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Congressman David Young

Representing the 3rd District of Iowa

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Young cosponsors legislation to review Veterans Crisis Line

November 8, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Iowa Congressman David Young continued his commitment to upholding promises to our veterans and his work to improve the Veterans Crisis Line today, and voted to pass legislation to review the effectiveness of the Veterans Crisis Line. The Veterans Crisis Line Study Act of 2017 requires the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct a study on the outcomes and efficiency of the Veterans Crisis Line based on an analysis of national suicide data and data collected from the crisis line and today passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously.

In 2016, the President signed Congressman Young’s legislation, the No Veterans Crisis Line Call Should Go Unanswered Act to address failures in the critical program. 

As a co-sponsor of the Veterans Crisis Line Study Act of 2017, Congressman Young delivered remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to reaffirm his commitment to keep the promise made by the American people to the veterans of the United States. A transcript of his remarks is below. To view the Congressman’s remarks click HERE

Transcript:

I want to thank my colleague from Florida. I want to thank my colleague from Minnesota as well who has a history on this important issue the genesis going back to 2007, like my friend from Minnesota said, with a predecessor of mine: former Congressman Leonard Boswell who misses this institution and gave great service and I know he sends his best.

And I want to thank my colleague, Mr. Banks from Indiana, for making sure we always are continuing with oversight of these important programs to help our veterans.

You know, in 2015, the VA did an OIG report – Inspector General Report – and found there were some failures in the Veterans Crisis Line. And so, there were informational failures – sometimes the people answering the phone at the VA, who are good people and want to help our veterans, didn’t have all the information they may need. There’s a lack of timely responsiveness at some points, so the VA Committee here, the Veterans’ Committee here in the House did some oversight and found out we need to fix this.

I introduced a bipartisan bill with my colleagues that passed unanimously in 2016 – the No Veterans Crisis Line Call Should Go Unanswered Act – to work with the Veterans Affairs Department to make sure we knew what they needed to get the job done.

Working in partnership across the aisle and with the VA Department the bill passed unanimously. President Obama signed it into law.

We know that with a stroke of a pen it doesn’t fix things, right? You have to have constant oversight, demand transparency, and accountability.

I went down to one of the Veterans Crisis Line Centers in Atlanta and visited with those that ran it, and those responders who picked up the phone every day to talk to a veteran to see how things were going.

Great improvements; great challenges, still, but they’re making headway and it’s with the partnership where we can make sure this works.

Oversight, transparency, accountability is what this is about. But most importantly, this is about keeping our promise to our veterans. Those who have donned the uniform to protect our rights, the rights of our family members and our loved ones who keep this great Republic going.

So I want to thank my friend from Florida, my good friend from Minnesota, and Mr. Banks from Indiana and glad to support this legislation and I urge others to as well.

Thank you. I yield back.

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