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 – The House has passed legislation to update the federal charter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to reflect the service of women in the armed forces. H.R. 5441 makes two wording changes, replacing “men” with “veterans” and “widows” with “surviving spouses.” The changes are supported by the VFW, whose delegates voted in support of the change at the 115th VFW National Convention, held in St. Louis earlier this year.
The House Resolution to amend the charter passed by voice vote Monday.
WASHINGTON – November 11 is Veterans Day. Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) releases the following statement:
“On Veterans Day a proud nation honors our heroes in uniform, thanks the millions of Americans who have defended our country, and reflects on the legacy built by generations of valor. Because of the sacrifices of veterans, we are blessed to live in the greatest nation on Earth. As we celebrate Veterans Day, I extend my deepest thanks to the over 450,000 veterans in Maryland.
WASHINGTON – Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) has published an op-ed in the Huffington Post arguing that Congress should take action to improve mental health care for veterans. According to a recent study, on average 22 veterans commit suicide each day.
WASHINGTON – Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) has signed on as a cosponsor of the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act (H.R. 5059), comprehensive legislation to combat veteran suicide and improve psychiatric care. The legislation is named in honor of Clay Hunt, a combat veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and became a leading veterans’ advocate before he took his own life in 2011.
On August 20, 2014 the Cumberland Times-News published an op-ed by Congressman John K. Delaney on the recent bipartisan effort to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
WASHINGTON – Today the President will sign into law the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act (H.R. 3230), bipartisan and bicameral legislation to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The bill represents a compromise agreement incorporating numerous House and Senate bills that passed this year in response to widespread problems at the VA, including extremely long wait times at some hospitals and improper bookkeeping by VA staff.
WASHINGTON – Wednesday, the House passed the bipartisan bicameral House-Senate compromise to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act expands veterans’ care options, appropriates funds for treatment and medical staff, creates additional medical facilities and holds poorly performing employees accountable.
Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) voted for the measure.
WASHINGTON – The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued a report on the inappropriate handling of records at the Baltimore VA Regional Office. According to the OIG report, which was issued July 14, “a supervisor had inappropriately stockpiled about 8,000 documents in an office” and “more than 9,500 documents and 80 claims folders lacked the oversight necessary to ensure timely claims processing and the protection of veteran and employee PII” (Personally Identifiable Information).
WASHINGTON – Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) has successfully introduced a measure to increase federal funding for Fisher Houses by $16 million. Fisher Houses are designed to be a “home away from home” for the families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. Families stay for free while the patient is receiving care.
WASHINGTON – This week, Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) voted for The Veteran Access to Care Act (H.R. 4810), which passed the House in a strong bipartisan vote. There have been widespread problems at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals across the country, including: secret waiting lists, long wait times for care, and mismanaged treatments. The legislation requires the VA to enter into contracts with private health facilities to provide care to veterans who experience long wait times.