The U.S. Senate adjourned on Dec. 22, 2010, marking the end of the 111th Congress. Left on the table without action was H.R. 5428, the Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights. After passage of this bill earlier this month by the House of Representatives, the National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP) embarked on a major effort to get the Senate to pass the bill. Many other O&P organizations and individuals assisted NAAOP in this effort. But time ran out before concerns raised by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) could be resolved, according to an NAAOP press release.
There is bipartisan support in both the House and Senate for addressing the problems this bill seeks to address and NAAOP has secured commitments from key members of Congress and their staff to continue working on this issue in the 112th Congress. The chief sponsor of the bill, Congressman Robert Filner (D-CA), will no longer be chairman of the House VA Committee, but he will remain as the ranking minority member of the committee. The Republican staff on the VA Committee has expressed interest in continuing to find a way to address the needs of injured and amputee veterans in the next Congress which begins on Jan. 6, 2011.