Congresswoman Elaine Luria Participates in House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Legislative Hearing

July 24, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Yesterday, Congresswoman Luria participated in a full House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs legislative hearing to discuss legislation to improve transparency for victims of malpractice at VA medical facilities, require the VA to furnish dental care to veterans, and improve maternal and post-partum care at the VA.

“During these trying times, it is imperative that Congress continue to debate and discuss legislation to improve the lives of countless veterans across the country,” said Congresswoman Luria. “During the hearing, I questioned a representative of the Veterans Benefits Administration about the Veterans Benefits Fairness and Transparency Act and emphasized the importance of increasing veterans’ access to obtaining and understanding the requirements within a disability benefit questionnaire (DBQ) form. I share the goal of my colleague, Congressman Barr, to require the VA to publish the DBQ form on the VA website in order to assist veterans who reside in rural areas and offer them the convenience of allowing their local primary care physician to complete the questionnaire and submit it to support their VA claim.”

The Committee additionally considered the Brian Tally VA Employment Transparency Act (H.R. 4526), which Congresswoman Luria cosponsored. This bipartisan bill would require the VA to notify a veteran within 30 days after submitting a claim for medical damage or injury that it is important to obtain legal counsel, the status of the employee listed in the claim, and the relevant statute of limitations if the employee was contractor at the VA. The legislation aims to increase transparency within the VA.

As Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee, Congresswoman Luria held a legislative hearing last week where she questioned witnesses on several different additional bills to gain more clarity. Specifically, the Congresswoman inquired about H.R. 7443, the Veterans Claims Transparency Act of 2020, and why the VA decided to discontinue the 48-hour pre-decisional review, even though VSOs were previously given this time period to ensure accuracy of the claims’ decisions. She also questioned witnesses about H.R. 5019, the Veterans Legal Support Act of 2019, specifically looking why VA opposes a program—and continually expresses that this will help homeless veterans rather than veterans as a whole—that could provide pro bono legal services and programs for countless veterans and help them get the benefits they deserve. Finally, she pressed witnesses on H.R. 5048, the Fairness for Local Veterans Cemeteries Act, to determine why VA foresees difficulties giving counties grants in lieu of states to help underserved veterans access VA burials. 

You may watch Congresswoman Luria’s line of questioning at yesterday’s HVAC legislative hearing here.

 Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.