The issue has been a priority for Reps. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., and Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who sponsored legislation to solve the issue of female veterans who have encountered pain and mobility limitations by being fitted with prostheses made for men.
“The face of our military has changed, and so have the needs of the VA,” Pappas said in introducing his original legislation. “It is incumbent upon us to ensure that women that have answered the call to service have access to the same quality care as their male counterparts.”
The proposed legislation includes $840 million for medical research that must also address military toxic exposures such as burn pits, radiation, depleted uranium, chemicals and cancer-causing agents. At $241 billion, it would give VA the second largest pot of discretionary spending funds of any federal government organization.
“This year's Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill makes critical and serious investments in veterans and military families and reinforces our national security infrastructure," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies subcommittee.
The VA funding bill, which must be reconciled with the Senate before it moves to President Donald Trump for signature, includes other provisions to improve the lives of former service members, including funding to ensure that veterans unable to have children as the result of severe combat injuries have access to adoption services or advanced reproductive technologies.