I am grateful to the men and women who have served our country. Generations of men and women have fought with great valor to preserve and protect our nation. Many take for granted the freedoms we hold so dear and forget that those freedoms are not free. We will forever be indebted to those who have served.
Ensuring affordable, quality benefits for military retirees is a priority of Congress.
Many of our military retirees were promised health care for life when they joined the military. Veterans should receive the benefits they deserve in a fair, consistent, and timely manner.
I have been horrified by reports of delays in basic medical screenings at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals or clinics throughout the country, which may have caused serious injuries or led to the deaths of a number of veterans. This is completely unacceptable, and these systemic failures must never again happen at the VA to the detriment of those the agency serves – our nation's veterans.
My office stands ready to assist with any specific issues that veterans may have with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Original co-sponsor of the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act (H.R. 1594), which would end the so-called “Widow’s Tax.” Current policy requires surviving spouses of service members killed in the line of duty or from a service-connected cause to forfeit the Survivor Benefit Pension annuity. This creates a substantial burden for the surviving spouses of those brave service members that have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty or from a service-connected cause.
Supported the Construction Authorization and Choice Improvement Act (H.R.2496), which changed the 40 mile requirement for veterans to access a non-VA medical facility under the Choice Program to include driving time and factored in excessive burdens due environment factors, such as hazardous weather. This legislation was signed into law on May 22, 2015.
Voted to support the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (H.R.3236), which modified the Veterans Choice Program in response to the VA scandals by requiring the VA to consolidate all non-department provided care into one program and expanded eligibility for veterans and health care providers. This legislation was signed into law on July 31, 2015.
Voted to support the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act (H.R. 5620), which will make meaningful changes to the VA system to ensure more timely answers and better care. Most importantly, it streamlines the disability appeals process, makes it easier to fire or demote employees for misconduct or poor performance who are failing our veterans, provides protections for whistleblowers who report complaints, and eliminates senior executive employee bonuses for the next five years.
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