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Rep. Vicky Hartzler Highlights Veterans Affairs Initiatives at VA Committee Hearing

September 10, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) spoke at the Veterans Affairs Committee’s Member Day about a series of bills she has co-sponsored to mitigate lapses in quality healthcare provided to our veterans.

  1. H.R. 1163, The VA Hiring Enhancement Act, introduced by Hartzler earlier this year, is a bipartisan bill that will help the VA fill some of the 40,000 vacancies in its facilities. The bill, co-sponsored by Reps. Correa, Wilson, Mooney, Rouzer, Lesko, and Bost, has three main provisions.

The bill would allow physicians to be released from non-compete agreements for the purpose of serving in the VA for at least one year. Additionally, it updates the minimum training requirements for VA physicians. Completion of a medical residency is widely accepted as standard comprehensive training for clinical physicians. Finally, it would place veterans’ hospitals on a level playing field with the private sector when it comes to recruiting timelines.

“We’ve worked closely with this committee’s staff, VA recruiters, and VSOs on this bill, and I’m pleased to report that it has garnered wide support and formal endorsement from 10 veterans’ service organizations including the American Legion, Blinded Veterans Association, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans and Paralyzed Veterans of America,” Hartzler said.

“This measure is currently slated to be discussed at an upcoming Health Subcommittee hearing and it’s my hope we can work together to move this bill to the House floor soon.”

  1. H.R. 3350, The VA Emergency Transportation Act, introduced by Hartzler in June, fixes the shortfall in the VA’s statutory authority to reimburse certain veterans for emergency transportation. By clarifying that these medical transfers are reimbursable, the bill fixes a large, costly hole in the safety net the original law was intended to provide.

“Rep Cunningham and I are joined by over 40 Members in supporting this critical measure.  Additionally, 13 veterans’ service organizations, including all of the Big Six have voiced strong support for this necessary reform,” Hartzler said.

“Far too many of our veterans continue to face this unnecessary burden at their most vulnerable time, creating financial hardships and jeopardizing their health.  We must act now to move this bill forward and protect our veterans.”

  1. H.R. 2433, The Veterans’ Preference Parity Act, introduced by Hartzler in May, reforms outdated federal hiring rules to allow all retired service members and a greater number of National Guard and Reservists to qualify for veterans’ preference.

“Outdated federal hiring rules prevent too many patriots from being recognized when competing for federal positions,” Hartzler said. “The Veterans’ Preference Parity Act rights this wrong by modernizing the archaic federal hiring process and recognizing those who have served our nation.”

“We are forever indebted to the brave men and women who serve in uniform and we owe them our continued support as veterans.  The current federal hiring preference statutes must be updated to reflect the way we utilize our reserve component forces and need to reward those who retire upon completion of their military career – not punish them.”