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With emphasis on safeguarding ocular clinical standards of care, caregiver program clinical standards, compliance with transportation services, protections for guide and service dogs at VA facilities, and improving programs and services for women veterans, BVA National President Joseph D. McNeil, Sr. this week presented BVA’s legislative priorities for the current federal fiscal year at a joint session of the U.S. House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs. 

The March 8 in-person hearing, held on the House side of Capitol Hill, was the first of its kind since 2020 due to the pandemic. It also included brief presentations in panel format by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Jewish War Veterans, Wounded Warrior Project, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Military Officers Association, AMVETS, Gold Star Wives, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers.

A full contingent of staff and the BVA Board of Directors gave Joe a little moral support by lining up perfectly to quickly find seats directly behind him at the witness table. The Board was in town March 5-11 for the annual mid-winter meetings with staff members and others who service the organization. They also visited Congressional offices during the two days leading up to the hearing with nearly 30 appointments divided between two groups.

As always, a written version of the presentation was submitted to Congress in advance and made accessible online by both Congressional Committees and BVA. To become familiar with this year’s comprehensive written testimony document and those dating back to 2016, visit BVA’s Government Relations page here. To view the recorded proceedings online as they occurred last Wednesday, click here.