Today we honor those of our fellow Americans who sacrificed their lives to preserve our nation while serving in the Armed Forces. They are the reason why you and I and our families can enjoy the peace of this lovely day.

When the times were dark, the path ahead dangerous, they gave their “last full measure” for their fellow soldiers, for their families and for their fellow Americans.

As Chairman of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee I am devoted to making sure our veterans and their families have all the resources they need – not only when they’re deployed, but also when they come home.

Recently, the House took action to ensure that our veterans and military families have the necessary resources and support they need by passing my bipartisan bill to provide an unprecedented level of funding for veterans care and military construction projects

The bill increased veterans funding by $3.6 billion (5.6%) above last year’s level, and is an increase of over $15 billion in funding since 2010.

We also provided an additional $3.8 billion for veterans medical care that will allow for about 7 million patients to receive healthcare through the VA. It also focused on providing means to reduce the backlog of veterans claims and appeals awaiting action.

My bill took steps to increase oversight and accountability in the VA through actions including: 

  • Taking away funding for unwarranted VA executive bonuses

  • Cutting funding for poorly performing offices

  • Providing additional funding to the VA Office of Inspector General

  • Establishing strike force response teams to bring in experienced, high-performing managers to implement corrective administrative actions at low-performing facilities

In order to ensure that future generations continue to have the opportunity to remember and pay tribute to our nation’s brave heroes, my bill also increased funding for Arlington National Cemetery and the American Battle Monuments Commission so that those memorials may continue to endure.

Our veterans and military families have given so much to our nation, and we owe them the very best we can provide.

While we honor the fallen this Memorial Day, let’s make sure we also take time to thank our veterans and active duty service members who defend our freedoms not just today but every day

The debt we owe to those who lost their lives defending America cannot be repaid. We can only offer our reverence, remembrance and our determination to meet the needs of their brothers and sisters in uniform.

My best to you and your family and I hope you enjoy a wonderful Memorial Day.