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Weekly Column: Delivering for SW Michigan Veterans

As the son of a disabled WWII veteran, ensuring our veterans have access to the care and benefits they have earned is personal to me. I’m proud to have recently voted to fully fund veterans’ health care and benefits programs.

At the end of July, House Republicans took a critical step to deliver on this objective by passing H.R. 4366, the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. Overall, this measure increases VA funding by more than $16 billion from last year’s enacted funding level and matches the amount requested by President Biden. This financial commitment to our veterans is important to note because during the recent debt limit negotiations, the Biden Administration and others in Washington falsely claimed Republican proposals would cut funding for veterans. By fully funding health care and benefits for our veterans, this bill continues to disprove those debunked talking points.

By reducing wasteful spending and refocusing the VA on its core objectives, this bill prioritizes our veterans and military families. Sadly, the sacrifices made by military families are often overlooked. To address this concern, the bill includes nearly $800 million over President Biden’s budget request to enhance military construction as well as housing projects for our servicemembers and their loved ones.

Additionally, H.R. 4366 enhances our national security to deter China in the Indo-pacific region, strengthens special operations command, and ensures we have the military infrastructure in place to complete the mission safely and effectively.

As conversations about appropriations continue, I believe Washington must continue to prioritize its use of taxpayer dollars. I also believe the federal government must deliver on its promise to care for our veterans. This legislation strives to make sure those who have served our country have access to quality care, mental health resources, and the benefits they have earned.

If you or someone you know needs help navigating a federal agency, please contact my office in Holland at (616) 251-6741, my office in Portage at (269) 569-8595, or my office in Washington at (202) 225-4401. My team and I are here and eager to assist you. 

This column originally appeared on August 10, 2023
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