MARQUETTE - U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, was appointed this week to chair a subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
Benishek, a general surgeon who worked at Iron Mountain's Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center for 20 years, will chair the Subcommittee on Health.
"I've had the privilege of working with veterans all my life. First, as a VA doctor in Iron Mountain and now as Michigan's only member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee," Benishek said in a written statement. "Our veterans have fought for our freedoms and they deserve top-notch service when they return home."
The Subcommittee on Health has legislative, oversight and investigative jurisdiction over the Veterans Health Administration. That includes medical services, medical support and compliance, medical facilities, medical and prosthetic research and major and minor construction.
Benishek said that, as chairman of the 12-member subcommittee, he was hoping to address a list of issues that included a backlog of VA disability claims.
According to Benishek's office, more than 68,000 veterans live in Michigan's 1st District, accounting for nearly 14 percent of the total population.
Benishek, who was re-elected in November, served on the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, as well as the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, during the 112th Congress. It was announced earlier this month that he would also serve on the Committee on Agriculture during the upcoming 113th Congress.
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