Congressman Darrell Issa
Darrell Issa | Serving California's 49th District
Defense and Veterans, Issues
September 27, 2016
Issa Applauds House Passage of Bills to Improve Veterans’ Care and Provide Veteran Job Opportunities

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released the following statement after voting and passing three bills to create veteran job opportunities, fight veteran suicide, and improve care at the VA.

The No Veterans Crisis Line Call Should Go Unanswered Act (H.R. 5392) requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop a plan to ensure that every call, text message, or other communication received by the Veterans Crisis Hotline is answered in a timely manner by a human being, consistent with the guidance established by the American Association of Suicidology.

This comes in the wake of a report showing that as many as 1/3 of VA suicide hotline calls go unanswered and another report showing that as many as 20 veterans a day commit suicide.

“It’s sad that it takes an act of Congress to mandate the VA answer the phone for veterans contemplating suicide.  Our veteran communitydeserves better than a dysfunctional bureaucracy that ensures employee bonuses are paid but can’t ensure phone calls are answered for those in crisis. I’ve consistently fought to increase accountability at the VA andexpand access to the high-level care our heroes deserve. The reforms we passed today are a step in the right direction and will help ensure veterans can more easily obtain the support they need.”

The Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition Act also passed, which creates a pilot program to allow Veterans to turn GI benefits into startup funding.

“Our military is made up of incredibly diverse and talented individuals who work hard, think big, and know how to execute a winning strategy. Why not allow these heroes to take GI funding and use it as startup funding so they can create jobs and follow their dreams? The VET Act is an incredible measure that will provide opportunity and help our nation’s heroes become the next generation of entrepreneurs and inventors.”

The House of Representatives also passed the Vet Connect Act of 2016 which cuts through red tape by allowing the VA to quickly share medical files with private health providers without having to obtain lengthy and complicated bureaucratic approvals which will help the VA better coordinate care with Veterans in emergency situations or those seeking care outside the VA system.

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