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Congressman Bilirakis shaking the hand of a military veteranCongressman Bilirakis specifically requested a seat on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs because of his commitment to advocate on behalf of veterans and their families in the United States Congress. He has worked throughout his tenure in Congress to ensure veterans receive quality and timely services while promoting transparency throughout the VA. 

In the 112th Congress, Bilirakis championed two pieces of legislation that were signed into law. The first, H.R. 4057, the Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act – introduced by Bilirakis – directed the VA to develop a comprehensive policy to improve outreach and transparency to veterans and members of the Armed Forces by providing information on institutions of higher learning. The second, S. 3202, the Dignified Burial of Veterans Act, included language from the House companion bill offered by Bilirakis. S. 3202 requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide caskets or urns for veterans with no next of kin and insufficient resources to cover burial and funeral expenses.

In addition, Congressman Bilirakis is fighting to bring additional health care resources to Florida and the Twelfth Congressional District. Since coming to Congress, he has worked with local and national VA officials to expand the Pasco County VA Outpatient Clinic and bring additional health care services, such as dental care and mental health services, to area veterans. He also has visited the James Haley VA Medical Center (VAMC), meeting with the medical center staff and veterans to discuss the care and services provided at the VAMC.

Congressman Bilirakis standing next to a military veteranAs a member of the Veterans’ Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (DAMA), Bilirakis has also toured the VA Regional Office and met with VA officials to discuss veterans’ claims processing issues. He is working with his Subcommittee colleagues to improve the claims processing system to reduce the claims backlog and shorten response times. Too many veterans wait too long for care, and too many find the appeals process onerous. Reducing the claims backlog and providing veterans with timely and quality access to care is a top priority for Congressman Bilirakis.

Congressman Bilirakis also hold​s annual Veterans Resource Fairs. These fairs provide veterans with knowledge about the benefits they have earned – from health care to educational benefits – and how to best utilize them.

More on Veterans

June 22, 2017 Press Release
At a key subcommittee hearing on the president’s budget request for the Veterans Health Administration, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Vice Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, reiterated the need for an increased focus on alternative treatments for Veterans.
June 13, 2017 Press Release
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Vice Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, applauded today’s passage of the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act.
May 23, 2017 Press Release
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) today commended the bipartisan House passage of the Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living-Adjustment Act (H.R. 1329).
May 17, 2017 Press Release
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Vice Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today applauded the committee’s passage of 11 bills to improve the VA and better serve our nation’s heroes.
April 14, 2017 Press Release
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) announced today he will be holding a Veterans Resource Fair for local Veterans and their families to learn more about the benefits and opportunities available to them.
April 5, 2017 Press Release
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) today applauded the passage of bipartisan legislation to continue the Veterans Choice Program beyond its previously set expiration date.
April 4, 2017 Press Release
During a key hearing today, House Veterans Affairs (VA) Committee Vice Chairman Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) questioned VA officials about ongoing concerns at the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL), the suicide prevention and crisis intervention hotline for Veterans and their loved ones.
April 4, 2017 Press Release
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) took to the House floor today in support of legislation he recently introduced, the VA GORDIAN KNOT Act (H.R. 1771).
March 29, 2017 Press Release
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) today introduced the VA Guidance for Organizational Reform and Data Integrity for Accountability Needs Key for Necessary and Optimal Transformation (GORDIAN KNOT) Act to solve the puzzle of reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
March 28, 2017 Press Release
Today, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) introduced the Veterans Early Treatment for Chronic Ailment Resurgence through Examinations (VET CARE) Act, to require the Veterans Administration (VA) to put in place a four-year pilot program providing dental care for Veterans.