U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio, D-17th District (Capital-Star file).
U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio has announced the formation of a new advisory council to assist him on veterans-related issues.
The new Veterans Advisory Council counts among its members residents of Deluzio’s western Pennsylvania-based 17th District seat. It will advise the Democratic lawmaker on issues relating to veterans’ policy, veterans’ services and veterans’ care.
The council will give feedback to Deluzio on bills that are introduced in Congress, positions that support veterans, and issues in the district, Deluzio’s office said in a Monday statement.
“These VAC members represent a wide range of communities across PA-17, military branches, and experiences in and out of uniform,” Deluzio said in the statement. “I am grateful for their willingness to step up once again for our community and advise me in the best ways to support our fellow veterans.”
The VAC will also play a critical role in helping Deluzio strategize to gain support from both political parties on bills relating to veteran’s care.
Deluzio, who is a Navy and Iraq War veteran, is a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. While Deluzio is in D.C., the VAC will report to him on local veteran’s affairs in Allegheny and Beaver Counties.
Earlier this month, Deluzio introduced the Build, Utilize, Invest, Learn and Deliver (BUILD) for Veterans Act of 2023 to the U.S. House of Representatives.
The proposed bill would strengthen the VA’s ability to initiate projects to better meet the needs of current and future veterans. It also requires the VA to create a schedule for elimination and repurposing of unused and vacant buildings and provides annual budget requirements for VAs over a 10-year period.
“Robustly investing in and revitalizing the aging VA infrastructure is critical to the VA healthcare system’s overall success,” American Legion National Commander Vincent J. Troiola said in a statement. “We must ensure VA is properly resources and structured to manage the infrastructure of the largest integrated healthcare network in the U.S.”
Troiola voiced his support of the bill among other veterans’ advocacy organizations, including Veterans of Foreign Wars, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
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