U.S. Rep. Gallagher: Sponsors and passes four pro-veterans bills

Contact: Madison Wiberg
Madison.Wiberg@mail.house.gov 

Washington, D.C. – As a part of his pro-veterans agenda, Rep. Gallagher co-sponsored four pieces of legislation to improve health care and education opportunity for veterans in Northeast Wisconsin. All four bills passed the House yesterday.

“The package of legislation that the House passed yesterday is critical to making sure that our veterans receive the world class healthcare, education and benefits that they deserve for their service,” said Rep. Gallagher.  “Whether it’s tackling issues like VA accountability, job loss and mental health, or simply sitting down with a veteran to hear his or her concerns, I will always to be a strong voice for Veterans across Northeast Wisconsin in Congress,” Gallagher concluded.

The four bills Rep. Gallagher co-sponsored, and their summaries are below:

  1. Veterans Transplant Coverage Act of 2017: This bill would allow the VA to provide organ transplants to Veterans from a live donor regardless of whether or not that donor is a veteran through the Choice program. It would amend the Choice program to authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide for any care and/or services a live donor may require to carry out a transplant procedure at a medical facility in the community for an eligible veteran notwithstanding that the live donor may not be eligible for VA care.
  2. VICTOR Act of 2017: This bill would increase access to care in community transplant centers through the Choice program by requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to consider medical necessity and unusual/excessive travel burdens before requiring veterans in need of transplant care to travel to VA transplant centers. Specifically, veterans who live more than 100 miles from one of the nation’s 13 transplant centers would be allowed to seek care at a federally certified, non-VA facility that covers Medicare patients.
  3. VALOR Act: This bill would ease the approval process for on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs for veterans under the GI Bill. Specifically, the bill allows an apprenticeship to be approved in a state where its headquarters are located and allow this approval to apply to other states, eliminating the need for employers to seek approval in each state. The bill also removes the requirements for a signature from both the veteran and the employer/apprenticeship program certifying the veteran’s apprenticeship hours.
  4. Gold Star Family Support and Installation Access Act of 2017: This bill requires the Secretary of Defense to issue standardized lifetime Gold Star Installation Access Cards to surviving spouses and dependent children who meet Gold Star criteria.  These cards will allow these surviving family members to attend memorial services, visit gravesites and access other benefits for which they are already entitled, regardless of age or marital status.
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