Gluesenkamp Perez Statement on Passage of MilCon-VA Appropriations Bill, Inclusion of Amendments

Jun 05, 2024

Today, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03) released the following statement after she voted with her bipartisan colleagues to pass the FY25 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 8580), which included two of her amendments:

“Our veterans put their lives on the line to protect freedom and democracy – and it’s our nation’s obligation to make sure veterans can access the high-quality healthcare and support they’ve earned, so they can live full, healthy lives after returning home. Today, I voted with my bipartisan colleagues to pass funding for the VA programs and healthcare our nation’s heroes rely on.

This bill has a significantly better level of funding for veterans than enacted in FY24 – including support for veterans’ healthcare, claim processing, caregivers, toxic exposure care, facility construction, and more.

The legislation also included two of my amendments to address failures for veterans in Lewis County impacted by the Chehalis VA clinic closure and for veterans in Skamania County who lost federal funding eligibility for no-cost transportation to VA medical appointments.

Unfortunately, despite the important provisions for our veterans, extreme Members of Congress used this bill to propel senseless, partisan culture wars. I voted against these harmful amendments, and I refuse to play into clickbait politics.

But veterans across Southwest Washington are already suffering from failed promises by the federal government – so I voted to pass this legislation and get our veterans much-needed support. As the House and Senate work toward a bipartisan compromise, I hope to vote on a more balanced, final bill that respects the rights and freedoms of all veterans when they make health care and life decisions.”

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez’s first amendment calls on the Veterans Health Administration to report to Congress the efforts of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to ensure veterans in proximity to a VA outpatient clinic subject to closure can access healthcare. Her other amendment underscores the need to modernize eligibility definitions for the VA’s Highly Rural Transportation Grant Program, to ensure rural veterans have dependable, no-cost access to medical appointments.

H.R. 8580 provides robust FY25 funding for veterans, including $75.5 billion more in VA funding than in the President’s FY25 budget request and $30.2 billion more than was enacted in FY24.

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez’s bipartisan team is eager to help Southwest Washington veterans with federal agencies and has already recovered more than $182,000 for constituents owed to them by the VA. She encourages those in need of assistance to contact her online, by phone at (360) 695-6292, or by visiting her Vancouver or Kelso offices.

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