Arrington's Veterans Bill Named for West Texan Headed to President's Desk
Washington, December 17, 2020
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the House passed H.R. 7105, the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 a package that included all the provisions of H.R. 2326, the NAVY Seal Chief Petty Officer William “Bill” Mulder (Ret.) Transition Improvement Act legislation that Congressman Jodey Arrington (TX-19) first introduced in 2017.
“If we’re going to maintain the greatest fighting force in all the world, we need to make sure we do right by our active duty military men and women as they transition to civilian life and being a veteran,” stated Arrington.
“I’m so grateful for Chairman Takano, Ranking Member Roe, and especially Rep. Mike Levin for helping shepherd this along and honoring Bill Mulder and his family. In doing so, passing this legislation that will engage our active duty military earlier in the process, before venturing into civilian life, to equip them and empower them with education and opportunities for jobs and employment and to connect them with their brothers and sisters, fellow veterans in the community. All the component parts of this, I think we’ll end up with lives saved.”
Watch Rep. Arrington’s full floor speech on the legislation here.
Background: The bill would make improvements to the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and the overall transition process for servicemembers to include more of a focus on career opportunities and entrepreneurship. This bill would represent the largest reorganization of TAP since 2011. Specifically, the bill would restructure TAP to require servicemembers to choose specific career-oriented tracks that best suit their post-service plans and would require that servicemembers take part in one-on-one counseling a year prior to separation to evaluate which transition pathway suits them best.
It would also authorize a five-year pilot program that would provide matching grant funds to community providers that offer wraparound transition services to veterans and transitioning servicemembers. Finally, the bill would require a third-party entity to conduct an independent assessment of the TAP curriculum and require a separate longitudinal study on the efficacy of TAP and long-term outcomes for veterans.