Washington, D.C. – On October 3, 2014, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (HVAC DAMA) will conduct a field hearing entitled “Rhetoric v. Reality: Investigating the Continued Failures of the Philadelphia VA Regional Office.”
The oversight hearing will be open to the public and will begin at 11:00 AM at Burlington County College, Pemberton Campus in Pemberton, NJ at the Lewis Park Center at 601 Pemberton Browns Mills Road in the Geraldine Clinton Theater.
This hearing will review the various concerns with Veterans Benefits Administration operations at the Philadelphia Regional Office (RO), to include management and leadership, claims processing, and employee morale. The DAMA Subcommittee will also discuss several remaining issues addressed during recent Congressional hearings and in reports by the VA Office of Inspector General. The hearing will conclude with addressing whether the Philadelphia RO management has taken appropriate measures to remediate past failed practices.
“It is imperative that our veterans have their claims processed correctly and in a timely and efficient manner – they deserve nothing less. These men and women have sacrificed so much to protect this country and our freedoms,” said Rep. Runyan, Chairman of the HVAC DAMA Subcommittee. “We must do everything we can to ensure that the Philadelphia Regional Office’s management is doing its job efficiently and correctly.”
The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) is a section of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its main duty is to administer the VA’s financial programs. These programs provide assistance to our country’s veterans, their dependents, and survivors. Among the VBA’s primary responsibilities to veterans is the processing of each individual veteran’s claim or claims.
Representative Runyan is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, House Veterans Affairs Committee, and the Natural Resources Committee. He also serves as the Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.
Shamong Township, NJ - Today, Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-3) announced that the Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Company and Shamong Emergency Medical Services have been awarded a $12,291 grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to strengthen its preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards.
The grant from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program will enhance the department’s ability to protect the health and safety of South Jersey residents. The AFG funds fire departments, non-affiliated EMS organizations and state fire training academies. The program is designed to assist local and municipal governments with funds to provide for professional training and personal protective equipment and supplies.
“I am pleased to see DHS and FEMA award this money to the Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Company and Shamong Emergency Medical Services to assist in enhancing their preparedness for potential emergencies in our community,” said Congressman Runyan. “By investing in our first responders, we invest directly in our community’s safety.”
"The Volunteers of the Indian Hill Fire Company consistently go above and beyond, and this grant is another example," said Sue Onorato, Township Administrator. “The township committee and I applaud the work of these brave first responders as they continue to serve our community.”
Representative Runyan is a member of the Congressional Fire Caucus and is a strong supporter of funding programs for local fire and rescue services. During fiscal year 2013, the AFG will award $288.8 million to first-responder organizations that need support to improve their ability to respond to emergencies.Read More
MOUNT LAUREL, NJ – Today, Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-3) announced that the Mount Laurel Township Emergency Medical Services has been awarded a $96,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to strengthen its overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards.
This grant, called the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) will enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public. The AFG funds fire departments, non-affiliated EMS organizations and state fire training academies. The program is designed to assist local and municipal governments with funds to provide for professional training, personal protective equipment and supplies, and vehicle acquisition.
“I am pleased to see DHS and FEMA award this money to the Mount Laurel Township Emergency Medical Services to assist in their pursuit to better prepare for potential emergencies in our community,” said Congressman Runyan. “By investing in our first responders, we invest directly in our community’s safety and its citizens.”
Maureen Mitchell, Township Manager stated, “The Township is very appreciative of the Federal support that we receive, especially from Congressmen Runyan. With this award we are excited to be able to improve our equipment and safety practices which allow us to continue to provide excellent Emergency Medical Services to our residents and community.”
Representative Runyan is a member of the Congressional Fire Caucus and is a strong supporter of funding programs for local fire and rescue services. During fiscal year 2013, the AFG will award $288.8 million to first-responder organizations that need support to improve their ability to respond to emergencies.
Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4870, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015 by a vote of 340 to 73. This legislation provides funding for military operations, critical national security needs, and programs which support our nation’s servicemembers and their families. Included in the bill is an amendment to protect the KC10 fleet authored by Rep. Runyan. The amendment ensures that no funds made available by the bill can be used to retire or transfer, or to prepare or plan for the retirement or transfer of the entire KC-10 fleet during fiscal year 2015.
"My amendment is not only critical to protecting our military’s air refueling mission, but also critical for Joint Base MDL. Prematurely eliminating our KC-10 aircraft could lead to unacceptable mission risk," said Rep. Runyan. "The KC-10 is vital to supporting our men and women in uniform as they continue to serve across the globe."
The KC-10, which entered service in 1981, is the largest refueling aircraft currently in the military's inventory and has made a significant impact on combat operations and overall mission effectiveness. With almost twice the capacity of the much older KC-135, the KC-10 is key because it combines the operations of aerial refueling, long-range cargo transport, and aerial medical transport in a single aircraft. It can be refueled in flight.
