October 3, 2013
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today gave the following statement on the Honoring Our Promise to America’s Veterans Act, which passed the House on a vote of 258-157:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this legislation, which continues to provide our nation’s veterans with access to important benefits that they have earned for their dedicated service.
To let these important health benefits slow or stop would be to renege on our promise to our soldiers, that in exchange for taking care of this nation, this nation will take care of you.
This legislation continues funding for the processing and delivery of disability claims and other health benefits, at the current annual rate of approximately $82 billion, until December 15, or until we enact full-year appropriations.
Yesterday, when we considered this bill on the floor under suspension, Republicans and Democrats alike united behind the duty of this Congress to provide for our veterans. Frankly, I’m surprised it didn’t pass with the vote of every single Member, but some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle chose not to support the care of our former service men and women.
But I believe that, given this second chance, my colleagues will come together once again to pass this bill.
Not only is it dearly important for the well-being of our veterans, but it is important for the well-being of this nation as a whole. Every step that we take to fund one section of the government is a step that we take toward reopening the entire government.
Even if we do not agree on much, we can agree that we cannot allow this government shutdown to persist much longer, and continue to inflict harm on the United States. The clearest path forward is coming together – on a bipartisan and bicameral basis – to work out our differences, find a solution, and end this shutdown.
I urge my colleagues to provide for our veterans and help us get out of this shutdown disaster by voting ‘aye’ on this bill today.