Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Bipartisan Veterans Transition Improvement Act passes House committee

Today, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a business meeting to consider a series of bills, including the “Veterans Transition Improvement Act” (H.R. 2648), introduced by Reps. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Mark Takano (D-CA). The measure passed committee via voice vote.

The bill would provide newly hired veterans in frontline medical positions at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with paid sick leave, correcting a loophole in existing law to provide the same Wounded Warrior Act (Public Law 114-75) benefits that veteran employees in other federal agencies currently receive.

“Veterans should not have to choose between receiving a full paycheck and receiving care for their service-connected disabilities. Unfortunately, current law puts many veterans in this exact position,” Rep. Stivers said. “This legislation will correct this shortcoming in the law to ensure these veterans who have made, and continue to make, incredible sacrifices for our country have the ability to receive care without sacrificing pay.”

“I am proud to be the lead Democratic co-sponsor of the Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran Transition Improvement Act,” Rep. Takano said. “We must ensure that every veteran with a service-connected disability hired by the Federal government receives the access to paid sick leave that they deserve. This legislation corrects an oversight in current law that has left disabled veterans who take a job as a healthcare provider with the Department of Veterans Affairs in the difficult position of having to take unpaid leave to receive care for conditions that stem from their service to our nation.

The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Barbara Comstock (R-VA).

While this bill has no impact on NALC members, considering that a third of our members have served in the military, it is refreshing to see Congress take bipartisan steps to support federal workers who are veterans.

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