VOL. 3, NO. 2
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“He (McCarthy) led the Republican Conference in voting against veterans’ health care, voting rights, pandemic relief, gun reform, infrastructure investments, and many other opportunities to address the needs of the American people. Now, as we turn the page to a new Congress, House Republicans are doubling down on their commitment to extremism, proposing an agenda that slashes reproductive freedom, undermines our planet, and strips health care from millions of Americans. As Members of Congress, we take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, including coming together to find common ground where we can. We are resolute in that commitment and are ready to work with Members across the aisle if they can find their way back to the American people.” – Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5)
Please join our caucus to show your support for the U.S. military!
Editor’s Message —
Greetings! The recent election of the new Speaker of the House, on the 15th ballot, made it clear how dysfunctional the new slim majority party in the House is. It also gave U.S. Representative Katharine Clark, Democrat, Massachusetts (5th District), the opportunity to highlight how the Democrats have supported the American people and how the other party has refused to support them. When Kevin McCarthy finally had enough votes to be speaker, Clark stated how troubling this was. After all, “no" votes from Republicans included equal pay, child care, paid family leave, the fundamental right to vote for every American, and supporting veteran access to healthcare.
Watch Clark’s House floor nominating speech for Hakeem Jeffries in which she enumerates how the other party does not support the needs of the American people.
“…When small businesses needed to reopen, and the American people wanted vaccines, they said no…When we capped insulin costs for seniors, at $35 a month, they said no. When we lowered health care costs and premiums for working families, they said no. When we defended the civil rights of LGBTQ+ Americans, they said no. When we protected lives from senseless gun violence, especially in the wake of the horrors of Buffalo and Uvalde, they said no. When we stood up for women and reproductive freedom, they said no. When we brought manufacturing back to America, they said no. When we answered the urgent call to protect our planet and invest in clean energy, and create tens of millions of good-paying jobs, they said no…”
Then watch Hakeem Jeffries’ Alphabet Speech and his historic first speech on the House floor, so that you have no doubt that Democrats are moving forward with a united front to do what is best for the American people.
What can we do? Immediately request our absentee ballots for all 2023 elections at www.VoteFromAbroad.org and start working to secure victory in all upcoming elections! If you vote in Ohio, recent election law changes shorten the amount of time for the receipt of overseas absentee ballots, so please get involved in overturning this!
“We believe – that in America our diversity is a strength; it is not a weakness – an economic strength, a competitive strength, a cultural strength. Our diversity is a strength; it is not a weakness. We are a gorgeous mosaic of people from throughout the world. As John Lewis would sometimes remind us on this floor: we may have come over on different ships, but we're all in the same boat now.” –Hakeem Jeffries
|2023 VA Disability Pay Chart (Official Guide)|
Survivor Benefit Plan Open Season NDAA2023 enroll before January 1, 2024.
Enroll in Direct Deposit - Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP)
Interested in filing a VA claim/appeal?
The American Legion provides expert assistance to Veterans and their families, free of charge. Contact Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation.
Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on April 1, 2023.
Get the VA Mobile APP The official VA mobile app helps you manage your VA health care and benefits on your mobile device. Use the app to manage common tasks like checking your claim status and communicating with your VA health care team.
February 3 – Four Chaplains Day
February 3 – Mindfulness Meditation 11:00 am to 12 noon ET offered via telephone:1-404-397-1596 or 1-833-558-0712 (Toll Free) Access code: 433 794 55
February 4 – USO Birthday
February 4 – Philippine-American War Memorial Day
February 11 – VMF Caucus Steering Committee Meet & Greet 14:00 EST link
February 12-18 – National Salute to Veteran Patients
February 13 – Veteran Career Transition Assistance Program Virtual 6 pm PT
February 14 – Transitioning Army & Spouse Virtual Career Fair Virtual 11 am ET
February 16 – Corporate Gray Virtual Military-Friendly Job Fair Virtual 11 am ET
February 19 – Coast Guard Reserve Birthday
February 20 – World Day of Social Justice
February 20 – President’s Day
Six states have elections scheduled.
KENTUCKY, LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI, NEW JERSEY, VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN
WHAT’S CONGRESS UP TO?
Senators pass Electoral Count Act reform in wake of Capitol riot December 22, 2022
H.R.6604 — Latest action: 12/27/2022 Signed into law by President Biden
The “Veterans Eligible to Transfer School (VETS) Credit Act” deals with VA assistance for the transfer of credits due to the closure/disapproval of an education program.
H.R. 7939, Latest action: 01/05/2023 Signed into law by President Biden
The “Veterans Auto and Education Improvement Act of 2022,” contains amendments related to VA educational assistance benefits in emergency situations.
S.2333 Latest action: 01/05/2023 Signed into law by President Biden The “Equal Pay for Team USA Act of 2022,” requires equal compensation for all athletes who represent the United States in amateur athletic competitions.
Bills Signed White House Press Release January 5, 2023
Free career training program a proven benefit for transitioning military families Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute’s Onward to Opportunity training program-free professional certification and support services to transitioning service members, Veterans and military spouses. Syracuse Abroad Program locations outside the U.S.
Click here for our Spotlight The Emancipation Proclamation
Click here for our Podcast & Social Media Recommendations
Click here for our Poetry Corner
Click here for our Film and Book Recommendations
Click here for our Brain-Zone Quiz
Click here for our Educational Resources
Click here for our Virtual Museum
GLOBAL VMF CAUCUS MEETINGS
The Global VMF Caucus Steering Committee meets once a month.
All Democrats Abroad members are welcome to attend.
WebEx link for 11 February at 14:00 EST Password: dems
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Please join our caucus to show your support for the U.S. military!
Terese Sarno (Germany)
Veterans and Military Families Caucus Chair:
Kee Adams Evans (Guatemala)
“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” – Abraham Lincoln