Memorial Day is almost here and the IAVA DC team has garnered welcomed wins as we continue our #GoSilent digital campaign through the weekend. On our #SheWhoBorneTheBattle campaign’s Deborah Sampson Act (H.R. 2452/S. 681) we picked up 9 new House cosponsors since last week, including Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Dina Titus (D-NV), Walter Jones (R-NC), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Peter King (R-NY), Stephen Knight (R-CA) Mark Pocan (D-WI), Kathy Castor (D-FL) and post-9/11 veteran Brian Mast (R-FL). Now 27 cosponsors! A quick recap of this week’s events:
- During VA Secretary Shulkin’s testimony to the House Veterans Committee on the president’s budget, Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) highlighted the need to fill gaps in women vets’ care at VA by passing the Deborah Sampson Act.
- The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (SVAC) approved and sent to the Senate floor the bipartisan and IAVA-supported VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 1094). If passed into law this would cap three years of IAVA efforts to pass a strong VA accountability bill. Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-GA) thanked IAVA for our support.
- The full House approved Rep. Martha McSally’s (R-AZ) PRIVATE Act (H.R. 2052) to amend the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) in response to the Marines United nude photo-sharing scandal. IAVA is a strong supporter of this bill and this will be a win for our #SheWhoBorneTheBattle campaign when signed into law.
- IAVA Legislative Director Tom Porter and Legislative Associate Edgar Rodriguez met with Veterans Health Administration Acting Under Secretary of Health Dr. Poonam Alaigh and other VA leaders on agency reforms.
- IAVA Research Director Jackie Maffucci attended a Veteran Service Organization meeting with VA’s Office of Information Technology. This meeting is the first of its kind hosted by VA and the issue of IT modernization is a key component of IAVA’s Policy Agenda.
As always, we at IAVA wish all of you a safe and meaningful Memorial Day weekend. On Memorial Day 3 p.m. EDT please remember to pause for a moment of silence to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Take the pledge to #GoSilent here.