Kuster Votes to Preserve Critical Veterans Programs
(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the lead Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, backed legislation that preserves vital programs for veterans in New Hampshire and around the nation. After passing the House, The Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2018 will be sent to the White House for the president’s signature.
“This legislation will help ensure our country continues to fund and operate programs that are essential to the well-being of our veterans,” Kuster said. “The bill sustains critical initiatives to support rural, homeless, disabled and female veterans. We must bolster our support for all veterans in New Hampshire and across the country and an important part of that equation is preserving ongoing and effective programs. I’ll continue to work across the aisle to advance policies to benefit our men and women who have served in uniform.”
The bill complements Kuster’s VA Prescription Data Accountability Act, which was signed into law last year, by ensuring VA providers can access all state PDMPs, including those that participate in a national network.
It also requires a report be completed on the availability of Naloxone across the VA within one year.
Transportation for Rural Veterans
The bill includes $3 million in funding to extend a grant program through 2020. The program pays for veterans service organizations to transport veterans from their homes in rural areas to health care appointments.
Pilot Program for Recently Separated Women Veterans
The bill extends a pilot program that sends recently separated women veterans on a retreat where they receive counseling services. Kuster supports H.R. 91, the Building Supportive Networks for Women Veterans Act, which would make this pilot permanent.
Permanently provides authority for VA to give disabled veterans housing that’s designed to accommodate their disabilities.
The bill extends programs that allow disabled veterans to compete and participate in adaptive sports.
Homeless Veterans Programs
Extends authorities for the following programs: homeless reintegration, homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children, referral and counseling for veterans at risk of homelessness, treatment and rehabilitation services for seriously mentally ill and homeless veterans, support services for very low-income veteran families, and a grant program for veterans with special needs.
The bill extends the authority for the VA to enter into agreements with the National Academy of Sciences for the study of dioxin, the toxic chemical found in Agent Orange which the U.S. military used as an herbicide during Vietnam.