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Washington, D.C. --  Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) introduced two pieces of legislation this week—the Keeping Our Promises to Veterans Act of 2015 and the National Interchange/Intersection Safety Construction Program Act of 2015. These are Emmer’s first bills introduced as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

H.R. 1532, the Keeping Our Promises to Veterans Act of 2015
This bill amends current law to improve the Veterans Choice Program by expanding access for the veterans that need it most. It implements four easy fixes: (1) relax the 40-mile radius requirement to 20 miles; (2) reduce the current 30-day waiting period to 15; (3) require the VA to prove that one of their facilities can actually provide the care required; and (4) force the VA to come in line with the Prompt Pay Act. Click here for bill text.

“After the disturbing revelations regarding veteran care at several VA hospitals around the country, Congress made great strides in working to resolve these issues,” said Emmer. “But there is still work to be done and oversights to rectify. We have a sacred obligation to our veterans when they return home. These small changes to the Veterans Choice Program will help them have easier and more reliable access to the care they deserve.”

H.R. 1606, the National Interchange/Intersection Safety Construction Program Act of 2015 (NIISCP)
The NIISCP would establish a national program that would prioritize a portion of federal highway funds every year and allow projects to compete for those funds on a state-by-state basis. Those projects selected could then be approved by Congress. Click here for bill text.

Emmer: “In my meetings with constituents, the calls for transportation assistance throughout our state are unanimous, especially with regard to expanding US 10 and I-94. With these needs so apparent and attention on it so minimal on the state level, this legislation is necessary to narrow the focus of a portion of funding to help keep our intersections and interchanges safe. Additionally, this will boost economic development and relieve congestion along the troubled routes that many Minnesotans travel daily.”

Emmer joined his Minnesota colleagues, Rep. Tim Walz and Rep. Erik Paulsen, in sending a letter to Chairman Bill Shuster and Ranking Member Rep. Peter DeFazio of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee encouraging them to consider the proposal. Click here to view the delegation letter.