Pelosi Statement on Passage of VA MISSION Act
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5674, the VA MISSION Act, by a vote of 347-70:
“Just as the military pledges to leave no soldier behind on the battlefield, we must leave no veteran behind once they come home. I commend the Committee leaders for working towards a bipartisan, bicameral agreement, but the VA MISSION Act is a missed opportunity.
“I salute Ranking Member Tim Walz for his outstanding leadership in ensuring Democratic priorities were included in this legislation. The bill rightly expands caregiver benefits to all eras, replaces the flawed Veterans Choice Program and consolidates the many community care initiatives – but this bill is far from perfect. Without a sustainable source of funding, this bill is fiscally irresponsible and fails to provide a long-term solution to avoid the risk of triggering devastating sequestration and potential budget cuts to critical VA initiatives. The bill also fails to include sufficient guardrails to keep veterans in VA and fulfill the Department’s mission at a time of great uncertainty.
“This bill opens the doors to VA privatization during a time when the Department has zero leadership. By handing the Trump Administration’s ideologues and Koch Brothers the keys to an underfunded VA, Republicans are pushing forth their campaign to dismantle veterans’ health care. Over and over again, the GOP has left our veterans behind – slashing Medicaid, gutting SNAP and dismantling vital consumer protections against Wall Street’s greed and abuse. Democrats will continue to fight for better health care for our veterans, and to defend VA’s mission as the chief coordinator, provider and advocate for our men and women who served.”