WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman Andy Barr’s amendment increasing funding for equine assisted therapy by $5 million within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Adaptive Sports Grant Program passed the House of Representatives today by voice vote. The amendment was adopted along with a number of bipartisan amendments to H.R. 7608 – the State, Foreign Operations, Agriculture, Rural Development, Interior, Environment, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2021 to fund agencies like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S Department of Agriculture, State Department, and the Department of Interior for Fiscal Year 2021.
Congressman Barr’s amendment increases funding for the VA to provide grants to organizations offering equine assisted therapy to disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. The Sixth Congressional District of Kentucky boasts a number of facilities that offer equine assisted therapy.
“This important funding will help ensure that veterans in Kentucky and across the country have increased access to equine assisted therapy programs through the VA, giving them a non-traditional, innovative and alternative approach to healing,” said Congressman Barr. “As a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and Chairman of the Congressional Horse Caucus, I look forward to continuing to see the positive results this evidence-based equine-assisted therapy provides our veterans.”
Throughout his time in Congress, Congressman Barr has been a chief advocate for innovative therapies that allow veterans with mental, social or physical impairments to work with horses on their road to recovery. In January, Congressman Barr hosted a field hearing in Lexington, Kentucky in conjunction with the Congressional Horse Caucus to highlight the benefits of equine assisted therapy.