IAVA | September 23, 2016
Read: Legislative SitRep: Major Victories This Week on IVF and the GI Bill
Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced the Continuing Resolution (CR) yesterday, but Senators were not able to hammer out a deal in time before they left town. They will be back on Monday to continue work on the resolution. We have found that IVF funding is included and that there are no GI Bill cuts.
The Senate was expected to vote on the CR this week to fund the government through December, so that they could go home to stump until election day in November. Reports were that they were supposed to vote on the CR early in the week, but delays kept pushing back the vote time.
The CR is important because it will ensure the government has funding — avoiding a shut down — and because it’s critical for two of IAVA’s top priorities:
Funding for IVF at the VA:The CR includes the MilCon-VA budget which includes critical funding for IVF to help wounded warriors start or grow their families.We will keep watching to ensure the Senate keeps IVF funding in the CR.
#DefendtheGIBill: The CR is considered the last opportunity for SVAC leadership to pass the so-called Veterans First Act before Congress leaves for the election recess. Veterans First contains the $3.4B cut to the New GI Bill that IAVA has successfully fought off for months, a fight that included sending over 33,000 messages to Congress.We will keep watching to ensure the Senate doesn’t include the GI Bill cuts in the CR.
In reviewing the CR we have found that these two priorities are taken care of. However, we are continuing to dig through the 160-page document to make sure there are no surprises for veteran benefits. This situation is far from over though. There has been opposition from other Senators on non-veteran issues and significant changes are still possible before there is a final vote.
We will monitor the Senate floor next week and update our members on new developments. We’ve got your back!