Our veterans have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, but too often, their struggle continues when they return home.
Yesterday, House Republicans passed six solutions to empower our American heroes — from employment opportunities to health care. While there is still a lot of work to do for our veterans, these six bills are a step in the right direction:
H.R. 1382, Boosting Rates of American Veteran Employment Act
This bill prioritizes contractors who hire veterans full-time when selecting government projects. It also holds contractors accountable — punishing those who falsify veteran employment numbers for personal gain.
H.R. 1313, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Relief Act
We have a service to those who stood beside our veterans, too. This bill allows a surviving spouse to retain the veteran’s “Vets First” small business status, so that their small business dream and economic support can continue.
H.R. 1038, Ensuring VA Employee Accountability Act
One of the greatest perpetrators against our veterans has been the Department of Veterans Affairs. Under current policy, a VA employee misdemeanor is only on record for two years — and then it disappears. This bill demands all discrepancies stay on file for as long as the employee is on staff, so managers can get a full picture of when hiring.
H.R. 474, Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act of 2015
The homeless epidemic cannot be ignored. H.R. 474 provides grant money for job-training programs to organizations that service homeless veterans. Empowering our veterans with resources to make their lives better is a long-term, sustainable solution.
H.R. 91, Veteran’s I.D. Card Act
Many of our veterans are unable to document their service without carrying around official records that contain sensitive personal information, putting them at risk for identity theft. This bill establishes a identification card and unique number so our heroes can be recognized appropriately and efficiently.
H.R. 1816, Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act of 2015
Exempting veterans from including in-home health aid benefits as part of their gross income when determining low-income housing programs does two things: it ensures these veterans can stay in their homes and makes sure they still have access to the health care they need. This bill does that.
As Memorial Day approaches, there is no better opportunity to reflect on how we can serve our veterans and make their lives better. These six are a start — but House Republicans know there is a lot more work to do for our greatest heroes. We will not rest until our veterans get the care they need and the treatment they deserve.