“America must not shortchange the brave men and women who have served in our armed forces. I am deeply committed to ensuring that our nation’s veterans and their families are cared for in a way that honors their service to our nation. Just as the military pledges to leave no soldier behind on the battlefield, I do not intend to leave any veteran behind when they return home.”
Ending the Veterans Claims Backlog
It is unacceptable to me that some Veterans Affairs claims have yet to be settled in an expedient and transparent manner, and that there are still homeless veterans on the streets.
In Congress, I remain dedicated to reducing the veterans claims backlog and finding work and training opportunities so that veterans can provide for themselves and their families, and be prepared for the jobs of the future. Our nation can never fully repay the debt of gratitude we owe to the courageous men and women who have worn our nation’s uniform, but we can guarantee them the best possible resources they deserve.
Ending Sexual Assault in the Military
Sexual assault in the military is simply unacceptable, and Congress must do everything in its power to prevent it from happening. That is why I cosponsored Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act, which creates an autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office – staffed by civilian and military experts – that investigates and oversees all reported cases of sexual assault in the military.
If made law, this legislation would create a sexual assault database within the Department of Defense that will be required to share information with the Department of Justice’s civilian sexual offender database. This legislation has gained nearly 160 cosponsors in the113th Congress.
Jobs for Veterans
I am also a cosponsor of the Veteran Employment Transition Act, which makes permanent a work opportunity tax credit to small businesses who hire veterans, and expands that credit to recently discharged veterans. Empowering and incentivizing our nation’s small businesses to hire those who so bravely fought for our freedom is good for veterans, their families, and our entire economy.
Education for Veterans
As a former college professor, I am a strong supporter of education at all levels. A college education can help our veterans in returning to, and prospering in, civilian life when they come home. I believe that access to higher education for our veterans, including student loan programs and educational grants, should be easily attainable and widely promoted.
That is why I cosponsored the Veteran Excellence Through Education Act of 2013, which authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to create funding opportunities for minority-serving institutions to address the social and academic problems facing veterans who pursue a college education. The funding would be used for financial literacy workshops, health and wellness programs, support services for housing and child care, and services that help veterans enter the workforce.
Health Care and Mental Health Services for Veterans
In order to help our veterans with health care and mental health services, I also cosponsored H.R. 1492, which would establish a Commission on America and its Veterans in order to ensure that the healthcare needs of our veterans are met; and H.R. 806, the Veterans Healthcare Improvement Act, which would ensure adequate funding for veterans' healthcare programs. All of these bills have bipartisan support and ensure that our country honors the service and sacrifice of our veterans.
For more information concerning my work and views on veterans, please contact me.