WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Joni Ernst released the following statement, after voting in support of the combined Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act and the Transportation, Housing, Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act:
“It is imperative that our country lives up to the promises made to our veterans and to ensure they receive a quality of care that we can all be proud of. This bill includes funding for veterans reform priorities, including construction of military hospitals and health facilities, improvements to benefit claims processing, added whistleblower protections, support for veterans’ caregiver services, homeless veterans’ assistance, and medical and prosthetic research. I’m especially pleased with the accountability measures provided to ensure taxpayer money is spent wisely.
“Building on my efforts to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs, I offered an amendment to withhold all bonuses directed to executives of the benefits administration, and redirect those funds toward reducing the veterans’ disability appeals claims backlog. While I’m disappointed my amendment was not adopted, it underscores my commitment to put the focus back on our veterans and improve the care they deserve.
“In addition, I’m pleased this funding proposal includes improvements for our transportation, urban development and housing needs – including added support for Iowa’s roadways.
“I take seriously the responsibility Iowans have entrusted in me to make our government more competent and less wasteful. This funding proposal makes concerted efforts to prioritize what is needed and move away from hasty spending decisions.”
Ernst Amendments Offered to Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act Section (ultimately not adopted):
Ernst Amendments Offered to Transportation, Housing, Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act Section (ultimately not adopted):