The House Just Passed My Bill … and Others!

Mar 07, 2023

Great news! The House of Representatives just unanimously passed my bipartisan RELIEVE Act to make sure veterans in our community can access emergency care when and where they need it most. You might remember, I introduced this legislation after a veteran from Spokane asked for my help.

She had recently retired from the service and was days away from her first VA appointment when she had a heart attack. Thankfully, she made a full recovery after receiving emergency care in the community – but the VA refused to pay for it.

Why? Because she hadn’t seen a VA doctor in the last 24 months. It didn’t matter that she’d just enrolled or that many VA facilities have 30-60 day delays. They denied her the coverage she needed, and her bills were piling up.

The RELIEVE Act will make sure never happens to another veteran by waiving the 24-month rule for 60 days, giving them time to establish care and ensuring they qualify for outside emergency coverage.I spoke on the House Floor tonight about what this will mean for Eastern Washington veterans:

I thought you might also like to know that we also passed two other pieces of legislation tonight to ensure veterans have access to the care and benefits they have earned, including: 

  • H.R. 502 to close an unintentional loophole to ensure all eligible servicemembers and veterans get their full Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) refund; and  
  • The Wounded Warrior Access Act to make it easier for veterans to submit a claim for benefits and  request their service records electronically. 

There’s much more that needs to be done to ensure we roll out the red carpet for Eastern Washington veterans, but these are some great wins that I hope will make a real difference.

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