Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA), Chair of the Women Veterans Task Force, issued a statement following the release of President Biden’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 and the historic increases in resources to improve support for women veterans at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):
“I applaud the Biden Administration for fully recognizing the important contributions of our nation’s women veterans. By setting aside funding to facilitate equitable access to the services and benefits they earned, we are showing the more than two million women veterans living across the country that: ‘we hear you, we see you, and we thank you for your service.’
“The significant increases in funding to gender-specific services and care at VA are a good starting point in getting the agency where it needs to be to address the systemic challenges and barriers that women veterans face. I am particularly excited to see the Biden Administration placing focus on fertility care, gender-specific substance use disorders treatment programs, hiring of women’s health personnel, and full funding of the Deborah Sampson Act.
“While this budget proposal is absolutely a step in the right direction, we are still far from ensuring that all women veterans have adequate access to all the services they need and deserve. I am committed to continuing to work with President Biden and Secretary McDonough to carry out all the provisions within the Deborah Sampson Act. This is the least we can do to honor the service and sacrifice of America’s women veterans.”
Specifically, President Biden’s budget proposal for VA in the Fiscal Year 2020 includes:
- $105 million for the Women’s Health program office (a priority of the Women Veterans Task Force and a 10-fold budget increase in the past two years)
- $706 million for gender-specific care
- $1.5 million for the Center for Women Veterans
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ FY 2022 budget will establish the Office of Resolution Management, Diversity, and Inclusion (ORMDI). This office will aid in the compliance of several legislative initiatives to support equality throughout VA, including Congresswoman Brownley’s Deborah Sampson Act. This landmark legislation, which aims to create equitable access to healthcare, housing, legal services, and other resources and benefits, was signed into law in January of this year. One of the crowning achievements of the Women Veterans Task Force, the Deborah Sampson Act is the most comprehensive legislation for women veterans in over a decade.