U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today testified before the Veterans Affairs Committee to advocate for passage of the Improving Veterans Access to Congressional Services Act. His bipartisan legislation will streamline the opening of Congressional offices inside Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities across the nation. The introduction of the bill followed Rep. Mast’s opening of the first-ever Congressional office inside a VA this past January.
Rep. Mast opened the first-ever Congressional office inside a VA facility in January. Through this office, veterans from around the area have improved access for assistance with any VA-related issues. The office is located in room 1A-366 of the West Palm Beach VA.
Since the opening of the VA office in January, many other Members of Congress have asked Rep. Mast about the process to open his office so that they can replicate the service for veterans at their local VA facilities. Unfortunately, opening the office took more than a year of navigating bureaucratic red tape.
The Improving Veterans Access to Congressional Services Act would cut down on this bureaucracy by requiring the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to permit a Member of Congress to use a facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs for the purpose of meeting with constituents of the Member. Moreover, the bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop regulations regarding the use of VA office space by Members of Congress, mandating that the space be made available during normal business hours and in a location that is easily accessible to the Member’s constituents.