Congress still has work to do ...

  VFW Department of Florida Past Commanders Mike White and Bob Shepard, 
and National Legislative Committee Chairman Lee F. Kichen discuss 
sequestration on the national defense budget with Rep. Allen West, R-Fla.

Last month, 70 members of the VFW National Legislative Committee convened in Washington to urge the 112th Congress to finish strong for veterans.

Joining the committee was VFW National Commander-in-Chief John Hamilton, Senior Vice Commander Bill Thien and Junior Vice Commander John Stroud. 

Their agenda included meetings and briefings with VA, the Defense POW/MIA Office, the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment at Quantico, Army Reserve Affairs, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves, and with the Student Veterans of America organization.

Key issues discussed are of great importance to veterans, service members and their families. The issue areas were:

Budget: Avoiding across-the-board defense cuts that will adversely affect our troops, and protecting VA medical care from cuts that would affect access to benefits and care.

Healthcare: Combating military and veteran suicides, ensuring the VA continues to improve access and services to women veterans, providing effective mental healthcare, commissioning a National Burn Pit Registry, and stopping the Pentagon from arbitrarily raising TRICARE fees and copayments on military families and retirees.

Benefits Delivery: Creating a fully electronic claims and evaluation system, ensuring VA provides veterans with a full and understandable explanation of VA’s decision, and safeguarding veterans’ personal information.

Education and Employment: Enhancing and protecting the Post-9/11 GI Bill, transition assistance, licensing and certification portability, employer tax credits, enforcing Guard and Reservist reemployment rights, veteran employment and training, and federal contracting with veteran-owned businesses.

The 112th Congress has much work left to do before the end of the year to avoid across-the-board budget cuts that will directly affect veterans, service members and their families. To do so, Congress must pass: H.R. 1025, H.R. 2243, H.R. 4057, H.R. 4072, H.R. 4115, H.R. 5747, H.R. 5845, H.R. 5948, S. 490, S. 1184, S. 1391, S. 1799, S. 1849, S. 2179, S. 2206, S. 2241, S. 2246, S. 3049, S. 3233, S. 3236, S. 3309, S. 3313 and S. 3340.

For a full list of VFW’s outstanding issues for Fall 2012, download the "Finish Stong for Veterans" brochure.



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