The brave men and women of our military are among America’s greatest heroes. Individuals serving in the military come from all backgrounds and unite in a common goal to protect and defend the freedoms and values that make the United States like no other. These men and women have made enormous sacrifices for our country and their service should never be forgotten.
During my time in Congress, I have worked hard to support policies that honor, support and care for our veterans. This includes making sure that our veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned and enabling a seamless transition into civilian life. Whether it’s providing better housing options, improving access to health care, expanding education and job training programs, or reforming the administration of benefits, our policies should aim to achieve a better quality of life for our nation’s heroes.
The first bill I introduced in Congress, H.R. 2011, the Veterans Advisory Committee on Education Improvement Act, is a bipartisan effort focused on enhancing the job training and education opportunities for our veterans. The bill would extend a Committee which has a long history of advising the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on advancing education and job training programs for veterans. Most importantly, the bill expands the Committee to include a voice for post-9/11 vets who are returning home in record numbers and deserve access to quality job training and education programs. I was pleased that the bill passed through the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and I look forward to working towards its passage.
I have also been a vocal supporter of legislative initiatives such as H.R. 1725, the Veterans Mental Health Accessibility Act, which helps abate the high prevalence of mental health disorders in veterans, the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act, H.R. 1742, which helps ensure severely wounded veterans are not prevented from accessing housing because of the cost of the care they receive for their injuries, and the 21st Century Health Care for Heroes Act, H.R. 2590, which requires the DOD and VA to better coordinate the transfer of soldiers’ medical records. All of these proposals are a step in the right direction to ensure that our veterans receive the care and support they deserve as they return home from conflict.
During debate of the Defense Appropriations Bill, I offered an amendment to increase funding for Fisher House, which provides free lodging near hospitals for military families when servicemen and veterans are receiving care. My amendment increased funding from $4 million to $20 million and will allow four new Fisher Houses to be built across the country. These new houses are owned and operated by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and will allow approximately 2,000 additional military families per year to stay with their heroes in their time of need at the hospital.
Moving forward, I will continue to be a strong advocate for the brave men and women of our armed services.
More on Veterans Issues
WASHINGTON – This week, the House of Representatives passed six bipartisan bills designed to help America’s veterans thrive. The passed legislation included efforts to: boost veteran employment and encourage more family-owned veteran businesses, expand and maintain veterans housing programs, hold poor-performing employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable, and create a new voluntary ID card for veterans allowing them to prove that they served.
WASHINGTON - May 16th is Armed Forces Day recognizing American service members for their work and commemorating the unification of the United States Armed Forces in 1950.
Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) releases the following statement:
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have announced $65 million in grants nationwide to help veterans find permanent supportive housing through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. This week’s announcement includes a grant of $200,841 to the Housing Authority of the City of Hagerstown (HACH) and a grant of $72,776 to the Housing Opportunity Commission (HOC) of Montgomery County, both serving veterans in Maryland’s Sixth District.
Coverage from the Hagerstown Herald-Mail on Rep. John Delaney's Veterans' Constituent Services Workshop in Hagerstown:
U.S. Rep. John Delaney addressed the concerns of veterans and their families at a workshop held Wednesday at the Fletcher Branch of the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown.
WASHINGTON – Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) has signed onto the Veterans’ Bill of Rights sponsored by the Circle of Friends for American Veterans (COFAV). COFAV is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about veterans’ issues and the Veterans’ Bill of Rights makes a statement of principle and highlights actions which can be taken to support American veterans. A bipartisan coalition of 89 Members from both the House and the Senate has pledged support for the Veterans’ Bill of Rights.
WASHINGTON - Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) will host a Veterans Constituent Services Workshop next Wednesday in Hagerstown. The event is free and open to the public.
WASHINGTON – Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) has cosponsored the Real Choice for Veterans Act (H.R. 1096). The legislation would expand health care access options for veterans, by revising the Veterans Choice Program. Delaney is the first House Democrat to cosponsor the Real Choice for Veterans Act, which was authored by Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-1).
WASHINGTON – Tuesday, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it would expand the number of veterans eligible to participate in the new Veterans Choice Program. The program allows veterans to receive non-VA care if they have not received an appointment within 30 days or if they live more than 40 miles one-way from the nearest VA medical facility. However, the VA had used an un-realistic straight-line or “as the crow flies” standard for measuring distance, not driving distance. The VA’s announcement means that driving distance will now be used.
WASHINGTON – Today, President Obama signed into law the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act, bipartisan legislation to improve mental health care at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and stem veteran suicide. The legislation is named for Iraq and Afghanistan veteran and suicide prevention advocate Clay Hunt, who took his own life in 2011.
Congressman John K. Delaney published an op-ed last week on the need to pass the Clay Hunt SAV Act, which improves mental health care and anti-suicide services from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Improving veteran's access to mental health care
By Rep. John Delaney
Frederick News-Post, 1/30/15