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Weekly Column: Supporting Our Veterans and Military Families

Last week, the House passed H.R. 8580, the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2025. This is the first of the FY 2025 appropriations bills to be considered on the House floor.

I voted for this legislation because it prioritizes our nation’s veterans, makes a substantial investment in our military infrastructure, and reins in the bureaucracy.

As the son of a disabled WWII veteran, I take the responsibility of supporting our veterans and military members seriously. I am committed to ensuring that the men and women who have served or are currently serving receive the respect they deserve as well as the benefits and services they have earned. It is their selfless sacrifices that make America’s freedoms possible.

This legislation fully funds health care and benefits for veterans. Notably, it makes significant improvements to dental care and provides more resources for mental health care and toxic exposure care. Critically, this measure ensures that the VA’s toll-free suicide hotline provides immediate assistance from a trained professional to help veterans who call prior to or during a crisis.

Importantly, this bill enhances the quality of life for our men and women in uniform by making much-needed improvements to housing and childcare for military families while ensuring our military focuses on national security. Additionally, by prohibiting the use of funds to promote or advance critical race theory as well as the implementation or enforcement of the Biden Administration’s executive orders on diversity, equity, and inclusion, the Department of Defense can focus on protecting the security of our nation and its citizens.

Furthermore, H.R. 8580 supports American values and principles by protecting the 2nd Amendment rights of veterans, prohibiting VA from processing medical care claims for illegal immigrants, and maintaining the prohibitions on closing Guantanamo Bay, which currently houses terrorists.

I will continue to back policies that support our nation’s veterans and current service members while also protecting our national security interests. If you need assistance navigating a federal agency, please contact my office in Holland at (616) 251-6741 or in Portage at (269) 569-8595.

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