Cornyn Lauds Progress on Texas Veterans Care After VA Mission Act

Yesterday on the floor, I highlighted some of the laws passed by Congress to support veterans and urged my colleagues to continue to build off of that success. Excerpts of my floor remarks are below, and video can be found here.

I had the privilege of witnessing not only my dad's but so many other of our US military servicemembers in action. Seeing their courage and sacrifice showed me early on that there's nothing we can do to adequately repay these men and women for their service to the country, but you better believe we have to try.

Last summer we took a major step to provide veterans with the health care they deserve when we passed the VA MISSION Act.

This legislation will make significant reforms in the Department of Veterans Affairs and provide veterans with more flexibility to make decisions themselves regarding their health care. In other words, they don't have to adapt to the system. The system can adapt to them and be flexible to their needs.

One of the most common frustrations I hear from my Texas veterans is that it's sometimes impractical to travel to the nearest VA hospital when they need care. This legislation, the VA MISSION Act, consolidates and improves VA community care programs. In other words, you can get the care in your community, and it allows veterans to receive care from private hospitals and doctors.

It also provides funding for the Veterans Choice Program to continue until the improved Veterans Community Care Program created by this legislation matures and is fully in effect. The VA MISSION Act included some of the most substantial reforms to the veterans health care system in years, lowering the barriers to care for veterans and giving them more treatment options. It's also provided the largest funding increase in history for veterans care and services, and modernized the VA's electronic health record system.

Last Congress I introduced the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act which is now law... what this will do is allow more of our veterans who are trained to serve as career law enforcement officers and use grant funds to hire and train them further to make sure they have the skills needed in a specific police department or law enforcement position.

I also introduced the Jobs for Our Heroes Act which was signed into law last January. This streamlines the process by which active duty military reservists and veterans receive commercial driver's licenses.

I’m proud of the work we've been able to do together on a bipartisan basis, big and small, to provide America's veterans with the support and resources they need as they transition to civilian life. There's more I’d like to accomplish this Congress to provide greater care and open more doors to veterans, and I look forward to working with all of my colleagues to do exactly that.


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