News from DC -The Week of 2019-10-06


Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) introduced S. 2594 [bill text not yet publicly available online], a bill to modify certain requirements with respect to service and retirement for the purposes of veterans' preference for Federal hiring.

Rep. Max Rose (D-NY-11) introduced H.R. 4613, the VA Reporting Transparency Act. This bill aims to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish and maintain a website of the Department that allows the public to obtain electronic copies of certain legislatively requested reports of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA-49) and Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA-45) introduced H.R. 4609 [bill text not yet publicly available online], a bill which aims to include a full-time job with a veterans or military service organization as a public service job eligible for public service loan forgiveness.

Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA-49) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11) introduced H.R. 4526, the Brian Tally VA Employment Transparency Act. This bill aims to support veterans with legal claims against the Department of Veterans Affairs or its contractors. More specifically, the bill would require the VA, within 30 days of a veteran submitting a claim, to provide notice of the importance of securing legal counsel; the employment status of any individual involved in the claim; and the statute of limitations in the relevant state if the claim involves a contractor. Background: The bill is named after Marine Veteran Brian Tally, who was denied the opportunity to file a medical malpractice claim due to a lack of transparency and efficiency at the VA. The VA failed to inform Tally that his doctor was a contractor and that his claim had to be filed in state court until after the statute of limitations had expired.

Rep. T.J. Cox (D-CA-21) introduced H.R. 4589 [bill text not yet publicly available online], a bill to give permanent authorization for the VA Grant Program for the Transportation of Highly Rural Veterans. Background: Currently every two years Congress must reauthorize this vital program that appropriates $3 million dollars in grants each year to aid in transportation of highly rural veterans to medical care. This bill would permanently extend authority of this program.

Rep. T.J. Cox (D-CA-21) introduced H.R. 4588 [bill text not yet publicly available online], the Modernizing VA’s Records Management Program Act. The bill would treat digitized records as originals with respect to claims administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

House Democrats’ letter to the Secretary of Agriculture Highlighting Harmful Impact of Proposed SNAP Restrictions on Veterans

Article: “Trump signs stopgap spending bill, averting shutdown”

Article: “How Mark Milley, a General Who Mixes Bluntness and Banter, Became Trump’s Top Military Adviser”

New CRS report: “Military Funding for Southwest Border Barriers”

New CRS report: “American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics”

Press release from the Union of Concerned Scientists: “Science Group Supports Sen. Peters’ Push for PFAS Phase-Out”

Article: “House Again Rejects Trump’s Border Emergency”

Article: “Sen. Tillis (R-NC) talks about impeachment, military cuts in visit to Fort Bragg”

Article: “Senator Tillis skydives with Army's ‘Golden Knights’"

Article: “Lawmakers push for bill that would give low-income military families a 'basic needs' allowance”

Article: “Senate votes unanimously for Jones’ Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act in final defense bill”

Article: “Governor confirms veterans town hall, still no word from congressman”

Article: “Top defense Republican plans to leave the House next year”

Article: “Retired Air Force general joins race for US Senate in Maine”

Article: “Postal service to release redesigned Purple Heart 'forever' stamp”

Article: “Large chunk of border wall funding diverted from Air Force, Marine projects in Guam”

Article: “This is how climate change could hurt VA hospitals and programs”

Article (and audio): “Veterans Affairs Secretary Evicts Members Of Congress From Offices In VA Hospitals”

Op-ed: “Congress Should Honor WWII Merchant Marine Veterans”

Opinion piece: “Time for younger veterans to take stand”

Article: “Rep. Luria’s bipartisian bill becomes law after being signed by President Trump”

Article: “Republican Senator Tells Army Veteran And Doctor ‘You’re So Pretty, If You Take A Little Longer, I Won’t Say Anything’ During Hearing”

Article: “'I'm not waiting anymore': GOP congressman wants to increase veteran access to service dogs”

Article: “More concerns over whistleblower protections at VA”

Fact check: “Did Democrats Vote to Give Immigrants Better Health-Record System Than Vets?”

