The House Veterans Affairs Committee will spend this week in multiple legislative hearings. On Wednesday, members of the committee will be reviewing bills on economic opportunity, and Thursday’s hearing will focus on improvements at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Here’s a look at the House VA Committee’s schedule for this week:
Wednesday: The House VA Committee will hold a legislative hearing on four pieces of draft legislation ranging from housing and business loans, educational assistance, apprenticeship, and employment assistance programs.
Thursday: Thursday, improvements to the VA are the topic of the day for the House VA Committee. The committee will be reviewing a draft version of the Asset and Infrastructure Review Act of 2017, which would give greater authority to the Secretary of the VA to reassess and realign capital assets under VA control. Currently the VA is paying to sustain dozens of empty or underutilized facilities. Those funds could be put towards expanding choice for veterans or building facilities that are truly needed. The committee will also review H.R. 2773, which would authorize the VA secretary to sell Pershing Hall. Pershing Hall is a hotel property in France that the VA owns. Multiple lawmakers have called for the VA to sell the property and use the funds where they are needed, like maintaining cemeteries or memorials.
All veterans’ issue activity is on the House side this week. Both the House and Senate should soon be releasing some version of choice reform. We encourage both sides of Congress to ensure veterans are put first in the endeavor to reform the health system at the VA.