Two McCarthy Veterans’ Bills Pass the House
Today, H.R. 7105, the DELIVER Act, passed the House of Representatives and included two bills, the VET TEC Expansion Act and the Reducing Veterans Homelessness Act of 2020, that Congressman Kevin McCarthy introduced this Congress to help ensure that veterans receive a variety of resources, including education and housing, to help them in their transition to civilian life.
“Not only do our veterans deserve the utmost respect, but they have also earned benefits that recognize their valiant service and sacrifice,” said McCarthy. “That is why I was proud to introduce the VET TEC Expansion Act and the Reducing Veterans Homelessness Act of 2020 to help address some of the gaps in veteran support. Due to our ever-changing workforce, the VET TEC Expansion Act builds upon the original VET TEC law I previously authored by expanding eligibility requirements for our nation’s heroes to access non-traditional educational courses, like technology-focused classes. This will help our veterans meet the demands of an evolving labor market and ensure they are prepared for the changes of tomorrow.
“The Reducing Veterans Homelessness Act of 2020 will provide our homeless veterans with improved access to housing vouchers and supportive services to ensure that in their time of distress, they have safe and affordable housing,” McCarthy continued. “These initiatives will have a meaningful impact on the lives of our nation’s veterans, and I am pleased that these reforms passed the House. Our veterans have selflessly served their country, and with these bills, we can bolster our efforts to continue to support them once they leave the service.”
“My friend, Leader McCarthy, has always recognized America’s servicemembers as the tremendous civic assets that they are and understood the critical need to give them a helping hand when they hang up their uniforms for the final time. I was proud to vote for the DELIVER Act today, which includes provisions he authored to connect homeless veterans with safe, stable housing and support veterans pursuing careers in IT. His work will allow even more veterans to achieve the American dream and I hope that the Senate will pass them in the near future so that President Trump can sign them into law without delay.” —Representative Phil Roe, Ranking Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee
"The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans applauds the efforts of Leader McCarthy in the House passage of the Reducing Veteran Homelessness Act, which has been incorporated into H.R. 7105, the DELIVER Act. This bill improves services to veterans facing housing instability by adjusting Grant and Per Diem reimbursement rates and enhancing VA services by creating a much needed legal services grant program, improving access to local HMIS data systems, and making changes that are likely to improve HUD-VASH case management coverage. These adjustments are monumental for those service providers and veterans affected. NCHV looks forward working with the Leader as we continue our collective efforts to end veteran homelessness." —Kathryn Monet, Chief Executive Officer of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV)
The VET TEC Expansion Act would expand upon the VET-TEC Pilot Program by:
- Reducing the requirement that approved providers be operational for two years to one year, thus giving the VA the ability to attract educational providers that are innovative and responsive to industry demands;
- Expanding eligibility for active-duty servicemembers on terminal leave to utilize the VET-TEC Pilot Program;
- Allowing VET-TEC approved providers to offer part-time programs, lasting no longer than 6 months, to be eligible for the VET-TEC Pilot Program; and
- Clarifying that the VET-TEC Pilot Program is exempt from VA’s 48-month GI Bill rule for all education programs.
Congressman McCarthy introduced the VET TEC Act (H.R. 1989) on April 6, 2017, which was included in the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 that was signed into law by President Trump on August 16, 2017.
The Reducing Veterans Homelessness Act would require three steps to ensure that homeless veterans receive the housing vouchers and supportive services that they deserve:
- Require the VA to contract out vacant HUD-VASH case manager services to local, qualified community providers in cases of HUD-VASH case manager chronic understaffing and housing voucher underutilization.
- Increase the Per Diem payments that community participants in the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program may receive for each homeless veteran that they house by allowing the VA to base payments on local or regional conditions rather than a standard across-the-board rate, in order to prevent providers operating in parts of the country with higher living costs from having to reduce services.
- Allow Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program community participants to use GPD funding to gain access to their local Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).