RECAP: TITUS PROVISIONS TO REFORM THE VA AND ASSIST VETERANS PASS THE HOUSE THIS WEEK

Jul 28, 2017
Press Release

July 28, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Today Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada’s First Congressional District released the following statement about her successful efforts this week to reform the VA’s policies on animal experiments and improve veterans’ access to Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits in two major pieces of legislation that passed the House.  Two provisions address costly and cruel experiments on animals at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Another creates a scholarship for veterans pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. 

“These efforts will improve the lives of veterans and animals, spur innovation, and guarantee more accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The STEM scholarship will grow our economy and tax base by ensuring veterans have the services and skills to transition into civilian life and earn jobs in high-paying industries. The measures to study the VA’s costly research on animals and prohibit cruel experiments on dogs will guarantee more accountability about how the VA spends taxpayer dollars and help modernize the department’s research at a time when new technologies are emerging. I sponsored these efforts with Republican colleagues and am hopeful that they pass in the Senate.”   

 

BACKGROUND

H.R. 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, 2018

In the $788 billion “security minibus” package, the House passed a provision sponsored by Rep. Titus to prevent the VA from using funds on cruel and wasteful experiments on dogs.

Another provision in the “minibus” from Rep. Titus requires the VA to submit a report to Congress that will detail the number of VA research studies using animals; the types of animals used; the number of animals euthanized; and any incidents, citations or critical reviews of VA animal research by regulators. 

The bill passed the House and is now in the Senate.

H.R. 3218, The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017

Rep. Titus has been working for two years on a bipartisan provision in the legislation that will expand veterans’ access to using Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for degrees in the STEM field.  The legislation creates the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship which will provide veterans with an extra schoolyear of education benefits’ eligibility to help ensure they earn high-paying jobs and can contribute to the long-term security of our economy in the modern workforce.

The bill passed unanimously and now heads to the Senate.