Rep. Titus Releases Statement on Opposition to VA MISSION Act

May 17, 2018
Press Release
May 16, 2018
 
Washington, DC – Today Representative Dina Titus of Nevada’s First Congressional District, former Ranking Member of the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, released the following statement on her opposition to S. 2372, the VA MISSION Act of 2018:
 
“I have heard from veterans in Nevada who continue to face problems navigating VA’s care in the community and the Veterans Choice Program. This legislation, however, threatens successful programs, could lead to budget cuts for VA services, and puts the VA on a path to privatization that hurts our veterans and their families. Without a current nominee for VA Secretary, it is unclear how the Trump administration would implement this new law; but it is clear that organizations with Trump’s ear have been pushing VA privatization for years. I will continue to fight in Congress to strengthen the VA and care for veterans. I believe we can do this without threatening to dismantle the VA.”
 
The VA MISSION Act:
 
Moves Veterans Choice Program funding from mandatory spending to discretionary spending which could trigger cuts to existing VA programs including: medical services provided by VA providers, veterans’ job training and employment assistance, homelessness programs, veterans’ treatment courts, and VA research. 
Creates a Base Realignment and Closure-like commission to recommend the shutting of VA medical facilities in underserved communities, forcing more veterans into the private sector, which is problematic in places like Las Vegas with its shortage of doctors and nurses.
The bill does, however, include provisions similar to legislation the Congresswoman has cosponsored (H.R.1472) to expand the VA’s Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers program to veterans of all generations. Those provisions were added to this fiscally irresponsible legislation and should have been considered in a separate bill.