Ranking Member Tester Announces Veterans’ Affairs Committee Democrats
Democratic Members Include Tester, Murray, Sanders, Brown, Blumenthal, Hirono, Manchin, Sinema
(U.S. Senate) – Ranking Member Jon Tester today announced the Democratic Members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee for the 116th Congress.
Tester (D-Mont.) is joined on the Committee by Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).
“It’s no secret there are challenges at the VA. But there are opportunities, too,” Tester said. “Our Committee will continue to empower the VA to do right by our veterans, cut red tape that gets in the way of its mission, and hold the VA accountable when we have to. I look forward to another productive two years upholding our nation’s promises to our veterans.”
“Our country makes a promise to care for the men and women who served, and this Committee has a unique and important opportunity to help ensure that promise is lived every day at VA facilities across our country,” Murray said. “I look forward to working closely with every member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, including Ranking Member Tester and our newest Democratic member Senator-elect Sinema, to make sure VA officials are always putting veterans first in every decision they make and every law they implement.”
“Now more than ever, we must preserve and improve the services and benefits our nation’s veterans have earned and deserve,” Sanders said. “At a time when corporations and special interests are working to privatize the VA, we must listen to veterans and work on their behalf to expand access to high-quality care at the VA, which veterans overwhelmingly prefer to the private sector.”
“Our men and women in uniform answered the call to serve, and we have a responsibility to make sure they have everything they need to support their families, care for their health, and land good-paying jobs as they transition to civilian life,” said Brown. “I’m honored to be a part of this committee and ready to keep working with my colleagues to provide the best possible care and benefits to our veterans.”
“I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee in a bipartisan manner to bolster VA’s ability to deliver quality health care services through policies that modernize VA infrastructure, incentivize recruitment of qualified personnel, and prevent privatization,” said Blumenthal. “In the next Congress, I will be conducting rigorous oversight to ensure VA is on track to eliminate the outstanding backlog of benefits claims and will be pursuing reforms that protect and support student veterans. The importance of this Committee’s work cannot be overstated.”
“Veterans in Hawaii continue to face unique challenges in accessing VA health care and other services. I look forward to continuing my work on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee to address gaps in coverage, end veteran homelessness, and ensure that every veteran receives the health care and benefits they’ve earned,” said Hirono.
“Our nation’s Veterans have made unimaginable sacrifices and I take the responsibility to serve these men and women very seriously. The problems facing the VA and many Veterans require immediate attention. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure the needs of every Veteran are met,” Manchin said.
"The federal government has not fulfilled its promise or duty to our Arizona veterans, the brave men and women who have put themselves at risk to defend our freedoms,” said Sinema. “On the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, I’ll keep working to get Arizona's veterans the benefits they've earned and hold government accountable to them."
More information about the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee can be found online HERE.