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Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher’s Bill To Help Disabled Veterans Access Vehicles Passes Congress

The Bill Now Heads to President Biden’s Desk to be Signed Into Law

  • 12.21 AUTO For Veterans Passes Congress

Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher’s (TX-07) and House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano’s (CA-41) Advancing Uniform Transportation Opportunities (AUTOfor Veterans Act, passed the House of Representatives for a second time, following minor modifications in the Senate.  The AUTO for Veterans Act expands the eligibility for disabled veterans to obtain vehicles modified for their disabilities. The bill was included in a larger bill, H.R. 7939, which now heads to President Biden’s desk for signature. 

“In Houston and in communities across the country, cars are essential transportation,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “I am glad to have led this bill with Chairman Takano to ensure veterans can access safe and comfortable vehicles that are adapted to their needs, and so that their ability to get places is not impeded.  I look forward to seeing President Biden sign this important legislation into law.” 

Currently, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a program that provides service-connected disabled veterans with a one-time payment to adapt their vehicle for their medical needs if their disability prevents them from driving.  To adapt for the limited life cycles of vehicles, the AUTO for Veterans Act

  • Authorizes the VA to provide, or assist in providing, an additional automobile to an eligible person if 25 years have elapsed since the date the eligible person received the previous automobile; 
  • 10 years after enactment of the act, authorizes the VA to provide an eligible person with an additional vehicle if 10 years have elapsed since they received their previously covered vehicle and ten years have elapsed since the bill’s enactment; and
  • Expands the definition of “medical services” to include certain vehicle modifications.

Congresswoman Fletcher and Chairman Takano introduced the AUTO for Veterans Act in May 2021.  In September, the bill passed the House as H.R. 3304.  The Senate then amended the bill and returned it to the House as part of H.R. 7939 for final passage.  It now heads to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. 

The AUTO for Veterans Act is endorsed by Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). 

To view the full text of H.R. 7939, click here.