On Wednesday night, U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull) voted for, and the U.S. House of Representatives passed, five pieces of bipartisan legislation to support America’s veterans and their families.
“Our veterans are heroes who deserve our deepest appreciation for their service to our nation,” said Rep. Feenstra. “As a grateful nation, we must always ensure that our veterans and their families receive the highest quality healthcare, education, and benefits that they have rightfully earned. I was proud to support these five pieces of legislation, which honor our solemn promise to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much to keep our country safe and free.”
The five pieces of legislation that Feenstra supported are as follows:
- The Student Veteran Emergency Relief Act, which allows the VA to extend COVID-era G.I. Bill benefit flexibilities during an emergency declared by the President or determined by the Secretary to ensure uninterrupted disbursement of educational benefits to veterans.
- The Veterans’ Compensation Cost of Living Adjustment Act, which directs the VA to increase compensation rates for certain VA benefits by the same percentage as the cost-of-living increase in benefits for Social Security recipients to keep pace with inflation.
- The Improving Access to the VA Home Loan Benefit Act, which directs the VA to update regulations on appraisals for the VA home loan program. The updated regulations will detail when an appraisal is required, how an appraisal is to be conducted, and who is eligible to conduct an appraisal.
- The Wounded Warrior Access Act, which updates the process for veterans to request a copy of their VA records by creating a secure online access portal.
- The Faster Payments to Veterans’ Survivors Act, which updates the VA’s processes for identifying, locating, and paying hard-to-find survivors of recently deceased veterans that are owed VA life insurance benefits. The bill sets a goal of disbursing all insurance funds that are owed to a survivor of a deceased veteran or beneficiary within two years and requires a report to Congress within 180 days on VA’s progress in implementing these updated processes.