June 5, 2013

June 5, 2013

Congressional Update

Dear friends,

This week, I spoke on the House floor about an issue I have been concerned about for some time now. As of May, the Veterans Administration has 843,000 claims pending – more than two thirds of which have been pending for over 125 days. In my district, my staff is currently working with over 205 veterans with outstanding claims that have been unresolved for 18 to 24 months. This is unacceptable.

As a newly appointed Member of the House Appropriations Committee, it is my duty to see that veterans of all generations receive a benefits system that is easy to navigate and responsive to their needs.

 That is why I am pleased to see that the 2014 Military Construction Appropriation bill fully funds and supports 20,851 claims processors. Additionally, the bill funds the VA’s Veterans Claims Intake Program – converting old paper files to digital ones that are more accessible and searchable. As a lifelong supporter of government accountability, I also support the inclusion of the monthly reporting requirement of the claims backlog process in the bill.

 Most importantly, this bill also directs the VA and the Department of Defense to create one electronic health record system – preventing errors and potentially reducing costs.

I thank my colleagues Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies for the introduction and Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) for following my remarks with recognition of our bipartisan efforts in fighting for the benefits of veterans across our country.

Should any veteran in my district need assistance, please call our toll free number (877) 780-0028 or visit my website at http://tinyurl.com/m2s56q7 



Congressman Henry Cuellar





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