Statement : Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies

March 10, 2020 Statement
"The hearing today will ensure that Members have an opportunity to provide input into the bill this Subcommittee will produce for fiscal year 2021. We are pleased that we have six Members here to discuss a variety of Military Construction and Veterans programs. This hearing is vital for us as Appropriators. It provides us the opportunity to zero in on the issues our colleagues are dealing with and help them address important issues through our Committee’s work."
March 4, 2020 Statement
"The only way to make the President’s budget work is to get a cap adjustment for the MISSION Act. We have bipartisan, bicameral agreement on the need for a budget cap adjustment for the MISSION Act. Last year, MISSION Act cost $8.9 billion, this year it will cost $11.6 billion, and the costs will continue to rise in future years. Unfortunately, the Administration has adamantly refused to make this vital accommodation, and so I once again urge you, Mr. Secretary, to make this case to the White House and OMB."
March 3, 2020 Statement
"Many of the problems experienced by military families appear to be products of poor management by private partners and insufficient or ineffective oversight by military services. Many military families have complained about the maintenance support they have received from the partners."
February 27, 2020 Statement
"The men and women who have faithfully served our nation deserve no less than a seamless and problem-free system – something we have been promising for the past two decades. The transfer of health information should ease the burden of transitioning servicemembers with service-connected injuries and illnesses. It also should lay the groundwork for exchange with private sector caregivers, an essential part of Veterans healthcare. Today we need insight into the ongoing challenges and the steps that are being taken to mitigate future risk. It is our duty to both veterans and taxpayers to realize the benefits of this transformation as soon as possible."
February 27, 2020 Statement
"On behalf of my colleagues and more importantly, the veterans we represent, I do expect and demand better communication from VA on ongoing issues regarding EHRM implementation. Despite quarterly briefings, we are not getting accurate and timely information. The status quo is completely unacceptable."
November 14, 2019 Statement
"The very office that was created to protect whistleblowers was actively retaliating against them. What is deeply concerning is that since the creation of the office, OAWP has allowed corrupt leaders who have not been concerned with the responsibility or with complying with the mission of the office. Quite simply, the first two executive directors, Peter O’Rourke and his successor Kirk Nicholas, betrayed our veterans. I want to hear what steps are being taken to ensure that such an egregious breach of trust never happens again."
June 19, 2019 Statement
"Today we continue investing For the People with H.R. 3055, consisting of five fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills that offer a brighter future for American families and make American communities safer and stronger."
May 9, 2019 Statement
"The bill before us honors our commitment to servicemembers, veterans, and thousands of military families who sacrifice every day for our nation. We are making significant investments to ensure they have the facilities needed to confront emerging threats, guarantee access to reliable family housing, and deliver health care, benefits, and assistance veterans have earned."
May 9, 2019 Statement
"The bill makes needed investments in the programs that improve our military readiness and provides the benefits and medical care that our Veterans have earned because of their service to our Nation. The FY 2020 Committee recommendation provides $108.1 billion which includes $921 million for Overseas Contingency Operations and $2 billion in emergency funding to address Hurricane damage in North Carolina and Florida. This is a $10 billion increase above the FY 2019 enacted funding level and $6.1 billion below the FY 2020 budget request."
May 1, 2019 Statement
“The timeliness of this bill honors our commitment to servicemembers, veterans, and thousands of military families who sacrifice every day for our nation. We are investing billions more to ensure they have the facilities needed to confront emerging threats, guaranteeing access to reliable family housing, and delivering healthcare, benefits, and assistance veterans have earned. In addition to these investments is a provision ensuring we protect these vital military construction resources from misappropriation for the President’s wasteful border wall.”