Veterans & Military Retirees
Our veterans, who have served during war and peace, have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedoms. They are defenders of democracy and have ensured all Americans can continue to enjoy freedom and peace.
I remain committed to holding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) accountable and ensuring promises made to our veterans are kept. Our service members must have access to safe housing, good jobs and the healthcare they need when they come home.
There are still too many instances of our veterans not receiving the care and service they have earned and the VA system not meeting their needs. Veterans deserve to receive their benefits in a timely and consistent manner; clearing the current backlog will help us reach this goal.
I remain concerned as to how the VA healthcare system will reform the delivery of healthcare and do so with the deep fiscal obligations associated with the new healthcare reform. For this reason, I have supported reforms through Congress that will modernize the appeals process, bring accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs and give student veterans the largest expansion of GI Bill benefits since the GI Bill was created.
Ongoing proposals to raise TRICARE deductibles, premiums and co-pays for beneficiaries remain a principle concern for military service members, retirees and their families. I fully understand that TRICARE is an earned benefit, and I am opposed to a “tiered” enrollment fee structure or “means-testing” for service members, retirees and their families. I understand that the unique military retirement and healthcare package is the primary incentive for top-quality people to endure the extraordinary demands and sacrifices inherent in a military career spanning 20 or 30 years.
As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, I will continue to work with my colleagues to preserve pay, benefits and incentives for the military, retirees and veterans and at the same time address unsustainable government spending.
More on Veterans & Military Retirees
This week marks 79 years since the devastating surprise attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which former President Franklin D. Roosevelt called “the date which will live in infamy.” It was this event that officially drew the United States into the Second World War. As we remember the 2,403 innocent Americans lost that day at Pearl Harbor, we also gratefully reflect on the millions more who courageously joined together to defend the United States and our allies and ultimately end the WWII conflict nearly four years later.
Throughout American history, millions of brave men and women have selflessly answered the call to protect our freedom and preserve liberty by serving in the military. While numerous individuals have fought for the great cause of freedom, it wasn’t until after World War I that the United States first set apart a special day just to say, “thank you.” This week on Veterans Day, we honor and remember our veterans for their awe-inspiring display of courage, sacrifice and devotion.
Last week, Congress made significant progress on critical legislation that supports our common defense and ensures protection of U.S. interests around the world. While much work remains in the days and weeks ahead, I am proud that lawmakers in both chambers are one step closer to completing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the sixtieth year in a row.
Each year on the eleventh of November, we rightly pause to honor and remember the bravery and boldness of the men and women who selflessly answered the call of duty and wore one of the many great military uniforms of the United States of America. Without question, we owe a constant debt of gratitude to generations of veterans, including many of our own family members, who made sacrifices to ensure the safety of our homeland and who faithfully fought to promote and preserve America’s precious freedoms.