Pelosi Statement on House Passage of Bipartisan Veteran Suicide Prevention Bill

Dec 9, 2014
Press Release

Contact: Drew Hammill, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed bipartisan legislation – H.R. 5059, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act – that addresses the epidemic of suicide among our nation’s veterans:

“Every veteran lost to suicide is a tragedy that tears at the heart of our nation.  Yet every year more than 8,000 veterans – about twenty-two men and women a day – take their own lives. 

“Named for Marine Corporal Clay Hunt, who committed suicide in 2011 after unsuccessful efforts to get help, the bipartisan Clay Hunt SAV Act represents critical progress for our veterans, their families, and caregivers, expanding access and coordinating our efforts to provide the best mental health care to our returning heroes.  Today, as the House resoundingly approves this legislation, we are grateful for the determined advocacy of his parents, for the energy of all veterans’ mental health advocates, and for the insistent leadership of the bill’s authors: Congressman Tim Walz, the highest-ranking enlisted soldier ever to serve in Congress, who introduced the bill; Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, a Purple Heart recipient and Iraq War veteran, who co-authored the bill; and Congressman Jeff Miller, Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee.

“We owe our veterans a sacred pledge: that just as the military leaves no one behind on the battlefield, we must leave no veteran behind when they come home.  As they grapple with the seen and unseen scars of war, it is our moral obligation to ensure that we are doing everything we can to support them, each and every day.  We must continue to build on the bipartisan spirit behind this transformative legislation, so that we can continue to serve our veterans as well as they have served us.”

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