Acting Ranking Member Takano Introduces SERVICE Act to Keep America’s Promise to Veterans
Washington, D.C. – Today, Acting Ranking Member Mark Takano unveiled the Supporting, Employing, and Recognizing Veterans In Communities Everywhere (SERVICE) Act, H.R. 6062, a robust package of progressive priorities for dramatically improving the care and support provided to America’s veterans.
The legislation addresses several key issues affecting the veterans community, including health care, education, homelessness, and accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“The SERVICE Act offers substantive solutions for the complex blend of challenges that prevent former service members from making a successful transition into civilian life,” said Rep. Takano. “If signed into law, this legislation would move our country significantly closer to keeping the promises we made to veterans, and I hope it gets the serious consideration it deserves.”
The legislation incorporates several bipartisan bills to reform the VA appeals process, extend veteran homelessness programs, protect student veterans from bad actors in the education sector, and expand the health care workforce to address the access issues facing the VA health system. It also offers accountability provisions that would improve the performance of VA employees, while avoiding the due process concerns associated with H.R. 5620, the Republican-led accountability legislation that passed the House this week but faces strong opposition in the Senate.
In addition, the SERVICE Act:
- Expands protections for whistleblowers by creating an independent VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protections;
- Provides coverage for disabled veterans for in vitro fertilization treatments;
- Improves communication between VA and private health care providers, and streamlines the ability of the VA to contract with community providers;
- Increases incentives for businesses to hire veterans and creates a pilot program to boost job training for positions in the manufacturing industry; and
- Helps service members discharged solely due to their sexual orientation correct their military records to reflect their honorable service and reinstate the benefits they earned.
Josh Weisz, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-225-2305
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