WASHINGTON, DC—Rep. Scott Franklin (FL-18) announced that several of his initiatives were approved today by the House Appropriations Committee during its markup of the FY25 House Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies budget bill. The measure was approved by the Committee, 34 to 25.

“Today the Appropriations Committee passed a strong funding bill that prioritizes our veterans and servicemembers, while responsibly spending American tax dollars,” Rep. Franklin said. “I am pleased it includes many conservative wins and several of my initiatives to improve transparency and care at the VA.” 

Specifically, the following Franklin initiatives were included in the bill:

Timeliness of Care at VA Facilities: Language inspired by Rep. Franklin’s January 2024 bill, the SCHEDULES Act, is included, directing the VA to report to Congress on average waiting periods for veterans seeking care at VA hospitals.  This report should highlight disparities and identify problem areas.

Disciplinary Action at the VA: Rep. Franklin’s Personnel Integrity in Veterans Affairs Act was included, directing the VA to continue investigations against employees credibly accused of misconduct and to notate investigations in the permanent records of resigning or retiring employees.

Improving Compensation & Pension Exam Standards: Rep. Franklin prioritized an initiative directing the VA to establish standard timelines and quality performance metrics for contracted and Veterans Health Administration medical providers carrying out disability exams.  

Blocking Purchase of Chinese Tech: Rep. Franklin worked to secure section 421 in the bill, preventing VA officials from buying computers, software or hardware from any company that “contributes to the defense industry”of China.

Repairing Damaged Florida Military Hangar B3260 Initiative: In 2020, Hurricane Sally caused millions in damage to facilities at Naval Air Station Pensacola, including the hangar used by the world-famous Blue Angels. This measure directs the Secretary of the Navy to report to Congress the status of repairs and to identify needed investments. 

The bill also:

  • Fully funds veterans’ health care programs.
  • Fully funds veterans’ benefits and VA programs.
  • Provides robust funding for the Indo-Pacific region, fully funding projects in Guam and increasing resources for INDOPACOM.
  • Prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used for abortion
  • Protects the Second Amendment rights of veterans, preventing the VA from sending information to the FBI about veterans without a judge’s consent.
  • Prohibits VA from processing medical care claims for illegal aliens.
  • Prohibits the use of funds to promote or advance critical race theory.
  • Prohibits the implementation and enforcement of the Biden Administration’s executive orders on diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Blocks VA funds for hormone therapies for gender-affirming care.