U.S. Representative Jeff Denham’s (R-Turlock) bill, the Quicker Veterans Benefits Delivery Act of 2017, H.R. 1725, on Tuesday passed in the House of Representatives and now advances to the Senate for further consideration. Rep. Denham introduced H.R. 1725 with Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN) and U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) earlier this year.
“This bill is a great first step in delivering on our promise to safeguard our veterans after they laid their lives on the line to safeguard us,” said Rep. Denham. “We must continue to hold the VA accountable and seek solutions that improve access, quality and experience for the brave men and women who put on the uniform and answered the call of duty.”
The Quicker Veterans Benefits Delivery Act of 2017 addresses duplicative processes contributing to the backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by reducing the number of duplicative examinations by striking a requirement that examinations required to file disability claims must be conducted by the VA. The bill allows veterans to seek initial examinations from their local physician, easing the benefits process for veterans in rural communities, expediting the diagnoses of disabilities and reducing wait times and backlog at the VA.
H.R. 1725 was passed with a slate of several other bills, which Rep. Denham supported, focused on reforming the VA and improving quality of life for our nation’s veterans. The package of bills work to hold the VA and its employees accountable, reduce the backlog of disability claims, increase compensation rates for veterans with service-connected disabilities, offer new treatment programs for veterans combating brain injuries and post-traumatic stress and provide avenues for elderly veterans to receive support through care programs.
Denham represents California’s 10th congressional district, which includes Stanislaus County and a portion of San Joaquin County. He is the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials and also serves on the House Committees on Agriculture and Natural Resources.