WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley’s first bill as a member of Congress seeks to guarantee adequate funding for veterans’ health care benefits.

The Oak Park Democrat, who took office in January, filed the Veterans Health Care Improvement Act earlier this week.

The legislation would make permanent a requirement that the Government Accountability Office verify the accuracy of the Department of Veterans Affairs health care budget. The reporting requirement already is in place but would expire at the end of the year unless Congress extends it.

The reporting provision helps Congress evaluate the accuracy of baseline budget projections each year to ensure veterans’ health care programs are adequately funded.

“By making the GAO reporting requirement permanent, we improve the advance funding process for veterans’ health care, and we shield this appropriations process from political budget battles in Washington,” said Brownley, a member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

“Congress has a responsibility to serve our returning heroes in a way that honors their extraordinary, selfless sacrifice to our country,” Brownley said.


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