House Unanimously Passes Maloney’s Veterans Red Tape Reduction Act to Reduce Bureaucracy, Expedite Veterans Medical Care
Newburgh, NY — Only days after announcing that his bill to increase veterans employment had been signed into law, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney announced that the House of Representatives has once again unanimously passed his Disabled Veteran Red Tape Reduction Act by a vote of 426-0. Maloney’s bill, which will save a program that allows disabled veterans to seek out medical examinations by physicians outside of the VA for disability claims, has passed in similar form twice before in 2013 and 2015.
“Our veterans – especially those who were disabled during their time of service – should not have to wade through a river of red tape just to get medical care,” said Rep. Maloney, the son of a disabled veteran. “We’ve once again saved this important program which will allow our veterans to get the care they earned when they need it, while continuing to cut down on the VA’s extensive backlog.”
“Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney's Disabled Veterans Red Tape Reduction Act not only demonstrates his commitment to veterans in his district but to veterans across the United States. This act will enable veterans to seek medical professionals of their own choosing and reduce the burden on veterans and their families who otherwise would have to travel long distance to visit medical professionals. Congressman Maloney's act should also expedite the processing time of veterans' VA claims,” said Brigadier General John Hussey, Chair of Rep. Maloney’s Veterans Advisory Board upon passage of the legislation last year.
The Veterans Red Tape Reduction Act passed as an amendment to the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016, introduced by Republican Jeff Miller of Florida. Working across the aisle, Maloney passed a similar version of this bill in 2013 and again last year. The program would have expired without reauthorization, but with today’s passage, will be extended until 2018.
Rep. Maloney has a track record of getting things done for Hudson Valley veterans, despite Washington gridlock. In December 2015, Rep. Maloney’s Wounded Warrior Employment Improvement Act was signed into law to reform the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program, the key employment program to help assist, train and find jobs for veterans who have compensable service-connected disabilities. In July, two of Rep. Maloney’s legislative proposals were included in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 - ensuring disabled veterans receive specialized treatment and loan forgiveness. The Disabled Veterans Student Loan Protection Act will ensure greater cooperation between the Department of Education, VA, and Department of Defense by establishing a system for transferring relevant information for veterans with 100-percent service-connected disabilities who have outstanding loans; the Appropriate Care for Disabled Veterans Act extends a mandate for the VA to report on its capacity for rehabilitating disabled veterans. In addition, Rep. Maloney’s Air Traffic Controller Hiring Improvement Act was signed into law this summer, which will improve the hiring and staffing of air traffic controllers and prioritize the hiring of veterans.