WASHINGTON – Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) on Jan. 4 released the following statement after he was elected by his Democratic colleagues to serve as chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs:

Rep. Mark Takano

“This Congress, we have an incredible opportunity to build on this committee’s work to guarantee veterans access to high-quality, timely care and the benefits they deserve. Today’s veterans population is more diverse than ever before, a testament to the shifting demographic strength of our nation’s servicemembers. With these changes will come a new set of challenges for VA.

“As chairman I will work to develop a ‘VA 2030’ plan that equips VA with the tools needed to meet these challenges head-on, guaranteeing its success now and into the future. Our committee’s commitment to bipartisanship has helped protect VA whistleblowers and student veterans, expand earned benefits, and improve access to care.

“I look forward to working alongside my colleagues to further reject ideological agendas, and continue placing our service to veterans above ourselves and fulfill our promise to our nation’s veterans.

“Serving as chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will be the honor of my lifetime, and I look forward to working closely with our veterans, veterans service organizations, and members on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers to serve and improve the lives of veterans across the country.”

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