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
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".
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
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.