Wounded Warrior Project Endorses The Improving Veterans Access to Congressional Services Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing today on U.S. Congressman Brian Mast’s (FL-18) legislation, the Improving Veterans Access to Congressional Services Act, to streamline the opening of the Congressional offices inside Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities across the nation. Rep. Mast testified at the hearing about opening the first-ever Congressional office inside a VA this past January.
Video from the hearing is available here:
Rep. Mast opened the first-ever Congressional office inside a VA facility in January. Through this office, veterans from around the area have improved access for assistance with any VA-related issues. The office is located in room 1A-366 of the West Palm Beach VA. In just 9 months, the office has held over 400 meetings with veterans and opened nearly 200 additional cases.
Since the opening of the VA office in January, many other Members of Congress have asked Rep. Mast about the process to open his office so that they can replicate the service for veterans at their local VA facilities. Unfortunately, opening the office took more than a year of navigating bureaucratic red tape.
The Improving Veterans Access to Congressional Services Act would cut down on this bureaucracy by requiring the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to permit a Member of Congress to use a facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs for the purpose of meeting with constituents of the Member. Moreover, the bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop regulations regarding the use of VA office space by Members of Congress, mandating that the space be made available during normal business hours and in a location that is easily accessible to the Member’s constituents.