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Republicans: "Despite the Chairman’s behavior, we remain committed to putting America’s veterans and their families first"

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Washington, October 29, 2019 | Samantha Gonzalez (202-225-3527) | comments

Today, Republican Members of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs who attended the markup, released the following statement after Chairman Takano once again refused to allow debate on Republican amendments to improve care, benefits, and services for millions of veterans and their families: 

"Less than a year into Chairman Takano’s tenure what has until now been the most bipartisan Committee in Congress has seen repeated instances of embarrassing and undemocratic behavior clearly dictated by partisan interests rather than the well-being of the men and women who served. The Chairman should be ashamed that, two weeks before Veterans Day, he refused to allow debate in the people’s House on legislation to support veterans at-risk of suicide, to remove barriers to mental health care for veterans, to protect veterans' children from child predators, and more. Many of these amendments are supported by veterans’ service organizations and offered by veteran Members of Congress. Despite the Chairman’s behavior, we remain committed to putting America’s veterans and their families first and refusing to sink to the new lows House Democrats continue to reach for."

The Chairman refused to allow consideration of, or comment on, the following amendments, including one of his own: 

Barr Amendment: Would prohibit VA from paying a child care provider if they employ an individual who has been charged with a sex offense, an offense involving a child victim, a violent crime, a drug felony, or other offense that VA determines appropriate unless the child care provider has suspended the individual from having any contact with children while on the job until the case has been resolved. 

Takano Amendment: Prohibit VA from making payment to a person or entity for the provision of child care unless the entity or provider complies with the Crime Control Act of 1990, which requires criminal history background checks for all child care providers hired by the Federal Government (employee or contractor) and also requires certain professionals, including child care workers and administrators, to report suspected child abuse.

Roy Amendment: Would prohibit VA from transmitting the names of any VA beneficiaries to the Department of Justice solely because VA has determined that a person has a service-connected disability or has determined that they require a fiduciary, without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority that the person is a danger to themselves or others.

Roe Amendment #1: Would allow the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission to meet outside of calendar years 2022 and 2023 but not any earlier than January 1, 2021. 

Roe Amendment #2: Would clarify the definition of “former member of the Armed Forces,” with regards to eligibility for counseling and treatment for sexual trauma, to mean those individuals who meet the definition of veteran as well as those former members of the reserve forces who would have met the requirements of veteran status had they served the minimum time on active-duty. Would also include spouses as eligible to attend readjustment counseling in retreat settings and clarify the definition of “former members of the armed forces” to conform with the definition as established in Section 202.

Dunn Amendment #1: Would prevent VA from entering into a bargaining agreement with a labor organization that does not allow in its agreement the opportunity for an employee to terminate allotments for union dues at any time and to cease allotment during the first pay period after the decision to terminate is made.

Dunn Amendment #2: Would prevent the Secretary from entering into a bargaining agreement with a labor organization that does not allow in its agreement for: (1) the ability for an employee to terminate allotments for union dues at any time and (2) allowing the employee to cease allotment during the first pay period after the decision to terminate is made.  

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