Federal Recovery Coordination Program

Floor Speech

By:  John Barrow
Date: Oct. 14, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BARROW. Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask my colleagues to join me in strengthening the Federal Recovery Coordination Program. Federal Recovery Coordinators were originally envisioned by the Dole-Shalala Commission as a way to help wounded warriors navigate the incredibly complex bureaucracy of the VA and Defense Department health systems.

Despite the initial successes of the program, administrative problems have prevented the program from reaching its full potential. That's why I've introduced legislation to address these problems.

My legislation codifies the Federal Recovery Coordination Program and places it under the joint jurisdiction of the Secretaries of Veterans Affairs and Defense. It will ensure that Recovery Coordinators have the authority to act on behalf of a veteran when they identify a need, and it ensures they have access to all stages of the recovery process, especially during the initial transition from active duty.

These reforms will help to strengthen this program and help us better serve the needs of our wounded veterans. I ask for my colleagues to join me in support of this legislation.