Washington, D.C. – The House Armed Services Committee held a markup today on H.R. 1538, the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act of 2007. The Committee reported the bill favorably to the U.S. House of Representatives on a vote of 59 to 0.
“This bipartisan legislation is our first step to address the problems brought to light by the inadequate living conditions and the administrative snafus experienced by some service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I am pleased that our Committee has moved expeditiously to make the changes we can adopt fairly quickly, such as improving training and reducing caseloads for case managers so service members and their families can get the help they need when they need it. The bill would also improve the transition for service members when they leave the Armed Forces and enter the Department of Veterans Affairs system. As the Armed Services Committee continues its work on the Fiscal Year 2008 National Defense Authorization bill, we will have the opportunity to examine more comprehensive reforms to ensure that our forces receive the high quality care our nation has an obligation to provide,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO).
H.R. 1538, the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act of 2007, provides the people, training, and oversight mechanisms needed to ensure that our wounded warriors feel secure that they will always receive committed quality care and that the system will not fail them. The legislation also sets the stage for much needed reform of administrative processes that will restore member confidence in the integrity and efficiency of the disability evaluation system and begin the process of achieving a truly seamless transition of service members to the Department of Veterans Affairs programs.
Three amendments to H.R. 1538 passed by voice vote: an amendment by Congressman Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), which would require a study and a report on the type of support services currently offered by the Department of Defense for the families of recovering service members; an amendment by Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO), which would ensure that funds designated in the legislation for medical care may not be transferred to cover administrative requirements in the bill; and an en bloc amendment.
Copies of the legislation and the adopted amendments may be found online at http://armedservices.house.gov/hearing_information.shtml .