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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Reps. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) and Elaine Luria (D-Va.) led a letter to conferees for the annual defense bill, requesting the inclusion of their bipartisan measure to research and treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for veterans.

The United States-Israel PTSD Collaborative Research Act would leverage research and assets from both the U.S. and Israel for the research, diagnosis and treatment of PTSD. The legislation also creates a grant program for universities and private non-profits to research PTSD.

Language from the bill was initially included in the U.S. House of Representatives’ version of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The final conference report is still being negotiated.

“Israel, under constant attack from terrorist groups, has experienced similar issues with their veterans and civilian populations facing the symptoms of PTSD.  Several leading Israeli hospitals, universities and non-profits have dedicated their efforts to researching and treating PTSD,” the letter reads. “A better understanding of this disorder, along with treatment options, can help us better recognize, diagnose and treat those suffering from traumatic incidents.”

Waltz and Luria’s bill currently has 98 bipartisan co-sponsors in the House.

Read the full letter here or below:

Dear Chairmen Inhofe and Smith, and Ranking Members Reed and Thornberry:

Thank you for your leadership as you work to conference the House and Senate-passed bills for the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (FY 2021 NDAA).

We write to urge you to retain Section 736, Grant Program for Increased Cooperation on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Research Between the United States and Israel, which was included in the House-passed FY 2020 NDAA.  It is based on HR 5605, the United States-Israel PTSD Collaborative Research Act, which we introduced earlier this year and currently enjoys 98 bipartisan cosponsors. 

We applaud your bipartisan and bicameral commitment to help our veterans and servicemembers, along with their families, that suffer from these invisible scars of war.  We believe that this language further enhances and advances these efforts.

Israel, under constant attack from terrorist groups, has experienced similar issues with their veterans and civilian populations facing the symptoms of PTSD.  Several leading Israeli hospitals, universities, and non-profits have dedicated their efforts to researching and treating PTSD.

Section 736 aims to leverage the collective research assets and experience of both of our countries to develop best-practices in research, diagnosing, and treating PTSD.  The legislation establishes a grant program for American universities and private non-profit institutions that team-up with an Israeli counterpart with the same goals and purpose.

A better understanding of this disorder, along with treatment options, can help us better recognize, diagnose, and treat those suffering from traumatic incidents.

As you reconcile the differences between the House and Senate bills, we ask that you retain Section 736 in the final FY2021 NDAA. Thank you for your attention to this request.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.

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