House Passes Pappas’ Backed Legislation to Improve Transparency on VA COVID-19 Emergency Funds

May 17, 2021
Press Release

 This evening the House passed veterans legislation endorsed by Congressman Chris Pappas, The VA Transparency & Trust Act of 2021. 

Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01), who serves as the Chair of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee for the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, is an original cosponsor of this legislation which will require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to report to Congress on the much needed emergency funding given to the Department to respond to COVID-19.  

You can watch his floor speech here, and read the remarks as prepared below:

Thank you M_ Speaker,

I rise in support of the bipartisan VA Transparency & Trust Act of 2021, which I was proud to introduce with Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Takano and Ranking Member Rep. Bost.

The COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis turned our world upside down, and it hit our veterans community especially hard. The issues and challenges our veterans faced before the pandemic have only been exacerbated, while they now contend with a new host of health and financial hardships.

That is why I joined many in this chamber to strongly urge for support to our veterans in COVID-19 relief packages. The American Rescue Plan provided a much needed investment in the VA and our veterans, but we must all work together to ensure this funding is used to address long standing issues and increase the quality care our veterans receive. 

This legislation would require VA to report to Congress on the tens of billions of dollars in emergency funding allocated to the Department of Veterans Affairs to respond to COVID-19 to ensure these dollars are being spent wisely. 

As the Chair of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse and ensuring veterans get the care they have earned is my highest priority. 

This legislation will provide the necessary oversight to ensure that funds meant for our veterans to weather the storm of this pandemic have been used efficiently and in ways that are meeting the needs of those who have served. 

I yield swift passage of this legislation, and I yield back.