(U.S. Senate) – Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester today joined his colleagues at the White House for the signing of nine veterans bills—including three bills authored by 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.
“Today is a great day for veterans in Montana and across the country,” said Chairman Tester. “These new laws will connect veterans and their families with the kind of care they earned and deserve—from strengthening oversight for VA and improving veterans’ access to high-quality breast cancer screenings and care. I’m proud to have worked hand-in-hand with Senator Boozman, our Senate colleagues, and veteran stakeholders to deliver these wins for the men and women who served and sacrificed.”
President Joe Biden signed the following bills championed by Tester:
Strengthening Oversight for Veterans Act of 2021 – Bipartisan legislation to provide the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) 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 Act – Bipartisan, 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.
As Chairman, Tester joined President Biden and his colleagues for the signing of six additional veterans’ bills today, including the Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas SERVICE Act, the Veterans Rapid Retraining Assistance Program Restoration and Recovery Act, and legislation to rename VA medical facilities in Hawaii and Utah.