U.S. Representative Ed Royce

39th District of California

Rep. Royce, Sen. Heller Move to Eliminate Lengthy VA Burial Delays

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Washington, Nov 20 | Saat Alety (202-225-4111) | comments

U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) issued the following statement after introduction of the Veterans Dignified Burial Act, legislation Rep. Royce advanced in the House of Representatives earlier this year, in the U.S. Senate today:

“This legislation will keep the VA accountable for ensuring every veteran receives a proper burial in a timely manner. After all they have sacrificed in service to our nation, the least we can do is make certain they are afforded a dignified burial honoring their commitment to America. I’d like to thank Congressman Royce for taking the lead in the House and hope to see this legislation pass both chambers very soon,” stated Sen. Heller.

"Stories of unburied veterans’ bodies are deeply unsettling and these travesties are the result of burial procedure loopholes at the VA. This bill ensures the VA follows up on pending burials 30 days after the deceased has been confirmed as a veteran, so that we know he or she is treated with both dignity and respect," continued Rep. Royce. "While the quality of the healthcare that veterans receive has been in the news lately, our veterans deserve the same attention when it comes to their burials.”

The bill calls for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to follow up on pending burials 30 days after a body has been identified as a veteran, which prevents the extended burial waiting times that have plagued the Los Angeles County mortuary. It also requires the VA to submit an annual report to Congress on deceased veterans who were interred after the 30 day reporting period, in an effort to provide lawmakers with a better understanding of the scope of this problem at mortuaries across the country.

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