Congressman Runyan's KC-10 amendment passed the House of Representatives by voice vote.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-03) made the following statement following the passage of H.R. 4810, the Veterans Access to Care Act of 2014:
“With the release of yesterday’s internal audit report by the VA bringing to light that more than 57,000 of our nation’s veterans are still waiting for an initial appointment with the VA, today the House decided to take action. In an overwhelmingly bipartisan effort, the House of Representatives passed critical legislation to help ensure that our veterans have timely access to the care that they so desperately need.
“As a country, we owe it to our veterans to ensure they receive the health care access and benefits they have earned through service to our nation. As the debate on reforming the VA continues, the common sense legislation we passed today is the least that we can do to help speed up veteran’s access to care. It is my sincere hope that Majority Leader Reid will bring this bipartisan legislation to the Senate floor for a vote as quickly as possible.”
This bill, which Rep. Runyan is an original co-sponsor of, directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with non-VA facilities to provide care to veterans and to contract with independent private sector experts to conduct an assessment of the hospital care and medical services furnished by the VA.
H.R.4810 passed the House of Representatives this afternoon by a vote of 426-0.
LUMBERTON, N.J. - Today, Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-03) visited Interstate Connecting Components (ICC) in Lumberton to see firsthand the skilled jobs that the production of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and amphibious warships bring to the region and local economy. ICC manufactures parts and services for the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier and amphibious warship programs.
During his tour, Congressman Runyan met with the employees at ICC to discuss the unique skills they contribute to the defense industrial base that supplies parts and products critical to both the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carrier and amphibious warship program.
“It was a pleasure to meet the hardworking employees at Interstate Connecting Components to learn more about the significant contributions they make to the local economy and to our national defense,” said Runyan. “This program is critical to ensuring that U.S. forces are fully prepared for an unanticipated crisis anywhere in the world.”
“It was an honor to host Congressman Runyan at our facility today and share the importance of both U.S. Navy shipbuilding programs to our economy,” said Michael Wetzel, General Manager at ICC. “The men and women at ICC are very proud of our role in building a powerful fleet of ships that are vital to our national security. We look forward to Congressman Runyan’s continued support on funding carriers and amphibious warships at a level that will maintain our nation’s strength.”
Congressman Runyan is a member of the House Armed Services Committee where he serves on the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, which oversees Department of the Navy shipbuilding.
MOORESTOWN, N.J. - Today, Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-03) announced that Lockheed Martin, Moorestown has been awarded a contract for the construction of the Space Fence program. This $914.7 million, fixed price contract will significantly improve the way objects are tracked in space and increase the nation’s ability to prevent space-based collisions.
“This is a huge win for Lockheed Martin, Moorestown,” said Congressman Runyan. “The Space Fence program will significantly advance the way the U.S. detects and tracks space debris with much improved accuracy. The Space Fence program is extremely important to all aspects of the U.S. Space program- military space and NASA programs. In addition, this project will support approximately 315 jobs, 200 of which will be right here in Moorestown.”
Space Fence will use a powerful S-band radar which will be constructed at Kwajalein, Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. A second site is planned for Western Australia. A Space Fence prototype in Moorestown has already demonstrated the ability to successfully identify and track small objects in low Earth orbit.
Space Fence construction is slated to begin in the fall of 2014 to meet the program’s 2018 initial operational capability goal.
Congressman Runyan has strongly supported full funding for this program in both appropriations and during debate on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, and in previous years during his tenure in Congress.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-03) made the following statement after the resignation of U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki:
“First off, there is no doubt that Secretary Shinseki is a patriot who has dedicated many years of his life in service to our country both in the United States Army and at the Department of Veteran Affairs.
“With the Secretary’s decision to resign, we can now focus our attention away from whether or not he should or should not resign, and instead work together to address the huge challenges currently facing the VA.
“It is my hope that the new leadership at the VA will continue to look into these issues and that the President and the Congress will hold all of those responsible for the failing of our nation’s veterans accountable. Congress must put pressure on the Department of Veterans Affairs at all levels to ensure that our veterans receive no less than the timely healthcare and other benefits that they have more than earned. It is the least that we can do for the men and women who have given so much to our country.”
Rep. Runyan recently voted for the Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014, legislation that will provide the Secretary of Veterans Affairs greater authority to remove senior executives of the department and hold them accountable for negligence, poor performance, and mismanagement. The bill passed the U.S. House with a large bipartisan majority on May 21, 2014.
WASHINGTON, D.C.-This afternoon, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed Congressman Jon Runyan’s (NJ-03) amendment to H.R.4742, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act. H.R. 4742 would reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act for 5 years.
The amendment, which passed by voice vote, would require the Secretary of Commerce to publish the estimated cost of recovery for a fishery resources disaster no later than 30 days after declaring such a disaster.
