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Ranking Member Walz Statement Following VA Care In The Community Markup

Dec 19, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Tim Walz (D-MN) released the following statement after the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs passed H.R. 4242, the VA Care in the Community Act, out of committee:

“I have always said it is imperative that any permanent solution to improve VA community care must empower rural veterans, help hometown doctors cut through federal red tape, increase access to high-quality, timely healthcare, maintain our commitment to preserving VA, and honor the hard work of our dedicated rank and file VA employees who take care of our veterans,” said Rep. Walz, the highest ranking enlisted servicemember ever to serve in Congress. “Unfortunately, today’s legislation fell short of that standard and I could not in good conscience vote in favor of the H.R. 4242. Playing tricks with authorizing caps, either today in the hearing or when this bill is brought to the floor for final passage, sends the wrong message to VA, to community providers, and to the veterans we are supposed to serve. The bill lacked a clear and sustainable way to pay for VA care in the community at a time when Congressional Republicans plan to pass massive tax cuts for the wealthy, a move that will cause the national debt to skyrocket, leave even less money for veterans programs, and put the future of any bipartisan community care solution at risk. That is why I voted no.”