Our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line every day, so that we may continue to call this country the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is our duty, as Americans, to support them upon their return home.
In an effort to uphold our promise to our nation's heroes, I have worked diligently with my colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives on a number of efforts to ensure our veterans are receiving the care they need and the benefits they’ve earned. Below is a list of some of the veterans legislation passed by the House:
- Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 3230, the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act was approved by both the House and Senate in July 2014. The bipartisan, bicameral Conference Report provides a number of solutions to improve veterans’ care, including increased access to non-VA care, and hold the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) accountable to all Americans.
- H.R. 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Act, passed the House in May 2014 and awaits Senate action. The legislation explicitly provides the Secretary of the VA with the authority to remove or transfer senior executive service employees who are not performing at the standards expected when caring for our veterans.
- H.R. 357, the GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act, passed in the House in February 2014 and was incorporated as a provision in the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 3230. The legislation expands educational opportunities for veterans by allowing them to attend state-run higher-educations institutions at in-state tuition rates. Many veterans have a difficult time establishing legal residency where they live, so this legislation would resolve current issues with varying state residency laws.
- H.R. 1402, the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act, was signed into law December 2013. The legislation extends a number VA initiatives, including the adaptive sports program for disabled veterans.
- S. 893, the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act, was signed into law November 2013. The legislation provides a 1.5 percent increase in the cost-of-living adjustment for veterans and their dependents.
- H.R. 2189, to improve the processing of disability claims by the VA, passed the House in October 2013 and awaits Senate action. The legislation directs the VA to develop a task force to evaluate the claims backlog and appeals process, as well as provide a report with improvements that can be made to solve these issues.
In addition, the following are a few of the letters I have led or joined to support our veterans: