Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s new Women Veterans Task Force, announced the 64 members and participants of the bipartisan group of lawmakers that will work to promote inclusivity and equitable access to resources, benefits, and healthcare for women veterans.
“I am thrilled to be leading the Women Veterans Task Force to highlight and address the unique issues and challenges that women veterans face. I look forward to partnering closely with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance our common goals,” said Congresswoman Brownley, who is also Chairwoman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health. “Every member of the Task Force, including the women veterans that have joined our ranks in Congress, are at the forefront of changing perceptions and bringing the proper recognition to the millions of women who have served our nation in uniform.”
The Women Veterans Task Force aims to increase their visibility, improve equity between male and female veterans, and ensure that women veterans have access to the resources, benefits, and healthcare they have earned and deserve.
“I am a proud member of the Women Veterans Task Force because we need to ensure VA is ready and prepared for the rapidly changing veteran population that includes more than two million women veterans,” said Congressman Mark Takano, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “Under the leadership of Chairwoman Brownley, the Women Veterans Task Force will help us do just that and shed light on the unique issues women veterans face when accessing VA care, benefits, and resources. I’m encouraged to see such a diverse group of members joining the Task Force— to truly understand the barriers veterans experience, we need to have people from all backgrounds at the table.”
Dr. Phil Roe, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, added, “As an obstetrician-gynecologist with more than 30 years of experience caring for women in private practice, women’s health has always been a priority of mine. With an increasing number of women veterans seeking care and benefits following their service, it is important that we break down any barriers that women face within VA. I look forward to learning more about the goals and priorities that the task force will be pursuing in the coming months and to engaging in thoughtful discussions about the issues women veterans are overcoming.”
Members and participants of the Women Veterans Task Force include:
Chairman Mark Takano (CA-41), ex-officio; Chairwoman Julia Brownley (CA-26); Ranking Member Phil Roe (TN-01), ex-officio; Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14); Congressman Max Rose (NY-11); Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (NY-04); Congressman Joe Cunningham (SC-01); Congresswoman Susie Lee (NV-03); Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01); Congressman Gil Cisneros (CA-39); Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32); Congressman Mike Levin (CA-49); Congressman Conor Lamb (PA-17); Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02); Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) Congressman Mike Bost (IL-12); Congressman Neil Dunn (FL-02); Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06); Congresswoman Amata Radewagen (AS); Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12); Congressman Dan Meuser (PA-09); Congressman Steve Watkins (KS-02); Congressman Jack Bergman (MI-01); Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06); Congressman Lou Correa (CA-46); Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01); Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09); Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02); Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01); Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06); Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23); Congresswoman Susan Wild (PA-07); Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02); Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05); Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02); Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01); Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17); Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27); Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (TX-29); Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01); Congresswoman Lucy McBath (GA-06); Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04); Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04); Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12); Congresswoman Susan Davis (CA-53); Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07); Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-21); Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03); Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18); Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06); Congresswoman Diana DeGette (CO-01); Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02); Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04); Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07); Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01); Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07); Congressman Ben Ray Luján (NM-03); Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12); Congressman Pete Aguilar (CA-31); Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12); Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AZ-07); Congresswoman Norma Torres (CA-35); and Congressman David Cicilline (RI-01).
The Women Veterans Task Force will also highlight the women veterans-focused legislation that has been introduced by Task Force members and participants including:
Building Supportive Networks for Women Veterans Act (Brownley)
This bill would expand and make permanent the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pilot program on counseling in retreat settings for women veterans coping with post-traumatic stress (PTS) and other wounds of war.
Newborn Care Improvement Act (Lee)
This bill would bill extend coverage of newborn health care for children of veterans. Currently, veterans are only eligible to receive seven days of newborn care, after which they must find and sign up for health insurance for their newborn. This bill would double that available time to 14 days of care, providing additional time for veterans to find the best health coverage, especially during a high-stress period.
Availability of prosthetics for women veterans (Pappas)
This bill would ensure that VA is equipped to provide women veterans with life-changing prosthetics made specifically for their needs. The legislation has been endorsed by the Disabled American Veterans of America.
VA Newborn Emergency Treatment Act (Allred)
This bill ensures that qualified newborns get access to VA covered medical care; expands the seven days of VA provided newborn medical care (through a waiver process) for a medically necessary extension; streamlines the billing process to remove unnecessary burdens on veterans; and waives any outstanding debts associated with medically-necessary emergency transportation services for a newborn incurred by the veteran.