Ensuring the well-being and support of our veterans and active service members is a critical responsibility for our nation. This week, the House of Representatives passed the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to honor our commitment to our Veterans and ensure that we have the military infrastructure needed to keep our nation safe and support our service members.
As a 24-year Army Veteran and Chairwoman of the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health, I understand how crucial it is to have a fully funded Department of Veterans Affairs. The Department of Veterans Affairs mission, as listed on their website is “[t]o fulfill President Lincoln’s promise to care for those who have served in our nation’s military and for their families, caregivers, and survivors.” That mission is one that I wholeheartedly agree with, and I understand the importance the VA has for so many former service members in our nation. This bill fulfills America’s promise to our Veterans by fully funding Veterans’ benefits and healthcare programs, including the ongoing effort to modernize electronic health records.
This bill also includes critical investments in the military infrastructure we need to bolster our national security and support our service members. This consists of building new barracks and child development centers, as well as other quality-of-life projects. Existing housing units will also see upgrades, and oversight of privatized housing will also be improved. Our overseas infrastructure will also be strengthened to ensure we have a sustained military presence to support our deterrence efforts in Europe and the Pacific theater.
Furthermore, this bill reduces wasteful government spending on social engineering initiatives that detract from the primary function of our military and are impacting recruitment and retention. For the good of the military, we should keep these politically divisive and controversial programs from distracting from the true purpose of our armed forces: keeping Americans safe. Aligning funding towards running a smooth and efficient military is critical to our national security and a step in the right direction for our country.
The brave men and women who serve our country put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms and uphold the American values we hold dear. This bill takes care of those who have served and continue to serve, and ensures our military has the resources it needs to defend our great country.