December 05, 2023

Ranking Member Takano’s Statement on House Passage of Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act, HOME Act

Press Contact

Libby Carlson

WASHINGTON,DC – House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Mark Takano (CA-39) released the following statement after the House passed the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act and Housing our Military Effectively (HOME) Act with strong bipartisan support:

“While I fully support the goals of both of these bills, this is a hollow victory, because we already know further House action will be needed. Last week, my staff alerted the Majority’s staff that the language of the bills passed today was outdated, and more recent versions that had been negotiated and supported by House and Senate Democrats and Republicans (the four corners) should replace it. I had the assurances of both Senators Tester and Schumer that if the four corners-approved language could pass the House, they would ensure both bills made it onto the Senate Hotline with the goal to get the bills to the President’s desk by Christmas.

What a Christmas gift this would have been for our most vulnerable veterans and their families! The Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act would require VA to provide access to all Home and Community-Based Services, and enable veterans to remain at home, safely age in place, and avoid or delay admission to nursing homes and other costly institutional settings of care.

The HOME Act would restore authorities the Department of Veterans Affairs had during the pandemic to help temporarily house homeless veterans and provide them the resources to get to doctor’s and social work appointments. These authorities were so successful that they contributed to a reduction in veteran homelessness by 11% in two years. The HOME Act includes provisions from bills by Representative Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20) and Representative Nikema Williams (GA-05).

These are important bills and would help thousands of veterans. But they are imperfect and not ‘hotline-ready.’ So, the Senate will need to amend the language and send it back to the House before we can get this crucial support to veterans. It is time wasted—for no good reason.

The Majority made a promise to Veterans Service Organizations and to me last week that they will include the four corners-approved language of these two bills in a package that will be on the President’s desk by the end of January. We will hold them to this promise.

Veterans and their families have waited long enough.”