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
HAGERSTOWN – Today in Hagerstown, Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) presented posthumous service medals for Private Otis S. Poole to the Poole family. Private Poole served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was a member of the 531st Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion. Poole never received the medals he earned during his service.
WASHINGTON – Today the House of Representatives voted 326-90 to fully restore benefits to working age veterans. The December budget agreement included a 1 percent cut to cost of living adjustments for veterans below the age of 62.
Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) voted for the measure.
WASHINGTON – Tonight the House passed the G.I. Bill Tuition Fairness Act (H.R. 357), which allows veterans to attend the state-run higher education institution of their choice at the in-state tuition rate. The legislation would require public schools to apply in-state tuition rates to veterans in order to receive G.I. Bill education payments. This change would take effect August 1, 2014.
Delaney voted for the legislation.
WASHINGTON – Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) releases the following statement on Veterans Day:
“On Veterans Day we honor the millions of Americans that have defended our freedoms in times of war and times of peace. We gather in communities across the nation to pay tribute to the men and women in uniform who have courageously served the United States and protected our freedoms. The ceremonies and spirit of Veterans Day are an essential thread in the fabric of our country.
WASHINGTON – Senators Ben Cardin (MD) and James Inhofe (OK) have introduced a Senate companion to Congressman John K. Delaney’s (MD-6) Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education Improvement Act (H.R. 2011). Filed Monday, S.1643 authorizes the Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education through December 31, 2015, and expands the makeup of the Committee to include post 9/11 veterans. Absent legislative action, the Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education will sunset on December 31, 2013.
WASHINGTON – The House has passed legislation by Rep. John Delaney (MD-6) designed to improve educational and job training programs and benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education Improvement Act (H.R. 2011) passed by a 404 to 2 vote and now heads to the Senate for approval.
WASHINGTON – Today the House passed H.J. Res 91, which provides continuing appropriations for death gratuities and related survivor benefits for the families of deceased military service members for fiscal year 2014. The law restores benefits that had been halted due to the government shutdown that began October 1.
WASHINGTON – A number of national veterans advocacy organizations have expressed support for Congressman John K. Delaney’s (MD-6) Veterans Advisory Committee on Education Improvement Act (H.R. 2011). Last week, the bill passed the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs unanimously.
The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Students Veterans Association (SVA), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) have all issued statements in support of H.R. 2011.