“I am pleased that the Committee has passed my bipartisan, straightforward amendment that is needed so that when the next natural disaster decimates a fishing community, that community will receive timely data and not be forced to suffer like the fishermen in New Jersey and New York had to in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,” said Runyan. “It should not take months and months for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to release damage estimates, and my amendment will help protect fishing communities so that they can receive the appropriate amount of aid in a timely manner.”
On November 16, 2012 the Secretary of Commerce declared a fisheries resource disaster for the States of New Jersey and New York in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
In December of 2012 Rep. Runyan requested NOAA to provide the estimated cost of recovery for New Jersey fishing communities.
On January 15, 2013 Hurricane Sandy recovery legislation passed the House with only $5 million in fisheries disaster aid. This aid was originally going to be split amongst every state in the country with a fisheries disaster, but Rep. Runyan added an amendment to restrict the money to New Jersey and New York.
On March 15, 2013, four months after declaring a fishery disaster, NOAA finally released its cost estimate for the fishery disaster in New York and New Jersey, and much too late to be included in recovery legislation.
To read Mr. Runyan’s amendment, click on the attachment below.
WASHINGTON, D.C.-Last night, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015 authored by Rep. Jon Runyan (NJ-03).
The amendment would establish pay parity standards for the Department of Defense wage grade civilian workforce at military installations that were made “joint” during the 2005 round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), which includes Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL).
“I am pleased that the House passed my common sense, bipartisan amendment that would correct the pay disparity that exists for all ‘joint’ installations across the country,” said Runyan. “It makes no sense to have two people doing the exact same job at the same installation, while earning different wages.
‘Not to mention, many of these workers are veterans, which makes the unequal pay even more insulting. This is a huge first step in helping to correct this issue, and I am hopeful that the House will pass NDAA in its entirety.”
Before the 2005 BRAC decision, the current Joint Base MDL was three separate bases, with then Fort Dix and McGuire Air Force Base on one locality pay and Lakehurst on another. When the installations were made into one joint installation, the wage grade pay parity issue was an inadvertent consequence.
Since taking office, Congressman Runyan has consistently worked to resolve this issue. He was made aware of this issue during his very first visit to JB MDL and fixing it has been a top priority. He sent a letter to President Obama, Undersecretary of Defense Erin Conaton, and has led numerous letters to then OPM Director John Berry, urging them all to address this important issue.
The amendment will now be included in the entire FY15 NDAA legislation, which is expected to be voted on today in the House.
1239 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Jon Runyan was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2010 to represent New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District in Congress. The 3rd District is located in central New Jersey and stretches from the Pennsylvania border to the Jersey coastline. It encompasses parts of Burlington and Ocean counties.
Congressman Runyan currently serves on three key committees: the House Armed Services, Veterans Affairs and Natural Resources Committees. He also serves on the Tactical Air and Land, and Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee, which will allow him to protect the jobs and mission of those serving at McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, a joint base for the Air Force, Army and Navy. Congressman Runyan also chairs the Disability and Memorial Affairs (DAMA) Subcommittee of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. This subcommittee oversees veterans’ benefits and cemeteries.
Jon was born in Flint, Michigan where his father worked for General Motors for nearly 30 years while his mother largely stayed home and raised Jon and his two younger twin brothers. An accomplished high school athlete, Jon earned a scholarship to the University of Michigan to play football, becoming the first person in his family to attend college.
From there, he was drafted by the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans) in 1996 and helped the Titans reach the Super Bowl in 2000. Jon then signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he enjoyed a successful career as an offensive tackle, helping to lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl appearance in 2004. Jon retired from football at the end of the 2010 season.
During his time in the NFL Jon was known for his strong work ethic and tenacity on the field, as well as his commitment to community service off the field. He was involved in numerous charities and established a sound reputation as one of the most well-known humanitarians in the Philadelphia-South Jersey area. He worked with the NJ Special Olympics, USO, Leukemia-Lymphoma Society, the American Red Cross, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and served as the Grand Marshall for the Armed Forces Freedom Ride. He also served on the Board of the Alzheimer’s Association of the Delaware Valley and hosted the “Score for the Cure” Golf Tournament benefiting prostate cancer research in New Jersey.
At Michigan, Jon studied Kinesiology, the science of human movement. He has also studied Entrepreneurial Management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. He is only the fourth professional football player to be elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Runyan currently resides in Mount Laurel Township with his wife Loretta and three children, Jon, Jr., Alyssa and Isabella.
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The National Veterans Wheelchair Games start today in Hall A of the PA Convention Center in Philly. #WhereHeroesMakeHistory
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Throwback Thursday! My freshman year at Michigan, with my grandma who we lost to Alzheimer's http://t.co/vb0IIMUF5u