House panel rejects bid to delay vote on VA funding

House Republicans on Thursday rejected a bid to hold a vote on a controversial bill to delay a Veterans Affairs spending bill until late July, saying it could only be voted on as a procedural vote.GOP Reps.

David Schweikert of Iowa and Bill Flores of Texas joined House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, in voting against the bill on a party-line 3-2 vote.

The bill would allow for VA funds to expire at the end of this month, delaying their payments to more than 12 million veterans, and then allow Congress to vote on the matter at a later date.

The measure is a contentious issue among veterans and their advocates, with the White House and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin saying the bill would help the nation’s veterans and reduce wait times for care.

It is expected to pass in the House, where it was introduced in March by Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Nevada Republican.

Republicans in the Senate also plan to hold hearings on the VA bill, which has been dubbed the “Vet Access and Choice Act” by Democrats.

In a separate procedural vote on Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D,Md., voted to advance the bill without any amendments to its provisions, making it a final bill and effectively killing the bill as a standalone measure.

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