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House Leaders Appoint Kirkpatrick to VA Reform Conference Committee
WASHINGTON – U.S. House of Representatives leadership announced that Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., will serve on the bipartisan conference committee tasked with finalizing major VA reform legislation – the first time the House has gone to a conference committee on VA legislation since 1999. Kirkpatrick was one of just 14 members of Congress chosen for the committee because of their leadership on veterans’ issues.
The committee is tasked with brokering final legislation that would clear both the House and Senate and head to the president’s desk. In recent weeks, several bills have cleared either the House or Senate, the latter including Arizona Sen. John McCain’s major VA reform bill, for which Kirkpatrick introduced the House companion bill – the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014.
Kirkpatrick said: “I’m honored to be appointed as a conferee, and I’ll be fighting for Arizona veterans every step of the way. We urgently need to hammer out a bipartisan agreement and get these reforms under way for our veterans. I’ve always said that bipartisanship is the key to getting results. And this is a major step toward getting results for those who have served and sacrificed for our country.”
Kirkpatrick is Arizona’s representative on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and is the Ranking Member of its Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. In March, she was the first member of Congress to bring the Phoenix VA allegations to the Inspector General. In April, she and the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., formally announced that their committee will hold hearings on the Phoenix VA allegations after the Office of Inspector General completes its investigation. In May, she requested a nationwide audit of all VA medical facilities. And in June, she introduced the House companion bill to Arizona Sen. John McCain’s major VA reform bill – the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014.
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