Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH)
January 5, 2021
Tonight, President Trump signed the H.R. 7105 – the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020, into law. The package contains three Pappas provisions to reduce VA waste and abuse, improve access to prosthetics for female veterans, and reform VA debt collection processes
Tonight, President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan H.R. 7105, the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020, into law. This landmark veterans package contains three provisions introduced by Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) to reduce VA waste and abuse, improve access to prosthetics for female veterans, and reform VA debt collection processes.
“I have spent the last two years listening to veterans, working with the VA, and thinking critically about how we can better deliver on the promises we made to our veterans,” said Congressman Pappas. “That is why I am incredibly pleased that President Trump signed this bipartisan veterans legislation into law which includes several key provisions I introduced to reduce inefficiencies and improve the quality of care and benefits our veterans receive. This legislation will have a direct and immediate positive impact on New Hampshire veterans. While this is a big step forward, much more work remains to be done to honor all those who have borne the battle for America. And that is work I am eager to do. I hope the spirit of compromise that prevailed in crafting and passing this legislation will continue into this Congress, and I will continue to urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put aside politics and keep delivering results for our communities.”
The first Pappas-authored bill included in the package is H.R. 2681, the Reducing High Risk to Veterans Services Act, introduced with Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI) which will improve management and better the quality of care within the Veterans Health Administration in order to remove it from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) “High-Risk List” of federal government programs that are most susceptible to fraud, waste, or mismanagement. It will require greater accountability and transparency by requiring the VA to establish a plan to get off the high-risk list and provide semi-annual updates to Congress on their progress.
The second piece of legislation led by Congressman Pappas is H.R. 2681, introduced with Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) which seeks to ensure female veterans have access to prosthetic items that were made specifically for women at VA facilities.
The third bill, H.R. 5245, the SHIELD for Veterans Act, sets limits on when VA may initiate collection proceedings against veterans, and also gives veterans the ability to update their dependents online, rather than waiting for VA to process documents by mail, which can often lead to improper debt generation.
In December, Rep. Pappas spoke on the House floor about the importance of this legation ahead of voting to pass the bill.