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. Unfortunately, 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 in recent years 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.
Supported the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act. This legislation consolidates several VA programs into one community care program and continues the VA Choice Program until the consolidation is complete. It also establishes a review process to modernize and realign the VA’s medical infrastructure, and it improves the VA’s ability to recruit and retain health care professionals. President Trump signed this legislation into law in June 2018.
Original cosponsor of the Working to Integrate Networks Guaranteeing Member Access Now (WINGMAN) Act, which provides congressional staff with more access to the benefit claim process to streamline the claims process with the VA. This legislation passed the House in February 2017.
Cosponsor of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, which would extend benefits to Vietnam-era sailors and airmen who were exposed to Agent Orange, as well as to the foreign-born children of Americans born with spina bifida as a result of the exposure. This bill passed the House in June 2018.
Cosponsor of the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, 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 Veterans Opioid Abuse Prevention Act, which allows for the greater sharing of information between VA and state-based prescription drug monitoring programs. This bill passed the House in May 2018.