July 27, 2023

Ranking Member Takano's Statement on Partisan Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill

Press Contact

Libby Carlson

WASHINGTON, DC – House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Mark Takano (CA-39) released the following statement after voting against the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs government funding bill: 

“I fought to ensure the Toxic Exposure Fund (TEF), created by my law, the Honoring our PACT Act, would be fully funded through this year’s appropriations process to ensure toxic-exposed veterans can get the care and benefits they have earned. It is also positive that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been funded at the President’s budget level. But that all comes at a grave cost. 

“I am deeply concerned and frustrated by partisan riders restricting access to abortion and attacking LGBTQ+ rights included in this bill. These poison pills have turned the non-partisan issue of helping our veterans into a political game. For me, this goes too far and doesn’t represent the diversity of our veteran population.  

“I am also deeply troubled by the inclusion of Chairman Bost’s amendment that would increase access to guns and possibly worsen the suicide epidemic among veterans. Committee Republicans tried to push this bill through our Committee last week. Yet when they ran into opposition as Democrats pointed out significant holes in the legislation, Republicans are doing an end run by - restricting funds for a program meant to help vulnerable veterans and forcing VA to violate the law. That is the mess Republicans have made of a normally bipartisan process.  

“And this is just the first of 12 appropriations bills! While it is good news that VA and the TEF have been fully funded, the other 11 bills include deep cuts to programs that help veterans. Veterans use SNAP benefits, they use housing vouchers, and they use child care support. While Republicans are crowing that they ‘fully funded veterans’ programs’, funding VA is not the whole picture. If they were serious, they wouldn’t have included these devastating cuts in their other 11 bills. Much remains to be seen for the full funding picture, but I am deeply concerned by the passage of this bill.”