Bipartisan bill reauthorizing four VA programs, including support for homeless veterans, heads to president’s desk
ATLANTA – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today applauded the unanimous Senate passage of bipartisan legislation to ensure veterans continue to have access to essential programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The legislation, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 18, now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2019 reauthorizes four programs and services at the VA, including veterans homelessness prevention, for fiscal year 2020, which begins on Oct. 1, 2019. The authorizations included in the bill were set to expire at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2019 represents a bipartisan, bicameral agreement reached with U.S. Representatives Mark Takano, D-Calif., and Dr. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., Isakson and Tester’s counterparts in the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
“I’m pleased the Senate unanimously supported passage of this bipartisan bill to help ensure that vital VA services continue into the new fiscal year,” said Isakson. “I thank Ranking Member Tester, Chairman Takano, Ranking Member Roe and members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee for their efforts in reaching this bipartisan agreement. By working together, we are ensuring veterans continue to receive the benefits they rightfully deserve.”
“I’ve seen firsthand how critical initiatives like these help rural veterans – particularly those that are homeless and disabled – in my home state of Montana,” said Tester. “By giving veterans the resources they need to recover and thrive, we’re making good on the promises we’ve made to them and their families when they signed up to serve this country. This bipartisan agreement is a testament to what Congress can get done when we rise above the political fray and work together.”
A full section-by-section summary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2019 is available here.
The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 116th Congress. Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the armed services as well as nearly 700,000 veterans.
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