Throughout my career, I have been committed to supporting the men and women who sacrifice so much defending our nation. During the Democratic-led Congress, we made historic investments to provide veterans improved health care, access to a quality education, expanded employment opportunities, and an updated VA home loan program. This week, we continued to build on that record by passing a Military Construction and Veteran Affairs Appropriations bill that will ensure our veterans have the resources they have earned and deserve.
The bill passed this week makes investments in health care access by providing funding for mental health care, as well as expanded access to health care for more than 3 million veterans residing in rural areas. It also provides the resources necessary to reduce and prevent veteran homelessness. Additionally, the bill makes investments to continue the ongoing effort to create an integrated electronic health record that transitions from an individual's active service in the military to the VA.
While I am pleased that this bill provides critical care to our nation’s veterans, I was disappointed that the majority party included an unfair pay freeze for federal employees serving our veterans, including Veterans Affairs doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and hospital administrators. These middle-class workers have already accepted two consecutive pay freezes and Republicans continue to ask them to contribute to deficit reduction without asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. I am hopeful that the final version of this bill, which has always enjoyed broad bipartisan support, does not include this partisan provision.
As always, thank you for allowing me to share this update with you, and please continue to share your concerns and insights with me by contacting my office or connecting with me on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.