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Press Release: “Takano, Roe Challenge Congress To Collect, Preserve, Veterans’ Stories”

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Press Release: “Chairman Takano Leads Bipartisan Congressional Delegation To South Pacific To Meet With Veterans, Tour VA Facilities”

Article: “House lawmakers argue proposed change to food stamps would harm veterans”

Reminder: The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 840, the Veterans’ Access To Child Care Act by a vote of 400 to 9 back in February. It is now a part of the “McConnell Graveyard.”


New report from the National Academies: “Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society”

Article: “Suspicious insulin injections, nearly a dozen deaths: Inside an unfolding investigation at a VA hospital in West Virginia”

Article: “In a First, Pentagon Releases Data on Military Spouse and Child Suicides”

Article: “Defense Secretary vows branches will continue to fight suicide in the ranks”

Article: “U.S. military intensifies scrutiny on housing, issues ultimatum on health hazards”

News from PA (article): “Bill proposes turning over Pa.’s lieutenant governor residence for veterans’ use, instead of selling it”

News from KY (article): “Bevin touts tax reform that caters to veterans”

News from NY (article): “Veterans' Services Trained in LGBTQ Cultural Competency”

News from GU (article): “Guam veterans want better health care, VA office”

News from CA (article): “Salas’s Legislation to Provide Tax Relief for Disabled Vets Signed by Governor”

News from IL (article): “Illinois deported Army veteran back in Chicago as free man for 1st time in decade”

News from SD (article): “Governor, VA Secretary tour Ft. Meade VA Medical Center”

News from MN (article): “IG Speaks On ‘Perverse’ VA Emergency Room Denial Incentives”

Article: “The Trump Administration Issues Dozens of Corrections to Its Error-Riddled Immigration Rule:

Just weeks before a sweeping immigration policy takes effect, the administration is correcting substantive errors, including ones uncovered by ProPublica that would have had big impacts on military families.”

Article: “USCIS is reducing when and where naturalization services are available to US troops around the world”

Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs press release: “VA provides Veterans fleeing domestic violence with  housing and supportive services”

Article: “The National Guard’s suicide rate has surpassed the other military components”

New GAO report: “VA HEALTH CARE: Additional Training Could Improve Organ Transplant Referral and Evaluation Processes”

Article: “VA to begin sharing veterans’ health information with non-VA doctors”

Article: “Department of Defense selects Virginia for expansion of military child care assistance program”

Article: “Veterans secretary promises better healthcare for Native and rural veterans”



Article: “'A profound national security concern' — Over 300 former officials endorse Trump impeachment inquiry”

Article/Video: “Deported Army Veteran Miguel Perez Jr. Granted Citizenship After Governor Pardoned Him For 2010 Drug Conviction”

Article: “‘I Am Fearless Again’: New Veterans’ Group Gives Women a Sense of Belonging”

Article: “Veterans benefits will see a cost-of-living bump this year, but how much?”

Article: “Are you ready for TRICARE copayment increases?”

Tweet from the DA Black Caucus regarding veterans suicide

Article: “Polk woman, 1st female combat Marine selected to Veterans’ Hall of Fame”

Article: “How do military families prepare for deployment?”

Article: “Women Veterans Have Unique Transition Problems, But We Don't See Them”

Article: “Is this military spouse federal hiring authority working? Feds — and spouses — want to know”

Opinion piece: “Businesses should hire military spouses”

Article: “Young vets unemployment up again in September”

Opinion piece: “Honoring Gold Star Families”

Purdue University press release: “New reports show military and veteran suicide rates, numbers are still concerning”

Article: “Russian 'troll factories' are actively targeting vets and troops in an effort to pit us against each other”

Article: “More Veterans See Improvements in VA Health Care, VFW Survey Finds”

Article: “Do veterans lack social-emotional skills? A major study finds that many civilian employers believe they do.”

Article: “Woman Trying to End Sexual Assault at V.A. Centers Says She Is Attacked in One”

Article: “Out of uniform: Helping military vets transition to civilian life”

Article: “Medal of Honor Museum to be located in Texas”

Opinion piece: “Our military and their families are paying for the wall, not Mexico”

Article: “Brace yourselves: some Tricare drug costs will see a major increase next year”