On September 30, 2015, the House passed S. 2082, the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act. This bill, which cleared the Senate a week earlier, extends VA authority to continue certain VA programs, including its Caregiver Support Program. While this measure did not eliminate the sunset date and funding cap for the Caregiver Support Program, DAV worked closely with appropriators and authorizers, strongly recommending an additional $74 million above the President’s request for this program for fiscal year 2016 to which Congress agreed.
Additionally, the bill would extend VA’s program for child care assistance and the pilot program on counseling in retreat settings for women veterans. DAV called on Congress in April to make the retreat-based counseling program permanent, as well as to improve access to child care and provide better responses to the needs of women veterans as they transition to civilian life. These recommendations were highlighted in DAV’s 2014 report Women Veterans: The Long Journey Home.
This bill was signed by the President and is now Public Law 114-58.