November 10, 2015

Manchin Votes to Pass Appropriations Bill That Provides Additional Funding for Veterans

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today voted to pass the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon/VA) Appropriations Act, legislation that funds critical Veterans’ benefits and programs. Senator Manchin voted for this Mil-Con VA appropriations bill only after it was updated to reflect the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015.  The updated language provides more than $2 billion in additional funding for the nation’s Veterans.

“We made a sacred commitment to our Veterans when we sent them to war, and as a nation, we should show our gratitude to these brave men and women by providing whatever they need when they return home,” Senator Manchin said.  “I am pleased that this legislation was updated to provide additional funding that will help address the shortages at our VA facilities and improve VA services so that all Veterans have access to the treatment and care they earned and deserve.  I am fully committed to making sure West Virginia’s 167,000 heroic Veterans are well-served. Not one of the courageous West Virginians who have served should have to come home from war and face another fight, and this bill is a step towards keeping the promise of care that was guaranteed to our Veterans and active duty servicemembers the day they enlisted.” 

As a member of the Senate Committee of Veterans Affairs and the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Manchin has worked tirelessly to address Veterans’ issues and make improvements for West Virginia Veterans. His recent actions on behalf of Veterans have included:

  • Helping nearly 4,000 West Virginia Veterans with their individual VA or Department of Defense claims.
  • Working with the VA, the Beckley VA Medical Center, and West Virginia Veterans to bring a permanent VA clinic to Princeton. The facility opened in June 2015.
  • Raising $35,000 for the West Virginia National Guard Foundation to honor Gold Star Families by hosting a Ride for Fallen Service Heroes.
  • Hosting the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald in West Virginia for a statewide tour focused on finding solutions to the challenges Mountain State Veterans are currently facing.
  • Addressing the importance of reopening of the Greenbrier Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC).  Senator Manchin continues to work with the VA to reopen the facility and save thousands of West Virginia Veterans from driving several hours to seek treatment. 
  • Successfully urging the U.S. Navy to name a Navy ship after Medal of Honor recipient and renowned West Virginian, Hershel “Woody” Williams.
  • Formed a Veterans Advisory Group from Veterans across the state to help advise on issues facing our state.
  • Cosponsoring the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act to address problematic overprescribing practices and provide safer and more effective pain management services to our nation’s Veterans.
  • Addressing serious concerns with the implementation of the Veterans Choice Program. The VA subsequently decided to change the calculation used to determine the distance between a Veteran’s home and the nearest VA medical facility.
  • Introducing the Homeless Veterans Prevention Act of 2015 to build on existing homeless Veterans programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
  • Introducing the Veterans Access to Extended Care Act to allow Veterans greater access to long-term care (LTC) services in their home communities.
  • Introducing the 21st Century Veterans Benefits Delivery Act to create a system that can withstand surges in disability claims without generating another Veteran disability claims backlog.
  • Introducing the Veterans Small Business Opportunity and Protection Act to protect spouses and dependents of Veteran-owned small businesses after servicemembers pass away from a disability or in the line of duty.
  • Launching the Post-9/11 Veterans Caucus to address the challenges that the new generation of post-9/11 Veterans face when entering the job market.
  • Forming the bipartisan Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus to urge employers to hire Veterans and to reduce the high rate of unemployment for Veterans.
  • Addressing the significant inadequacies in the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Fiduciary Program.