Press Releases

July 31, 2014

Senate Passes VA Conference Bill to Help Get VA Back on Track

Legislation includes two Heller provisions

(Washington D.C.) -- Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) voted in favor of H.R. 3230, the Veterans Conference Report.  This legislation includes reforms that will allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to improve its healthcare services.

Following the vote, Senator Heller said, “This bill is a good start to address problems with appointment wait times and VA scheduling practices, and to improve accountability and overall quality of care provided at VA’s medical facilities. However, our work is not done.  Congress must not stop pressing the VA for better care nor can this body turn a blind eye to the veterans who are still waiting for their disability benefits claims to be processed. 

“Thank you to my colleagues, Senators Sanders, McCain, and Burr, for their work on the Conference Report, as well as House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Miller and the rest of the Conference members for reaching an agreement. I’m also grateful to Senator Booker for his partnership to extend a program for veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries, and to Senator Merkley for his work on our provision to help Gold Star spouses access education benefits.”

Two bipartisan provisions co-authored by Senator Heller were included in the VA conference legislation:

  • The Spouses of Heroes Education Act. This legislation provides education benefits to spouses of service members who died in the line of duty. Senators Heller and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced this measure on May 23, 2013. For more information about that bill, please click here.
  • The Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (AL-TBI) Extension Act. This legislation authorizes the continuation of a Veterans Affairs program that provides intensive care and rehabilitation to veterans with severe brain injuries. Senators Heller and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced this legislation on July 16, 2014. For more information about that bill, please click here.
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