Bustos Secures Support for Rural Veterans in Appropriations Markup

WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, helped advance out of Committee a comprehensive military construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill that would protect our national security, rebuild vital infrastructure and uphold our commitments to servicemembers, veterans and their families.

“After putting their lives on the line for our nation, no servicemember should struggle to access VA benefits because they live in a rural community,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “Today, we advanced a VA funding bill that will continue to advance telehealth services and expand transportation options for rural veterans. It’s our job to make sure that each and every one of our heroes can get the benefits they’ve earned and deserve.” 

Congresswoman Bustos secured the following priorities to support Veterans:

  • Support for VA telehealth service: Support for the Department of Veterans Affairs to evaluate current telehealth services, in order to improve and inform a sustainable Telehealth Service model for the future. This would be aimed at permanently easing the burdens of rural veterans with limited travel options.
  • Support to improve transportation for rural veterans: This bill included language strongly encouraging the Veterans Healthcare Administration and Veterans Transportation Program to incentivize Veteran Transportation Services locations to adopt on-demand shared ride microtransit service to increase access, coverage and efficiency.    

Additional Bustos priorities included were:

  • Support for veterans with investments in health care, including targeted investments that advance women’s health, mental health and homelessness assistance.
  • Infrastructure investments to construct critical facilities on military installations, including family housing and childcare centers, and improvements to Veterans Affairs facilities.
  • Facility investments responding to the challenges posed by Russian and Chinese aggression.
  • Increased environmental change and resiliency funding to help military installations adapt to rising sea levels and worsening natural disasters.