Representative Mike Michaud (D-Maine) has been chosen by the House Democratic Caucus today to be the new Ranking Member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee. The appointment becomes effective immediately due to the recent resignation of Representative Bob Filner (D-California).
"I'm humbled and honored to be named to this position, and I thank my colleagues for the support they've given me," said Michaud. "While we've come a long way over the last few years, much work remains. Whether it's veteran employment, VA claims backlogs, or the latest health care needs, our veterans deserve a committee that will deliver results. I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to live up to our shared commitment to those that served and gave up so much on behalf of us all."
Michaud, who has served on the House Veterans' Affairs Committee since first being sworn in as a member of Congress in 2003, has held top committee positions on the Benefits Subcommittee (108th Congress) and the Health Subcommittee (109th Congress to present). Maine has the second largest population of veterans per capita in the country, and Michaud has consistently made improving the services provided to veterans a priority. He's passed a number of bills into law, including legislation to expand access to VA care, improve reimbursement rates for state veterans homes, and provide additional resources to the caregivers of veterans. He was also a leading advocate of advanced appropriations for VA health care, an updated GI Bill, and historic increases in funding for the VA.
"Our goal as a nation is to provide the men and women who protect our freedoms with the opportunity to achieve the American Dream and to ensure they get the support, care, and benefits they have earned and deserve," said Congressman Tim Walz (D-Minnesota), a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee and a 24 year veteran of National Guard and the highest ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress. "And this isn't a red issue or blue issue, it's an American issue. No one understands this better than Representative Michaud. Over the years, he's proven time and time again to be a steady, staunch advocate for our nation's veterans, and I'm proud he'll be serving as Ranking Member of this committee."