Three Tester-Authored Veterans Bills Head to President’s Desk

House clears Chairman’s priorities to strengthen oversight for veterans, expand veterans’ access to lifesaving breast cancer screenings, and streamline VA’s facility-naming process

The U.S House of Representatives passed three bipartisan bills this week authored by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester to strengthen oversight for veterans, expand veterans’ access to lifesaving breast cancer screenings and care, and improve the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) facility-naming process. These bills now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“I’m glad the House took action this week to advance three bipartisan priorities that’ll do right by veterans in Montana and across the country,” said Chairman Tester. “These bills will strengthen oversight for VA and taxpayers and cut red tape on naming VA facilities to ensure future generations remember the service and sacrifice of our nation’s bravest. I’m especially proud that we’re one step closer to improving veterans’ access to high-quality breast cancer screenings and care, and I encourage the President to sign these bills into law without delay.”

The House considered—and passed—the following bills championed by Tester:

Strengthening Oversight for Veterans Act of 2021Bipartisan legislation to provide the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) the authority to subpoena testimony from former VA employees who have left federal service, former contractor personnel who performed work for the Department, or other potentially relevant individuals during the course of its inspections, reviews, and investigations. Under current law, VA OIG does not have this essential oversight tool, which can limit VA OIG and Congress’ ability to conduct complete and thorough oversight.

Making Advances in Mammography and Medical Options (MAMMO) for Veterans ActBipartisan, bicameral legislation to expand veterans’ access to high-quality breast cancer screenings and lifesaving cancer care. This bill would require VA to develop a strategic plan to improve breast imaging services, create a telemammography pilot program for veterans in areas where VA does not offer in-house mammography, and expand veterans’ access to clinical trials through partnerships with the National Cancer Institute.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to transfer the name of property of the Department of Veterans Affairs designated by law to other property of the Department.Bipartisan legislation to streamline the transfer of Congressionally-approved VA facility names. This bill will allow facilities across the country, including the David J. Thatcher VA Clinic in Missoula, to easily carry over facility names in the event of a relocation.