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Ms. TITUS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I rise in support of H.R. 1405, as amended.
I introduced this legislation, H.R. 1405, to improve the veterans' claims appeals process. Currently, a veteran must first exercise his or her appeal rights before the appeal process formally begins and the VA sends the required forms.
H.R. 1405, as amended, requires the VA to include an appeals form with the notice of decision for every claim. This cuts out several steps and speeds up the appeals process. This commonsense change will immediately reduce the time frame of the appeals process by 60 days.
H.R. 1405 will also allow the VA to provide better customer service to those veterans who are already struggling with significant delays and bureaucratic challenges.
This legislation is, indeed, a commonsense improvement that will result in veterans in southern Nevada receiving the benefits they have earned in a timely fashion. I constantly hear from veterans in Las Vegas that the process is too complicated and takes too long. This change will eliminate an unnecessary bureaucratic step and speed up the process for those veterans and all our veterans across the country.
H.R. 1405, as amended, is supported by the VA and the veterans service organizations who came and testified.
This piece of legislation also includes language from three other bills: H.R. 679, the Honor America's Guard-Reserve Retirees Act, introduced by Representative Walz of Minnesota; Chairman Runyan's bill, H.R. 733, the Access to Veterans Benefits Improvement Act; and Mr. Johnson's bill, H.R. 894, to reform VA's fiduciary program.
I want to thank the chairman of our subcommittee, Mr. Runyan, for moving this legislation through the subcommittee and for the bipartisan cooperation that guides our work on behalf of Nevada's veterans.
I also want to thank the many veteran service organizations for their helpful input and for supporting this legislation.
I urge my colleagues to support passage of H.R. 1405, and I reserve the balance of my time.
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