Congresswoman Cheri Bustos

Representing the 17th District of Illinois
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Bustos Leads Group Of 116 Lawmakers In Calling On Congress To Stay In Session Until Veterans’ Healthcare Bill Is Passed

Bustos Leads Group Of 116 Members Of Congress In Urging Senate Majority Leader Reid & House Speaker Boehner To Forego August Recess Until Compromise Is Reached On Critical Veterans’ Healthcare Bill
Jul 25, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) led a group of 116 lawmakers in calling on Congress to stay in session, and forego the August district work period, until the passage of compromise legislation to help our nation’s veterans get access to the timely and quality healthcare they have earned and deserve.  Both the House and Senate passed bills to address the crisis within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and have been in negotiations for over five weeks while veterans wait for a solution.  

“The health of the veterans who have served us so bravely should not be placed on the back burner while Congress is away during the August district work period,” the 116 Members of Congress wrote in their letter.  “Our veterans have served the nation with honor, and we owe it to them to waste no more time in ensuring they have access to the best health care possible.  In light of  recent serious complications and allegations of wrong-doing within the VA, in addition to validated long wait times at VA medical facilities, it is extremely urgent that a fix be put into place as soon as possible.”

In June, both the Senate and House passed similar, but not identical, legislation that would expand veterans’ ability to seek care at non-VA facilities under certain conditions, strengthen Congress’ oversight of the VA and eliminate performance-related bonuses for VA employees.  The Senate and House bills have been before a Conference Committee since, but a final compromise bill has yet to be worked out.     

A copy of the Bustos-led letter and full list of co-signers are below and HERE.  Video of Bustos calling on Congress to stay in session on the House floor can be found HERE.

July 25, 2014

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Boehner,

We, the undersigned Members of Congress, urge you to not let the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives go out of session prior to a successful resolution to the Conference Committee that was formed to work out a compromise between the Senate and House versions of the Veterans’ Access to Care Act, and its subsequent passage in both chambers of Congress.

The health of the veterans who have served us so bravely should not be placed on the back burner while Congress is away during the August district work period. Our veterans have served the nation with honor, and we owe it to them to waste no more time in ensuring they have access to the best health care possible. In light of  recent serious complications and allegations of wrong-doing within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in addition to validated long wait times at VA medical facilities, it is extremely urgent that a fix be put into place as soon as possible.

Both the Senate and House versions would expand veterans’ ability to seek care at non-VA facilities under certain conditions, strengthen Congress’ oversight of the VA and eliminate performance-related bonuses for VA employees. We need to address the overwhelmed VA and ensure all veterans get the care they have earned through their service to our country. Our veterans deserve nothing but the very best.

Again, this issue is far too serious to wait, and we encourage a swift resolution to be found by remaining in session until a suitable compromise bill can be passed out of both chambers. Let’s put our nations’ veterans, who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms, first.

Sincerely,

Rep. Cheri Bustos

Rep. Pete P. Gallego

Rep. Janice Hahn

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema

Rep. Elizabeth H. Esty

Rep. Joseph Crowley

Rep. Nick J. Rahall II

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Rep. Collin C. Peterson

Rep. Richard M. Nolan

Rep. Suzan K. DelBene

Rep. Barbara Lee

Rep. Ed Perlmutter

Rep. Katherine M. Clark

Rep. Alcee L. Hastings

Rep. Jackie Speier

Rep. Juan Vargas

Rep. C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger

Rep. Daniel T. Kildee

Rep. Tony Cárdenas

Rep. Raul Ruiz

Rep. John Garamendi

Rep. Derek Kilmer

Rep. Bruce L. Braley

Rep. Jim Cooper

Rep. Beto O'Rourke

Rep. Timothy H. Bishop

Rep. G. K. Butterfield

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici

Rep. Bill Foster

Rep. Kathy Castor

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney

Rep. Ami Bera

Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond

Rep. Gwen Moore

Rep. John Barrow

Rep. Henry A. Waxman

Rep. Michael M. Honda

Rep. James A. Himes

Rep. Jared Huffman

Rep. James P. McGovern

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver

Rep. André Carson

Rep. Susan A. Davis

Rep. Doris O. Matsui

Rep. Daniel B. Maffei

Rep. Colleen W. Hanabusa

Rep. Terri A. Sewell

Rep. John Lewis

Rep. Jim Costa

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio

Rep. Chris Van Hollen

Rep. Judy Chu

Rep. William R. Keating

Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott

Rep. Maxine Waters

Rep. Steve Israel

Rep. Joe Garcia

Rep. Ron Barber

Rep. Grace Meng

Rep. Julia Brownley

Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick

Rep. Mark Takano

Rep. Betty McCollum

Rep. Dina Titus

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham

Rep. Ann M. Kuster

Rep. Donna F. Edwards

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney

Rep. Lois Frankel

Rep. Chellie Pingree

Rep. Niki Tsongas

Rep. John A. Yarmuth

Rep. Matt Cartwright

Rep. John P. Sarbanes

Rep. Mark Pocan

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter

Rep. Bobby L. Rush

Rep. Lois Capps

Rep. Dave Loebsack

Rep. Paul Tonko

Rep. Daniel Lipinski

Rep. Alan S. Lowenthal

Rep. Patrick Murphy

Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro

Rep. Brian Higgins

Rep. Charles B. Rangel

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly

Rep. Scott H. Peters

Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter

Rep. John F. Tierney

Rep. Mike Quigley

Rep. Nita M. Lowey

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III

Rep. Theodore E. Deutch

Rep. John B. Larson

Rep. Corrine Brown

Rep. Tammy Duckworth

Rep. William L. Owens

Rep. Loretta Sanchez

Rep. Jerry McNerney

Rep. Joyce Beatty

Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr.

Rep. Joe Courtney

Rep. Tim Ryan

Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez

Rep. Earl Blumenauer

Rep. James R. Langevin

Rep. Brad Sherman

Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr

Rep. Peter Welch

Rep. Stephen F. Lynch

Rep. Adam B. Schiff

Rep. Bradley S. Schneider

 

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