06.06.14

Legislative Update from Senator Richard Burr

This week the Senate began moving forward on legislative solutions to address the crisis at the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). On Tuesday, Senators McCain, Coburn, Flake, and I introduced the Veterans Choice Act. This targeted, commonsense legislation would address the most pressing issues raised by the continuing VA scandal by providing veterans with greater choice and flexibility in health care providers and increasing accountability and transparency at the VA. The Veterans Choice Act was endorsed by American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), AMVETS, and Concerned Veterans for America (CVA).

Using the Veterans Choice Act as a starting point, Senator McCain met with Senator Sanders and was able to negotiate a bipartisan agreement on legislation. I am pleased we were able to reach such an agreement -- veterans should not have the care they deserve and need waylaid by partisan bickering. The issues at the VA are systemic and deeply rooted in the agency's culture -- it will take both parties working together, along with VSOs, VA officials, and veterans themselves to get VA back to its core mission, serving veterans. I would like to thank Senator McCain and Senator Coburn for their hard work and contributions to this agreement. To read the framework for compromise legislation, click here.

Today holds special meaning for our nation and our veterans - this Friday marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

On June 6, 1944, tens of thousands of Americans and allied soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy and fought the battles that liberated France. The sacrifices that those men and women made on D-Day and in the campaign that followed changed the course of history.

I recently had the chance to visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. The day was bright and the beauty of the hallowed grounds belied the chaos and struggle that took place on Normandy's wild beaches and bluffs. Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds, freedom prevailed.

Today, we remember those whose lives were lost during that invasion and we honor all those who served. Please take a minute to thank a veteran that you know for his or her service to our country. They willingly and unselfishly put their lives on the line to protect our country and our freedom.

The legacy of the Greatest Generation has inspired and sustained the young men and women currently serving our country abroad. Today we also remember we still have work to do on behalf of all of our veterans who return home from the battlefield. We must remain unwavering in our commitment to provide for those who were fortunate enough to come home and who now face their own challenges as they continue to contribute to the success of this great nation.