WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis' (R-Ill.) announced today that his bipartisan amendment to expand access to childcare was adopted on the House floor. Davis' amendment to H.R. 840, the Veteran's Access to Childcare Act, eliminates barriers to mental health services for veterans with children. H.R. 840 makes permanent a pilot program to provide child care assistance to veterans receiving care at a VA facility.

Davis' amendment had the support of both the Ranking Member and Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Ranking Member Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) thanked Davis for his commitment to veterans on the House floor. Roe visited Davis' district last August touring the Springfield VA facility and participated in a roundtable about increasing veteran access to education benefits.

The following are Davis' written remarks.

The Veterans’ Access to Childcare Act builds upon a successful pilot program and will provide certainty and better access to mental and intensive health care services for our veterans through increased access to childcare while veterans attend appointments.

Thank you to my good friend from California, Congressman Panetta, for working with me to make this a bipartisan amendment that ensures this important bill does what it’s intended to do, which is make it easier for veterans with families to access mental health services.

The intention of this amendment is to make sure that the VA does not determine this bill to mean that there is only one primary caretaker in the family, and arbitrarily decide who that is.

Without this change, some of the veterans this bill is intended to help would not be able to access childcare over a technicality – our amendment clarifies this language to help eliminate barriers to mental health services for veterans with families.

When our veterans face a mental health crisis, I want to ensure that they aren’t alone and that we are doing everything we can to properly support them and their families.

While we’ve been successful in passing legislation that prevents many veterans from having to drive long distances to access care, it’s possible that, in some cases, a veteran in my district could have to drive four hours to the nearest VA hospital, and ensured access to childcare will encourage them to get the services they need.

I don’t want a technicality to get in the way of our veterans accessing the services they need and that’s why I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan amendment.

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