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Ranking Member Bost Delivers Opening Remarks at Committee Markup of 17 Bills

Today, Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following opening remarks, as prepared, at the start of the Committee markup of 17 bills, including 6 Republican-led proposals:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Before getting started this morning, I want to acknowledge some heartbreaking news in the veteran community today – the passing of Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas yesterday.

Dr. Thomas was a Marine veteran who died from breast cancer after serving near burn pits in Iraq.

She was just 38 years old.

My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

Dr. Thomas’ passing is a tragic reminder of how high the stakes are when it comes to better serving veterans suffering from toxic exposure – and why we MUST pass the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act in the House and send it to the President without any further delay.

Too many veterans, like Dr. Thomas, don’t have any more time to waste – they need help NOW.

We cannot keep them waiting, Mr. Chairman, while the Senate considers the PACT Act.

The House should also pass the Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas SERVICE Act.

That bill bears Dr. Thomas’ name and would help more toxic-exposed veterans like her have access to mammograms from V.A.

I look forward to working with you, Mr. Chairman, to move both of these bills through the House A.S.A.P.

We have a full agenda this morning so I will keep my opening comments brief.

I am grateful to be here today with you and our Committee colleagues to consider several pieces of legislation on behalf of veterans and their families.

I am grateful for the Chairman’s willingness to work with me to resolve many of our differences in advance of this markup.

This Committee has not always lived up to our bipartisan history this Congress.

I have been vocal about that, and I will continue to be when it is warranted.

But, I hope that the tide is finally turning.

I am also grateful for the good, bipartisan work done by each of our Subcommittees in preparation for today’s markup.

Today’s agenda includes bills put forward by each one of our five Subcommittees, and from Members on both sides of the aisle.

That is a reflection of our mutual commitment to the men and women who have served.

I look forward to our work this morning and to continuing it on the House Floor in the weeks ahead.

With that, I yield back.
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