News Releases

Bill announced in Senate today will improve accountability at VA, benefits and services for our nation’s veterans 

Includes: Expansion of Caregivers Program and help for homeless veterans

Murray: “I’m proud to fight for policies that truly support and honor the men and women who’ve served our country”

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, applauded the inclusion of several provisions she wrote to help Washington state’s veterans and families in a wide-sweeping veterans bill announced today. The Veterans First Act, which aims to significantly improve accountability at the VA, includes her proposal to expand the VA’s comprehensive Caregivers Program to veterans of all eras. Currently, only post-9/11 veterans are eligible for the comprehensive program, which provides resources and guidance to family members and friends of veterans who care for wounded, ill, or injured veterans. Additionally, the bill includes a provision that would prevent the VA from cutting off services for homeless veterans based on their discharge status or length of service.

Senator Murray also fought to include language to make clear that VA hospitals must comply with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). This stems from an incident in 2015 when an Army veteran was denied care just feet from the entrance to the emergency room at the Seattle VA.

“As the daughter of a World War II veteran, I’m proud to fight for policies that truly support and honor the men and women who’ve served our country,” Senator Murray said. “Under this sweeping piece of legislation, we will improve accountability at the VA, help more of our nation’s military caregivers get the resources they need to care for veterans, and stop the VA from enacting a policy that could have devastating effects on homeless veterans in Washington state and across the country. I will keep working to make sure these important provisions are kept in place as we move this legislation forward.”

Senator Murray has consistently called on her colleagues to improve veteran care. Last year, she urged her colleagues to support her bill to help homeless veterans, which is now included in the veterans bill announced today. Senator Murray will continue fighting to allow the VA to cover fertility services for veterans by moving her amendment forward, and to expand the Caregivers Program (also included in the bill announced today), which supports relatives and friends of veterans who provide care for seriously injured veterans.