Sinema Helps Secure Provision to Prepare VA to Care for Next Generation of American Veterans

Measure included in House-passed bill to fund veterans services

Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) and her colleagues worked to secure a provision in this year’s VA funding bill to provide better VA care to the next generation of Arizona veterans. The measure would help improve the agency’s ability to plan for and meet the changing needs of returning combat veterans. The Sinema-supported provision passed the House today as part of a larger bill that funds veterans care and other services through the VA, as well as construction on military bases, including at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale.

“Honoring our commitment to Arizona’s veterans — the servicemembers coming home today and those who will serve in the future — is our most important responsibility,”said Congresswoman Sinema. “The needs of our veterans will continue to change, and the VA must evolve in order to provide the highest quality care. I’m proud to support this provision that helps ensure the VA is ready and able to meet the needs of our bravest men and women for generations to come.”

Each generation of veterans faces unique conditions that require a different set of services and care from the VA. Historically, there has been significant lag time between the return of a veteran cohort and the VA changing its approaches to meet their needs.

This measure requires the VA to review the processes it uses to adapt VA care to new generations of veterans. It also requires the agency to submit a report to Congress with recommendations to help ensure the VA has the capabilities to meet the needs of future veterans.

The broader funding bill included other Sinema-supported measures, including:

  • $14 billion to help veterans receive timely, quality care through community care programs
  • $8 billion to enhance veterans’ mental health programs
  • $589 million to improve treatment of veterans with traumatic brain injuries

The legislation also contained a provision backed by Sinema to stop members of Congress from getting a pay raise in fiscal year 2019. Sinema joined a similar effort for fiscal years 2017 and 2018. She is also a sponsor of the No Raise for Congress Act, which would permanently end automatic pay raises for Congress.

The House-passed bill included Sinema-supported language to bolster operations at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, AZ, including $49 million to support the country’s F-35 operations and maintenance.