Isakson Elected to Third Term as Senate VA Committee Chairman
‘Proud to continue fighting for our veterans’
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., received a unanimous vote from his colleagues to serve a third term as chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (VA) for the 116th Congress, which formally began on Jan. 3, 2019, and runs through Jan. 3, 2021. Isakson has served as chairman of the committee since January 2015.
Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate VA Committee since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is also home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the military as well as home to nearly 700,000 veterans.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to once again serve as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs,” said Isakson. “Our committee has worked tirelessly to reform the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and ensure that our veterans receive the care and benefits they deserve. We owe our veterans a department that is responsive to them and their individual needs, and I’m proud to continue fighting for our veterans.”
Isakson will serve alongside Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., who returns for a second term as the ranking Democrat on the committee. In addition, Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., will be joining the committee this session, bringing the total committee membership to 17 senators with a breakdown of nine Republican and eight Democrat members.
“Throughout the 115th Congress, the committee showed the American people that, regardless of political party, we are on the same team when it comes to getting things done for our veterans,” Isakson continued. “I look forward to working with Senator Tester and our returning committee members as well as the three new members of the committee to build on the progress we have made, to solve problems as they arise and to ensure the successful implementation of major reforms designed to improve the daily lives of our nation’s veterans.”
During the 2017-2018 Congress, the Senate passed 25 pieces of legislation, which were all signed into law, to reform veterans’ health care and benefits and to make the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) more responsive to the veterans it serves. Of those bills, some of the most significant reforms include the landmark VA MISSION Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, and the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017.
In addition, the Senate also passed nine VA facility naming bills that were signed into law. The Senate has also confirmed 16 of President Trump’s nominees to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Read more about the committee’s work for veterans here.
In the 116th Congress, Isakson said the committee will focus on overseeing the implementation of these new laws by the department to ensure veterans are being well served.
A full list of committee members follows:
Republican Members for the 116th Congress:
Johnny Isakson, Georgia (chairman)
Jerry Moran, Kansas
John Boozman, Arkansas
Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
Mike Rounds, South Dakota
Thom Tillis, North Carolina
Dan Sullivan, Alaska
Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee
Kevin Cramer, North Dakota
Democrat Members for the 116th Congress:
Jon Tester, Montana (ranking member)
Patty Murray, Washington
Bernie Sanders, Vermont
Sherrod Brown, Ohio
Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut
Mazie K. Hirono, Hawaii
Joe Manchin, West Virginia
Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona
The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 116th Congress. Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the armed services as well as nearly 700,000 veterans.<