February 05, 2020

Cortez Masto Highlights Senator McConnell’s Obstruction of Bipartisan Legislation to Support Veterans

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today spoke out about how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has blocked progress on the Deborah Sampson Act to support women veterans, which passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support in May. Senator Cortez Masto is also urging Leader McConnell to take up numerous other pieces of veterans’ legislation introduced in the Senate with bipartisan support.

“It’s outrageous that Leader McConnell refuses to move even the most bipartisan pieces of legislation, including bills that support our veterans by strengthening the VA, increasing access to mental health services and providing educational and career opportunities. There are over 225,000 veterans in Nevada, and over 20 million across the country, and we owe it to them to take action. I’m doing all I can in the Senate to stand up for the men and women who’ve served our country, and I urge Leader McConnell to bring up this important, bipartisan legislation for a vote in the Senate as soon as possible.”

Senator Cortez Masto will continue to highlight critical bipartisan legislation being blocked by Leader McConnell. Senator Cortez Masto is urging the Republican Leader to end his obstruction of legislation that would help working families and get the Senate back to work on behalf of the American people.

BACKGROUND:

Senate Majority Leader McConnell has refused to let the Senate take action on hundreds of pieces of legislation to improve Americans’ lives, including a vital piece of legislation aimed at improving women veterans access to health care and benefits. The following bill has been passed by the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support, but has not been taken up by the full Senate:

  • The Deborah Sampson Act: This legislation would eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face and would help ensure the VA can address the needs of women veterans who are more likely to face homelessness, unemployment, and go without needed health care.

There are also bills that were introduced in the Senate with bipartisan support but have not been taken up by the Majority. These include:

  • The Service Act: This bill removes time limits on combat veterans’ eligibility for VA mental health services for conditions related to their service.
  • The Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act: This bill creates an intergovernmental task force to identify opportunities to expand access and usage of public lands for veterans’ outdoor therapy and rehabilitation treatments.
  • The HEROES Act: This legislation would address the shortage of teachers in America’s public schools by employing veterans as educators and other school support staff.

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