Tester Hears Legislative Priorities from Disabled American Veterans

Senator Begins Series of Hearings Listening to America’s Veterans

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today presided over a Joint Hearing of the Senate and House Committees on Veterans’ Affairs to hear the legislative priorities of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

This hearing is the first of five in which Tester will listen to America’s veterans about what they want to see Congress work on this year.

“It’s critically important that Congress listens to America’s veterans and takes its lead from those who served this nation,” said Tester. “I look forward to working with DAV and every member of Congress to hold the VA accountable, reform the Choice and Community Care programs, and ensure that the VA has the capacity to meet the needs of all veterans.”

DAV National Commander David W. Riley outlined DAV’s priorities to ensure that veterans receive the care and benefits they have earned. Riley stated DAV’s support for an integrated network between the VA and community providers with systems and procedures modeled from the experience of medical staff and veterans.

Riley outlined a plan by the DAV to make sure that the VA is using its resources efficiently and effectively. Riley also called for increased transparency and accountability at the VA.

Tester sought Riley’s feedback on cutting red tape at the VA and the future of community care.

Tester stated the importance of increasing transparency and accountability at the VA while improving services geared towards female veterans and decreasing the disability claims backlog.

Before the hearing, Tester met with DAV Montana Chapter Service Officer Joe Parsetich. Parsetich traveled from Great Falls to represent Montana DAV members.

Today’s hearing is the first of five legislative presentations from major Veterans Service Organizations. The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars will each present their priorities on Wednesday, March 1, at 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. respectively.