Mark Takano, Chairman
Phil Roe, Ranking Member
Committee on Veterans Affairs
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Chairman Takano and Ranking Member Roe:
The AFL-CIO supports Chairman Takano’s Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (ANS) to the "Improve Well-Being of Veterans Act" (H.R. 3495). The Chairman’s amendment would address the many deficiencies in the underlying bill that have been identified by veterans, veterans service organizations and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the union representing 260,000 Department of Veterans Affairs employees.
The amendment would establish a grant program for at-risk veterans, encouraging effective allocation of these dollars and providing safeguards against their misuse. Funds would support an array of non-clinical services, excluding clinical care or as cash assistance, as both needs can be met through other means. Importantly, the advisory group that would consult with the Secretary and other stakeholders on administration of the grant program and services to veterans would include front-line Department of Veterans Affairs employees.
I urge your Committee to support the ANS and to oppose any weakening amendments.
Thank you for your consideration of our views.
William Samuel, Director
Government Affairs Department