(Washington, DC) - Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)—Ranking Member of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs—offered an amendment to the Budget Resolution being debated on the Senate floor. The comprehensive amendment would address some of the most pressing needs facing our veterans by:
- Improving the delivery of care and benefits to victims of military sexual trauma;
- Supporting expanded medical research at VA including research specific to women veterans, TBI/PTS and toxic exposures;
- Improving the delivery of care and benefits to veterans through increased oversight and investigations of VA;
- Maintaining and enhancing the reforms made through the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014;
- Supporting job training and vocational rehabilitation efforts to ensure veterans are prepared to enter the job market and obtain good jobs.
In remarks made on the Senate floor last night, viewable here, Senator Blumenthal said, "This amendment builds on the reserve fund in section 307 to provide for better medical research into the issues affecting women in our military, most particularly women who become veterans, which is a neglected aspect of health care in our Veterans Affairs health care system. It focuses on military sexual trauma—which is a scourge in the military—and its affects, but it also deals more generally with the need for research into post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, which is unfortunately lagging in our Veterans Affairs system. It would also build on existing programs for job training and vocational rehabilitation so that our veterans entering the job market and seeking to become productive in well-paying jobs will be able to fulfill that ambition. It essentially fills in some of the gaps left by the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act which this body passed not long ago, and meets the emergency as well as the sustained needs of our veterans that are unfulfilled by our present VA. It’s our obligation to do better for our nations heroes, keep faith with them, and leave no veteran behind when it comes to jobs and health care."