Congressman Bishop honors veterans, military families by supporting service bills
Supports improved access to mental health resources, suicide prevention programs
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Earlier in this session, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop (GA-02), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, supported seven bipartisan measures to honor the service of our veterans and military families. The Veterans Employment, Education, and Healthcare Improvement Act; Construction Reform Act of 2016; Career-Ready Student Veterans Act; American Heroes COLA Act; VA Medical Center Recovery Act; Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act; and legislation concerning child abuse and neglect in the military were all approved by voice vote. Bishop supported all efforts.
“In addition to formally honoring the sacrifices of our brave service members, it is my hope these eight bills will tear down many of the obstacles faced by veterans and military families,” said Bishop.
• H.R. 3234, VA Medical Center Recovery Act: Establishes in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) an Office of Failing Medical Center Recovery which will publish a compilation of key health metrics for each VA medical center; certify semiannually that each VA medical center ranked as “failing” is subject to operational control by the Office; revoke the certification of a VA medical center as a failing medical center if it achieves a ranking of “satisfactory” or better for three consecutive fiscal quarters; submit to Congress a quarterly report on the Office, including actions taken by the Under Secretary regarding covered failing medical centers; and transfer each covered failing medical center from the direct control of the relevant Veterans Integrated Service Network to the direct control of the Under Secretary.
• H.R. 2915, Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act: Directs the VA to identify: (1) VA mental health care and suicide prevention programs most effective for women veterans, and (2) those programs with the highest satisfaction rates among women veterans in order to ensure each covered veteran may access VA mental health care in a manner that fully accommodates the veteran’s obligation to not improperly disclose classified information; and any other provisions.
• H.R. 3106, Construction Reform Act of 2016: Requires the VA to: (1) enter into an agreement with an appropriate non-VA entity to provide full project management services for a super construction project; and (2) use industry standards, standard designs, and best practices in carrying out medical facility construction, among other provisions.
• H.R. 3016, Veterans Employment, Education, and Healthcare Improvement Act: Includes podiatrists within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) definition of physician, and increases their pay grade to match other VA physician compensation.
• H.R. 2360, Career-Ready Student Veterans Act: Adds new criteria for state approval, with respect to the VA educational assistance, of applications of educational institutions providing veterans with non-accredited courses.
• H.R. 677, American Heroes COLA Act of 2015: Requires that, whenever there is an increase in benefit amounts payable under title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) of the Social Security Act, the Secretary of the VA shall increase by the same percentage the amounts payable as veterans’ disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled adult children, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children.
• H.R. 3894: Requires the prompt notification of State Child Protective Services by military and civilian personnel of the Department of Defense required by law to report suspected instances of child abuse and neglect.