Tester Bill Extending Critical VA Programs Heads to President’s Desk

Bicameral legislation extending critical VA programs to support veterans unanimously passes Senate

The Senate yesterday unanimously passed legislation co-authored by Chairman Jon Tester of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee to extend critical Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs to better serve veterans nationwide.

“I’m glad the Senate unanimously passed my legislation to extend critical VA programs that will enhance veterans’ access to mental health and dental care,” said Chairman Tester. “Folks need all the help they can get during these tough times, and we’ve got to keep making it easier, not harder, for veterans to continue receiving the care they need and earned.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2021 would reauthorize three expiring authorities which, without extension, would place important veterans’ benefits and services at risk. One of these authorities expands access to mental health care by allowing certain eligible veterans to receive Beneficiary Travel pay reimbursement for transportation to and from their mental health care appointments at various sites, including one at the Vet Center in Kalispell, Montana. Once signed into the law, the authorities will also enhance veterans’ access to dental care and allow VA to continue accepting donated property.