Press Release

Congressman Cuellar Successfully Includes Language in Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill

Language seeks to help homeless veterans, provide greater burial options in rural areas

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Washington, April 13, 2016 | Riley Brands ((202) 226-0507) | comments
Today Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) announced that he had successfully included in the FY 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill a number of provisions designed to make life better for our country’s veterans. The bill was reviewed today by the entire U.S. House Appropriations Committee, on which Cuellar sits, and was passed out of committee. The bill can now head to the House floor for a full vote. The bill increases total funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs from $71.4 billion in FY16 to 73.5 billion in FY17.

“I have long supported the veterans in my district and across the country,” Congressman Cuellar said. “With the personal sacrifices they have made to serve their country, we owe it to them to make sure that they have all the support they deserve from the government in recognition of their service. I thank my colleagues Charlie Dent (R-PA-15), chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee overseeing the VA, and Sanford Bishop (D-GA-2), ranking member of the subcommittee, for helping me support those who have given up so much to protect their country.”

Among the provisions Cuellar successfully included today are:

• Language to improve telemedicine for veterans in rural areas without easy access to medical facilities.
• Language to help provide a burial option for veterans in rural and highly rural areas.
• Language encouraging the VA to work more collaboratively with local service agencies to ensure homeless veterans in rural areas are receiving the best services possible.
• Language to provide furniture, household items, and other assistance to formerly homeless veterans transitioning into permanent housing.
• Language to designate a VA liaison to work with local law enforcement to help them better understand the needs of veterans considered a threat to themselves or others and work with them in a respectful manner.
• Language encouraging greater participation between local VA hospitals and historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions.
• Language instructing the National Guard to implement public-private partnerships with state and local governments to construct facilities along our southwestern border that can support border security.

If you would like to see the full language included by Congressman Cuellar, please visit his website here.

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