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  • House passes fix to veterans health care tax credit controversy

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON  — House lawmakers on Thursday quietly passed a fix regarding veterans status under the proposed new health care bill that Republican supporters hope will silence one part of the opposition to the measure. 

    The legislation passed by voice vote without opposition. The bill states that veterans who are eligible for medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs but not using those services are eligible for health insurance tax credits under the American Health Care Act. 

    Republicans billed the measure as nothing more than bookkeeping work.  

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  • As the choice program runs out of money this year, VA reiterates need for a redesign

    Type of content: News

    The Veterans Affairs Department is quickly running out of money in its Choice program account, one of several funding streams VA uses to pay for veterans to receive community health care.

    This development with the Choice program is only the latest of a series of pain points for the department and Congress. Yet VA Secretary David Shulkin said it only emphasizes the urgency of redesigning and simplifying the Choice program in the near future.

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  • VA secretary backs off plan to cut elderly vets' benefits

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Administration officials are backing away from plans to slash tens of thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits from elderly veterans after an outcry from advocates who warned the move could cause significant financial harm to vulnerable veterans.  

    During a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said that he wants to avoid any policy changes that “hurt veterans” and is considering other options to the proposed changes. 

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  • Congress passes long-awaited Veterans Affairs Accountability Act

    Type of content: News

    Congress approved long-sought legislation Tuesday to make firing employees easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs, part of an effort urged by President Trump to fix a struggling agency serving millions of veterans.

    The bill will make it easier for VA employees, including executives, to be fired by lowering the standard of evidence required to "remove, demote or suspend" someone for poor performance or misconduct. It also gives whistleblowers more protections, including preventing the VA from removing an employee with an open whistleblower case. 

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  • California Lawmakers Pass Bill Expanding Job Opportunities for Veterans

    Type of content: News

    Private-sector California employers might soon be able to establish a voluntary preference for hiring military veterans regardless of when the veterans served, thanks to a bill that recently passed the state assembly.

    The veterans' hiring preference currently in use is limited to Vietnam-era veterans and only immunizes employers from gender discrimination claims.

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  • House Passes VA Appeals Bill and 5 Other Veterans Measures

    Type of content: News

    The House unanimously passed legislation Tuesday aiming to shorten the amount of time veterans wait for earned benefits, a process that takes an average of six years when a veteran is forced to appeal a claim with the Board of Veterans' Appeals.

    But thousands of veterans are waiting much longer, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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  • These young Philly veterans are convinced they can help the city

    Type of content: News

    Chris Diaz, Ryan Peters and a handful of veteran friends were at Fogo de Chao enjoying a 50 percent discount last Veterans Day when the casual lunch inevitably turned serious.

    As Peters said, they’re all “alpha personalities” and were sharing details of their accomplishments at work and in graduate school. At some point, Peters recalled, the idea clicked: “Why don’t we do that together?”

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  • New award for vet-friendly businesses passes with budget bill

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — One congressman’s plans to honor veteran-friendly businesses helped keep the federal government from shutting down last week. 

    California Republican Rep. Paul Cook’s “HIRE Vets Act” was signed into law over the weekend, after lawmakers made it the legislative vehicle for their omnibus budget plan to fund government operations through September. The $1.16 trillion spending plan includes a $15 billion boost in defense spending for the final five months of the budget year. 

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  • Latest GI Bill fight could sideline a host of planned reforms

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Plans for GI Bill reforms this year are all but dead after a high-profile, emotional fight among veterans advocates in recent days over proposed dramatic changes to the popular benefit. 

    The conflict comes after months of behind-the-scenes work testing the idea of charging future active-duty troops for an improved veterans education benefit, a proposal that proved more controversial when it became public sooner than supporters had anticipated.

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    Education
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    VA
  • Latest GI Bill Fight Could Sideline a Host of Planned Reforms

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Plans for GI Bill reforms this year are all but dead after a high-profile, emotional fight among veterans advocates in recent days over proposed dramatic changes to the popular benefit. 

    The conflict comes after months of behind-the-scenes work testing the idea of charging future active-duty troops for an improved veterans education benefit, a proposal that proved more controversial when it became public sooner than supporters had anticipated.

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    Benefits
    Education
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