In Hearing with VA Secretary McDonough, Underwood Continues Work to Improve Quality of VA Health Care and Secure Good Paying Jobs for Veterans

June 8, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, in a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) continued her work to improve the quality of health care veterans receive at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities and to secure jobs with good wages for veterans. In the budget request hearing with VA Secretary Denis McDonough, Underwood highlighted the long-term mental health impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on veterans and emphasized the importance of VA’s request for a $1.5 billion increase in funding for veterans’ mental health services. Additionally, Underwood questioned Secretary McDonough on VA’s investments in vocational programs designed to help veterans secure and retain quality employment opportunities. 

“I am encouraged to see critical investments throughout VA’s budget to meet the health and economic needs of our veterans – needs that have grown considerably over the past year and will persist long after the COVID-19 public health emergency has ended,” said Underwood.  

Video of Underwood’s remarks can be found here.

As a member of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, the Servicewomen and Women Veterans Congressional Caucus, and the Women Veterans Task Force, Underwood has worked to improve veterans’ access to quality care and ensure veterans receive the care they have earned. In October 2020, Underwood’s legislation, the Veterans’ Care Quality Transparency Act, to address the veteran suicide crisis was signed into law by President Trump. In April 2021, Underwood reintroduced the Lethal Means Safety Training Act, which would direct VA to expand its evidence-based lethal means safety training to VA staff and contractors who regularly interact with veterans. Underwood’s Protecting Moms Who Served Act, which invests in high-quality maternal health care and support for pregnant and postpartum veterans, passed the House of Representatives with unanimous bipartisan support in May 2020.