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  • Lawmakers take first steps toward a BRAC for VA facilities

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — House lawmakers took the first steps Thursday toward shutting down hundreds of Veterans Affairs facilities through a process similar to military base closure rounds, saying the move is critical to keep the department from wasting millions of dollars on underused, aging buildings.

    But some of the largest veterans groups said they have serious concerns with the proposal, saying it’s ripe for abuse and could tempt VA officials to outsource more veterans’ medical care to private-sector physicians.

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  • Congress extends VA programs to year's end, avoiding budget fight complications

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Congress this week finalized legislation to extend a host of Veterans Affairs programs until the end of December, avoiding disruptions in the services while lawmakers sort out budget issues over the next two months.

    The measure was approved by the House on Monday and passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on Wednesday night. It now heads to the White House, where President Donald Trump is expected to sign the measure into law in coming days.

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  • 5 Things for Veterans to Know About Expanded GI Benefits

    Type of content: News

    Lawmakers this month sent an expanded GI educational benefits bill, known as the "Forever GI Bill" to President Donald Trump's desk to sign.

    The Forever GI Bill, which passed the U.S. Senate unanimously, is estimated to cost more than $3 billion over 10 years.

    "It restores benefits to veterans who were impacted by school closures since 2015 and has special benefits for our reservists, surviving dependents and Purple Heart recipients," said Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin in a statement.

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  • Senate Advances VA Choice Fix, Claims Appeals Reform Package

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Senate lawmakers quietly advanced two major Veterans Affairs reform bills on Tuesday night, sending a funding fix for the Choice program to the White House and queuing up a benefits claim appeals reform package to become law later this year.

    Both measures were passed by voice vote in the waning hours of the Senate’s session, as lawmakers look to leave town for an extended legislative recess. Administration officials have signaled that President Donald Trump will sign both into law.

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  • Advocates Push Senators to Pass GI Bill Expansion Before Summer Recess

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — House lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a massive expansion to GI Bill benefits last week. Now supporters are wondering if Senate officials will be able to do the same.

    Advocates for the plan on Monday lobbied upper chamber leaders not to derail the popular legislation with “political grandstanding,” saying finalizing the sweeping reforms should be an easy task before senators break for the summer.

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  • Congressman submits bill to repatriate deported veterans

    Type of content: News

    CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - As of January this year there were more than 10,000 non-citizens serving in the U.S. military, and more than 11,000 in the reserves. What you may not be aware of is that some of those vets have actually been deported.
     
    However, one South Texas congressman is trying to change that by submitting legislation that he says has bipartisan support.
     
    Rio Grande Valley Congressman Vicente Gonzalez, who represents parts of the Coastal Bend, has introduced a bill called "Repatriate Our Patriots."
     

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  • Future Unclear for Veterans Choice Program After House Bill Falters

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Congressional lawmakers struggled on Tuesday to reach an agreement to prop up a popular multibillion-dollar health care program that allows veterans to see a private doctor at government expense.

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  • Trump Promises Huge Increase in Private Sector Care for Veterans

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening promised to triple the number of veterans “seeing the doctor of their choice” in coming months as part of an ongoing, ambitious reform plan at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The comments, which came at a veterans rally in Ohio, are likely to again stoke concerns among administration critics of large-scale privatization of VA responsibilities.

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  • Plan to overhaul GI Bill moves through House, on to Senate

    Type of content: News

    Major reforms to veterans’ education benefits are one step closer to becoming law after the House of Representatives unanimously voted in favor of the legislation Monday.

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  • Despite promises, VA Secretary can't shake privatization concerns

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Nearly half a year into his job, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is still trying to convince critics that his efforts to improve the department won’t lead to privatizing care and support programs for veterans.

    In an editorial in USA Today Monday morning, Shulkin — the only holdover of former President Barack Obama’s administration to President Donald Trump’s Cabinet — called lingering fears of VA privatization “unfounded” and stated again that “we will not allow VA to be privatized on our watch.”

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