Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) issued the following statement on the VA conference agreement:

“I’m pleased the conference committee has agreed to provide much-needed additional resources to our veterans that will include access, accountability, transparency, building capacity, and key provisions addressing military sexual trauma,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “There is still much work to do, but this is an important first step.”

Last week, the House passed Congresswoman Brownley’s motion to improve VA care for survivors of military sexual trauma (MST) and to instruct the VA conference committee to pass the more comprehensive Senate-passed version of the VA reform bill.

“Passage of my Motion to Instruct by the House last Friday sent a clear message to Speaker Boehner that a compromise agreement was supported by majorities in both chambers, and the consequences of not reaching a deal before the August recess would lay the blame squarely on House Republicans just as they were returning back to their districts for the August recess,” Brownley said. “I’m pleased that Speaker Boehner received the message.”

In addition to including all of the provisions regarding the treatment and care of survivors of MST the bill includes the following provisions:

  • $10 billion for access to care provisions, also known as the Veterans Choice Fund
  • $5 billion for hiring providers, purchasing equipment, and improving facilities
  • Requires the VA to allow veterans to see a non-VA provider if they cannot get an appointment within the established wait time goal or if the veteran lives more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility
  • Requires the prompt payment of non-VA providers
  • Creates a new commission on Care that will look at all aspects of veteran healthcare and make recommendations on how to fix the system
  • Requires the VA to get an independent assessment of its healthcare delivery systems and management processes
  • Improves performance metrics and transparency
  • Includes accountability measures, such as holding VA employees responsible and allowing the VA Secretary to fire senior executive service (SES) employees for poor performance or misconduct

“We have long said that taking care of our nation’s veterans is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue, but an American one. The successful passage of Rep. Brownley’s Motion to Instruct sent a strong message to Speaker Boehner and others that the House stood united, ready to move on passing VA legislation,” said Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME), Ranking Member on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “I’d like to thank Rep. Brownley for her continued leadership during these challenging times, and her unrelenting commitment to our veterans.”

The VA conference agreement can be found here:


The joint explanatory statement can be found here:


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