Senator Lankford Applauds Passage of VA Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) applauded the final passage of the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018. The bill, which includes provisions from Lankford, will now go to the President to be signed into law.

“This bill is a big deal for veterans, active duty service members, military spouses, children, and surviving spouses, and I’m glad Congress could complete this work before the end of the year,” said Lankford. “For Oklahoma, it authorizes additional funding to complete construction of the surgical intensive care unit at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center. With current GI Bill delays, it also protects veterans from any disruption in their education or having to take out student loans when there is a delay in their tuition payments.”

Specifically, the bill includes the following highlights for Oklahoma veterans:

  • Includes language from a bill introduced with Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), S. 2622, which requires medical center directors to submit a plan to the Secretary of the VA on the resources needed to reach a five-star quality rating;
  • Includes a provision from a bill introduced by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and John Boozman (R-AR), which Lankford cosponsored, that prohibits schools from disallowing student veterans or other GI Bill eligible individuals from enrolling in or attending class if VA is delayed in paying the school for tuition or fees;
  • Authorizes $29,461,000 for construction of a surgical intensive care unit and operating room renovations at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center; and
  • Makes a technical fix to the Forever GI Bill to ensure that all GI Bill recipients, who weren’t previously covered, are able to use their benefits for certain career and technical independent study programs.