authority of the VA to provide grants to entities that plan and carry out adaptive sports programs. This bill represents a bipartisan and bicameral agreement to modify the existing program and to provide more stringent oversight of the program.
H.R. 1402, as amended, would also extend to the end of next year the authority of the VA to transport certain individuals to and from VA facilities, to operate the regional office in the Philippines, and to contract with non- [[Page H7617]] VA physicians to conduct medical disability examinations.
H.R. 1402, as amended, would also extend the requirement that VA provide nursing home care to certain veterans, extend the authority to provide treatment and rehabilitation services for seriously mentally ill and homeless veterans, and extend the authority of the VA to provide housing assistance for homeless veterans.
Finally, this bill would extend the authority for two advisory committees--the Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans and the Advisory Committee on Education--as well as extend the authority for requirements relating to the sale of vendee loans by the VA.
Mr. Speaker, we have passed many veterans bills out of the House this year. It is my hope that some of these bills will become law before the year is out. I look forward to working with our colleagues in the Senate to make sure that we get this bill passed. The job at hand today is to pass this extenders bill, send it over to the Senate for quick consideration, and get it to the President's desk before the end of the year before the authority to continue these vital programs lapses.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.