DETROIT — Last week, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) led 64 of her colleagues in a letter to the Military Construction, VA, and Related Agencies subcommittee requesting at least $600 million for the VA State Home Construction Grant Program in this year’s budget. This funding will help provide critical care to veterans across the country.
“I am proud to lead my colleagues in the fight to ensure that our veterans have access to the high-quality, affordable care that they’ve earned,” said Congresswoman Tlaib. “State Veterans Homes provide critical care for our veterans while taking some of the burden off our VA Health System, making them an incredibly important resource in our mission to live up to our promise to our veterans. The Detroit area notably lacks a State Veterans Home. I view this effort to increase federal support for our State Veterans Homes as the first step towards getting our veterans in Southeast Michigan access to the services that one would provide, and I am excited to be working closely with our incredible partners at the state level towards that goal.”
The State Home Construction Grant Program enables states to construct, renovate or repair these state-owned facilities, with the VA providing up to 65% of the cost of construction. Currently, there are more than $600 million in unfulfilled Priority 1 grant requests by the states, demonstrating that the states are eager, willing, and prepared to take on this important responsibility—as well as a share of the cost—of caring for our nation’s veterans. Unfortunately, only $150 million was appropriated last year in FY 2023, leaving many grant requests unfilled and an inability for states to move forward.
“For 134 years, State Veterans Homes have been in a cooperative relationship with the federal government in providing care and support to America’s veterans and their loved ones,” wrote the members. “Today, there are 162 State Veterans Homes, with at least one in every state, as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Indeed, with more than 30,000 beds the State Veterans Home Program is the largest provider of long-term care to our nation’s veterans, with services that include skilled nursing care, domiciliary care, and adult day health care.”
Tlaib and her colleagues are working to fully fund requests from states and territories.
“It is imperative this program is supported, and we encourage the appropriation of at least $600M for the VA State Home Construction Grant Program to fully fund the balance of pending Priority Group 1 grant requests from the states and territories. We appreciate your leadership in the fight to keep America’s promise to our veterans,” the members concluded.
The letter was signed by Representatives Nanette Barragán (CA-44); Jamaal Bowman (NY-16); Julia Brownley (CA-26); Shontel Brown (OH-11); Nikki Budzinski (IL-13); Tony Cárdenas (CA-29); André Carson (IN-07); Troy Carter (LA-02); Greg Casar (TX-35); Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20); Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05); Joe Courtney (CT-02); Jasmine Crockett (TX-30); Jason Crow (CO-06); Sharice Davids (KS-03); Danny Davis (IL-07); Madeleine Dean (PA-04); Diana DeGette (CO-01); Mark DeSaulnier (CA-10); Debbie Dingell (MI-06); Dwight Evans (PA-03); Sylvia Garcia (TX-29); Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05); Al Green (TX-09); Raúl Grijalva (AZ-07); Jahana Hayes (CT-05); Val Hoyle (OR-04); Glenn Ivey (MD-04); Jonathan Jackson (IL-01); Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18); Bill Keating (MA-09); Ro Khanna (CA-17); Dan Kildee (MI-08); Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08); Rick Larsen (WA-02); Barbara Lee (CA-12); Mike Levin (CA-49); Ted Lieu (CA-36); Seth Magaziner (RI-02); Morgan McGarvey (KY-03); Jim McGovern (MA-02); Jared Moskowitz (FL-23); Richard Neal (MA-01); Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large); Frank Pallone (NJ-06); Jimmy Panetta (CA-19); Chris Pappas (NH-01); Mary Peltola (AK-At Large); Brittany Pettersen (CO-07); Dean Phillips (MN-03); Deborah Ross (NC-02); Pat Ryan (NY-18); Linda Sánchez (CA-38); Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05); Jan Schakowsky (IL-09); Hillary Scholten (MI-03); Kim Schrier (WA-08); David Scott (GA-13); Terri Sewell (AL-07); Darren Soto (FL-09); Shri Thanedar (MI-13); Jill Tokuda (HI-02); Susan Wild (PA-07); and Frederica Wilson (FL-24).
The full text of the letter can be found here.