Davis Re-Introduces Bipartisan Veterans Bill, Calls on Congress to Put Veterans Above Politics
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), with a group of bipartisan lawmakers, today re-introduced the WINGMAN Act to help improve the claims process for veterans requesting answers from the Veterans Administration (VA). The WINGMAN Act unanimously passed the House last year but was held up by Democrats in the Senate.
“Helping constituents with casework, or ensuring federal agencies are being responsive to the people we represent, is one of our greatest responsibilities as members of Congress,” said Davis. “Unfortunately, not only has the VA been unresponsive to many of our veterans in the past, they have also been one of the most difficult agencies to work with when our office contacts them on behalf of a veteran or their family. I am hopeful that with a new president and VA leader, responsiveness will improve. But regardless of who our leaders are, or their political party, it’s our duty as members of Congress to ensure the VA is accountable to the veterans we are privileged enough to represent. I hope that given another chance my Democrat colleagues, who were responsible for holding up this bill in Senate last year, will reconsider their position.”
After the WINGMAN Act passed the House unanimously and it was clear Democrats were preventing it from being brought to the floor, Davis and the bill’s other lead sponsor penned an op-ed 'Senate is Choosing Bureaucrats Over Veterans' published in The Hill urging the Senate to pass it.
Davis today reintroduced the WINGMAN Act with U.S. Reps. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz), and John Delaney (D-Md.). The bill is identical to the version passed last Congress and will grant certified congressional staff access to the files they already have permission to, but eliminates the burdensome step of having to use the VA as a middle-man to receive them. Advocates will be able to access the status of a pending claim, medical records, comp and pen records, rating decisions, statement of the case, supplementary statement of the case, notice of disagreement, and Form-9 files.