The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the DELIVER Act, which includes two bills aimed to help veterans.
Both bills, the VET TEC Expansion Act and the Reducing Veterans Homelessness Act of 2020, were introduced by Rep. Kevin McCarthy to help ensure that veterans receive a variety of resources, including education and housing, as well as helping them in their transition to civilian life.
“Not only do our veterans deserve the utmost respect, but they have also earned benefits that recognize their valiant service and sacrifice,” McCarthy said. “That is why I was proud to introduce the VET TEC Expansion Act and the Reducing Veterans Homelessness Act of 2020 to help address some of the gaps in veteran support.”
The VET TEC Expansion Act would expand on the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses Pilot Program which was introduced by McCarthy in April 2017 and signed into law in August 2017. The goal of the program is to help Veterans develop high-tech skills to enter the job market.
“Due to our ever-changing workforce, the VET TEC Expansion Act builds upon the original VET TEC law I previously authored by expanding eligibility requirements for our nation’s heroes to access non-traditional educational courses, like technology-focused classes,” McCarthy said. “This will help our veterans meet the demands of an evolving labor market and ensure they are prepared for the changes of tomorrow.”
The expansion would reduce the requirement for approved providers to be operational for two years down to one year. It will also mean eligibility for active-duty servicemembers on terminal leave to utilize the VET-TEC Pilot Program. Approved providers will be allowed to offer part-time programs that last no longer than six months.
The second bill passed, Reducing Veterans Homelessness Act, is bipartisan legislation introduced by McCarthy and Rep. Mike Levin, D-San Diego, earlier this month.
“The Reducing Veterans Homelessness Act of 2020 will provide our homeless veterans with improved access to housing vouchers and supportive services to ensure that in their time of distress, they have safe and affordable housing,” McCarthy said.
The act would be a three-step process to ensure that homeless veterans receive housing vouchers and supportive services.
It will require the VA to contract out vacant Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing caseworker positions to local, qualified community providers. There will be an increase in the per diem payments that community participants in the program may receive for each homeless veteran housed. Program community participants will also be able to use the funding to access their local Homeless Management Information System.
“These initiatives will have a meaningful impact on the lives of our nation’s veterans, and I am pleased that these reforms passed the House,” McCarthy said. “Our veterans have selflessly served their country, and with these bills, we can bolster our efforts to continue to support them once they leave the service.”