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Brindisi, Bost Lead Bipartisan Effort to Secure Aid to Rural Veterans

October 1, 2019 by Dan McCue
The Three Soldiers, a bronze statue by Frederick Hart, on the National Mall. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – Reps. Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y., and Mike Bost, R-Ill., led a successful bipartisan effort to extend key veterans programs such as support for traveling far for medical care.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2019 extends the travel payments for rural veterans who have to travel long distances to receive care.

It passed in the House by a vote of 417-1 on Sept. 18, and was approved by the Senate, without amendment, by unanimous consent on Sept. 23. It was sent to the White House on Monday, where it awaits the president’s signature.

“Our veterans defended our country and earned these benefits,” Brindisi said in a written statement.

The Representative, a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, went on to say “our rural veterans sometimes need to travel long distances to receive care and they shouldn’t be forced to foot the bill.”

“Washington needs to do right by all of our veterans and make sure there is no interruption in services for them or their families,” he added.

The legislation introduced includes:

  • A two-year extension of authority to fund appropriations of $380 million for financial assistance for supportive services for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing;
  • A one-year extension of the VA’s authority to temporarily expand payments and allowances for beneficiary travel in connection with receiving care from vet centers;
  • A one-year extension of VA’s authority relating to vendee loans; and
  • A one-year extension of VA’s authority to operate a regional office in the Philippines.

“Our nation’s military members were made a promise by our government that they would be taken care of once they return home,” Bost said. “By extending critical VA programs that help very low-income veterans and those who must travel long distances to receive care, we are working to keep that promise. I’m proud to have co-sponsored this bipartisan legislation with Congressman Brindisi to support some of our most vulnerable Veterans.”

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