Bipartisan Harder Amendment Supporting Veterans’ Families Passes House

February 8, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Rep. Josh Harder’s bipartisan amendment to assist veterans and their families experiencing mental health emergencies.

Harder’s amendment to the Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act ensures that mental health crises are covered as one of the kinds of emergencies during which child care can be provided free of cost at VA Centers.

“Supporting veterans struggling with mental health needs to be a top priority for our country,” Harder said. “Our amendment says a mental health crisis is no different than any other medical emergency, and we have to be there for our veteran families when they happen. I’m proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make this a reality.”

The Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act allows veterans and their families to access free childcare when they use VA Medical Centers and Clinics. There are nearly 34,000 veterans living in California’s 10th Congressional district—and veterans suffer from severe depression, PTSD, or traumatic brain injury at over triple the rate of non-veteran populations.

Harder’s amendment ensures that whenever a veteran experiences an emergency mental health crisis—such as one caused by an opioid addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression – they can receive immediate assistance and do not have to worry about the associated child care costs.

Today’s amendment also comes one day after Rep. Harder launched a committee to advise him on how to best serve the Central Valley’s veterans in Congress. The Congressional Veterans Advisory Committee will include veterans from diverse backgrounds and representatives from Veteran Service Organizations.

Harder was joined in sponsoring today’s amendment by Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Antonio Delgado (D-NY).

Watch Rep. Harder’s speech on the floor of the House of Representatives about his amendment HERE .