Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) announced the introduction of the Every Veteran Counts Act, which would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish and regularly update a database of demographic information on the changing veteran population. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
“To ensure that policymakers have access to critical information on veterans, the Every Veteran Counts Act would require VA to establish a database containing a wide range of information on veteran demographics,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “My bill would substantially help VA plan future programs and services for veterans. In addition, it would help Congress and other stakeholders better understand the needs of veterans and subsequently develop policies and allocate resources to ensure the specific needs of our veterans are met.”
“The Every Veteran Counts Act will make long-needed updates to the way VA handles veterans’ demographic data, and provide a clearer, more complete picture of what our veteran population looks like today,” said Senator Mazie Hirono. “These changes are critical for Congress, VSOs, and other advocates to better understand the needs of today’s veterans in Hawaii, across the country, or wherever they reside.”
In previous years, VA conducted a total of six national surveys to better understand the demographic trends of veterans. The most recent survey took place in 2010. Since then, changes to the statutory framework have allowed VA to improve the way it collects data. Through the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, VA has leveraged the data generated within the Department and collected by other Federal partners to improve population-based information on veterans. These changes will allow VA to use best practices to keep itself, Congress, and the public apprised of veteran demographics on an ongoing basis.
Read the text of the bill, here.