Legislative Update from Senator Burr

Senator Richard Burr
2014-08-01 14:22:06
Richard Burr, US Senator North Carolina This week the VA Conference Committee came to an agreement on legislation that would help address the systemic issues plaguing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).� Following the agreement both the House and Senate passed the legislation, which will be signed into law by the President. I am pleased that both the House and Senate came together and voted on this crucial piece of legislation. �The Veterans Choice Card empowers veterans to take their healthcare into their own hands, finding care in their communities when they face long delays or distances.� A veteran qualifies for the Choice Card when they are not able to be seen within the VA�s wait time goals or if the veteran lives more than 40 miles from a VA facility. Additionally, this legislation contains an important provision that I�ve long championed affecting veterans seeking an education.� The instate tuition provision I sponsored will provide veterans with a powerful reason to attend one of our nation�s many public colleges and universities and will at the same time benefit schools seeking high quality students.� For years I�ve believed this was a no-brainer, so I�m glad Congress has finally taken this step for veterans who are transitioning to civilian life. It is important to remember that this legislation is only the first step in rooting out a dysfunctional culture at the Department of Veterans Affairs that has persisted for far too long and ultimately took a national scandal for Congress to act.� I am proud of last night�s achievement, but the work continues on. I also look forward to working with Robert McDonald as VA Secretary and congratulate him on his confirmation earlier this week. �I believe he knows the challenge before him and with patience, perseverance, and a strong partnership we can get VA back on track. Read a summary of the legislation here [link 1]�and the bill text here [link 2]. [image = burr.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/ableactvideo.jpg] [link 3] On Thursday, the House Ways and Means committee voted on and passed the ABLE Act. �I�ve written many times about the important impact the ABLE Act would have on disabled individuals and families -- it is no wonder that it has garnered an unprecedented amount of support.� It is my hope that the full House will quickly bring the ABLE Act to the floor and vote for its passage. Click here [link 4] or above to watch a video from the National Down Syndrome Society that really places the human face on the ABLE legislation. Last evening, the Senate passed legislation to commemorate U.S. Forest Service Officer Jason Crisp. �Officer Crisp and his K-9 partner, Maros, lost their lives in the line of duty earlier this year.� H.R. 4360, introduced by Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC), would name a facility of the United States Forest Service in the Grandfather Ranger District after Officer Crisp -- the "Jason Crisp Forest Service Building". I am pleased we are able to honor a brave man who died in service to the state of North Carolina.� Officer Crisp�s service and sacrifice will not be forgotten and will be remembered with deep gratitude.� My thoughts and prayers are with Officer Crisp and his family. Finally, beginning next week I will be in North Carolina during a state-work period. �Throughout the month of August I will post about various events that I will be attending or co-hosting on my website.� You can visit my website at Burr.senate.gov [link 5]. ������� Sincerely, [image = burr.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/sig_block.gif] ������� Richard Burr Tell a Friend* Survey/Question [survey] E-mail Updates* *Yes, please periodically send me e-mail updates.** [image = burr.enews.senate.gov/images/clickherebtn.gif] [link 6] *By subscribing to my e-mail updates, you are authorizing me to send regular e-mail updates from my office to your e-mail account. [image = burr.enews.senate.gov/common/images/sn-facebook-like.png] [link 7] [image = burr.enews.senate.gov/common/images/sn-twitter-tweet.png] [link 8] [image = burr.enews.senate.gov/common/images/sn-linkedin-share.png] [link 9]
August 01, 2014

This week the VA Conference Committee came to an agreement on legislation that would help address the systemic issues plaguing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  Following the agreement both the House and Senate passed the legislation, which will be signed into law by the President.

I am pleased that both the House and Senate came together and voted on this crucial piece of legislation.  The Veterans Choice Card empowers veterans to take their healthcare into their own hands, finding care in their communities when they face long delays or distances.  A veteran qualifies for the Choice Card when they are not able to be seen within the VA�s wait time goals or if the veteran lives more than 40 miles from a VA facility.

Additionally, this legislation contains an important provision that I�ve long championed affecting veterans seeking an education.  The instate tuition provision I sponsored will provide veterans with a powerful reason to attend one of our nation�s many public colleges and universities and will at the same time benefit schools seeking high quality students.  For years I�ve believed this was a no-brainer, so I�m glad Congress has finally taken this step for veterans who are transitioning to civilian life.

It is important to remember that this legislation is only the first step in rooting out a dysfunctional culture at the Department of Veterans Affairs that has persisted for far too long and ultimately took a national scandal for Congress to act.  I am proud of last night�s achievement, but the work continues on.

I also look forward to working with Robert McDonald as VA Secretary and congratulate him on his confirmation earlier this week.  I believe he knows the challenge before him and with patience, perseverance, and a strong partnership we can get VA back on track.

Read a summary of the legislation

On Thursday, the House Ways and Means committee voted on and passed the ABLE Act.  I�ve written many times about the important impact the ABLE Act would have on disabled individuals and families -- it is no wonder that it has garnered an unprecedented amount of support.  It is my hope that the full House will quickly bring the ABLE Act to the floor and vote for its passage. Click

Last evening, the Senate passed legislation to commemorate U.S. Forest Service Officer Jason Crisp.  Officer Crisp and his K-9 partner, Maros, lost their lives in the line of duty earlier this year.  H.R. 4360, introduced by Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC), would name a facility of the United States Forest Service in the Grandfather Ranger District after Officer Crisp -- the "Jason Crisp Forest Service Building".

I am pleased we are able to honor a brave man who died in service to the state of North Carolina.  Officer Crisp�s service and sacrifice will not be forgotten and will be remembered with deep gratitude.  My thoughts and prayers are with Officer Crisp and his family.

Finally, beginning next week I will be in North Carolina during a state-work period.  Throughout the month of August I will post about various events that I will be attending or co-hosting on my website.  You can visit my website at Burr.senate.gov.

        Sincerely,

        Richard Burr

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