Our military men and women put their lives on the line daily to protect our freedoms at home and around the world. It is our duty as Americans to honor their service and sacrifice by staying true to our commitment to care for them when they return home. I am committed to doing so and will continue to hold this Administration accountable for what I believe to be bureaucratic failures, which harm and dishonor our nation’s veterans.
Here are some of the legislative actions I have taken this year to hold the VA accountable.
H.R. 3230 – The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 was signed into law on August 7, 2014. This law requires allows veterans to receive care at non-VA facilities if they live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility or if they are unable to secure an appointment at a VA facility within 30 days. It expands VA’s internal capacity to provide timely care to veterans and provides real accountability for incompetent or corrupt senior managers.
H.R. 4486 – This bill provides a $1.5 billion increase in funding to specifically address the backlog in processing disability claims, as a part of the full Veterans Affairs budget. It includes funding for access to medical care, job training and other earned benefits.
H.R. 4810 – This bill increases the provision of health care by contracting out to non-VA providers, allowing veterans the flexibility to visit health care professionals outside the VA system.
H.R. 4031 – This bill holds VA management and employees accountable by increasing the authority to fire VA employees who are ineffective.
H.R. 570 – This bill provides automatic COLA adjustments in the rates of disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities.
H.R. 357 and H.R. 1412 – These bills expand the GI bill to include tuition fairness by allowing veterans to attend state-run higher education institutions at the in-state tuition rate, regardless of residency. I also voted to create more incentive for employers to hire veterans who use their GI Bill benefits to complete on-the-job training by increasing salary compensation paid by the VA. The employers pay less as a result of hiring qualified veterans.
H.R. 3060 – I introduced this bill that was signed into law to dedicate the Burleson post office to one of our fallen soldiers, Sergeant William Moody. Raised in Burleson, a true hometown hero, Sgt. Moody served two tours of duty in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan.