Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer:
We write to you today to respectfully request that you schedule floor consideration for H.R. 3504, as amended, the Ryan Kules and Paul Benne Specially Adaptive Housing Improvement Act of 2019, prior to recessing for five weeks on July 31st.
H.R. 3504 is a bipartisan bill that was introduced with Representative Mike Levin to make important improvements to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Specially Adaptive Housing program, which helps severely injured veterans modify their homes to live with greater comfort, freedom, and quality of life. The bill would also make important changes to VA's Work Study program and improvements to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. It has the full support of numerous veteran service organizations including the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Blinded Veterans Association, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Student Veterans of America, and many others.
H.R. 3504, as amended, passed the House via voice vote almost a year ago, on July 23, 2019. Since then, we have worked with our Senate colleagues to reach a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on amended text that the Senate passed on March 26, 2020, by unanimous consent.
With so few legislative days left in the 116th Congress, we want to ensure that this bill, which would have a demonstrably positive impact on the most seriously wounded veterans, becomes law without any further delays. Due to the delays that have already occurred, one of the bill's namesakes, Paul Benne, will never be able to see it signed into law; he passed away in December. We understand that scheduling is difficult due to COVID-19. However, we ask that you commit to bringing this bill before the House before departing for the August district work period in honor of Mr. Benne and of all the brave men and women who have paid great personal cost in defense of the American way of life. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jon Towers, Republican Staff Director, at (202) 225-3527.