Mohamed Sawah

Reps. Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), Adrian Smith (R-NE), John Larson (D-CT), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) introduced the Rural Veterinary Workforce Act, legislation to help address the shortages in essential veterinary services facing rural communities.

“This bill is common-sense legislation that maximizes the impact of the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program by getting more of these dollars to rural America and keeping less of these dollars in Washington D.C.,” said Rep. Fischbach. “My Ways & Means colleagues and I introduced The Rural Veterinary Workforce Act to eliminate this unnecessary tax to ensure quality treatment for veterinarians in rural communities like ours so they can continue their important work caring for America’s livestock and maintaining our supply chains.”

The legislation is supported by the American Veterinary Medial Association (AVMA).  “Increasing veterinary services in high-priority rural areas through the Rural Veterinary Workforce Act, would help keep the nation’s livestock healthy and our food supply safe and secure, and protect public health,” said Dr. Lori Teller, American Veterinary Medical Association President.
The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) provides student loan reimbursement to veterinarians who chose to practice for three years in federally designated shortage areas. A similar program, the National Health Service Corps, provides loan repayments to medical doctors and other human health practitioners.
Despite the similarity of these programs, National Health Service Corps loan repayments are exempt from federal withholding tax, while VMLRP payments are not. To address this inconsistency, The Rural Veterinary Workforce Act would codify a similar exemption for VMLRP.