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Legislation

  • In defense bill battle, military pay and benefits are casualties

    Type of content: News

    Military advocates lost on almost every big benefits fight they waged in the legislative run-up to the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill.

    The legislation is still in limbo, awaiting a presidential veto that could end up scuttling nine months of Capitol Hill work on the annual military policy measure. But in the lobbying arena, Pentagon penny pinchers who pushed for trims in military personnel spending accounts already can declare victory, having swayed lawmakers to their side.

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    Topics
    DoD
    Legislation
  • Health care reforms already underway, VA insists

    Type of content: News

    Congressional critics say Department of Veterans Affairs health offerings need to be overhauled.

    VA's leader insists that work is already underway.

    In a tense, at times confrontational hearing Wednesday, VA Secretary Bob McDonald responded to a new congressionally mandated report calling for drastic changes throughout the system, citing “shortfalls in overall accountability, role clarity, personal ownership, internal communication and proactive problem-solving.”

    Lawmakers called the scathing report an indictment of systemic problems throughout the department.

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    Topics
    Legislation
    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Higher drug co-pays, uniform DoD-VA formulary in defense bill

    Type of content: News

    Easier access to urgent care, higher pharmacy co-pays and a coordinated formulary between the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments are among the changes service members, families and retirees will see in health care as a result of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill.

    If the legislation gets past a threatened veto from President Obama over unrelated issues, Tricare beneficiaries will see an uptick in co-payments for prescription medications at retail pharmacies and by mail once the bill, HR 1735, becomes law.

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    Topics
    DoD
    Legislation
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • VA Choice would expand under McCain proposal

    Type of content: News

    Sen. John McCain introduced a bill Wednesday that would extend the VA Choice Card program indefinitely and expand eligibility to include every veteran enrolled in VA health care.

    Saying the Veterans Affairs Department has been "slow to implement the program" since enactment a year ago of the law broadening private care options for veterans, the Arizona Republican believes his bill would remove any lingering uncertainty about the program, which will end in 2017.

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    Topics
    Legislation
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Senate launches Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Caucus

    Type of content: News

    Lawmakers in the newly formed Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Caucus hope the coalition can speed reforms for the Veterans Affairs Department by brokering a deal for their respective parties.

    “I think this is the perfect caucus to do that kind of work,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., a co-founder of the new group. “We want to move legislation that benefits our veterans. We think a lot of the issues are urgent … and I think there is a ton of common ground.”

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    Topics
    Legislation
  • Let homeless veterans live on West Los Angeles VA site, say Feinstein, Boxer and Lieu

    Type of content: News

    LOS ANGELES — Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, in conjunction with Rep. Ted Lieu, called today for legislation that would facilitate housing for homeless veterans on the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus.

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    Topics
    Homelessness
    Legislation
    VA
  • House Roll Call: Veterans Affairs Accountability Act

    Type of content: News

    The 256-170 roll call Wednesday by which the House passed the VA Accountability Act, making it easier to fire or demote employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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    Topics
    Legislation
  • Obama to announce DoD's new credit protections

    Type of content: News

    New, stronger rules aimed at protecting service members from high-cost loans will take effect starting Oct. 1, according to Obama administration officials.

    President Obama is expected to announce the rules in his address to the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention Tuesday, one of a number of initiatives and issues related to service members and veterans that he is expected to discuss at the convention.

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    Topics
    DoD
    Financial Assistance
    Legislation
  • Congress approves bill allowing all veterans to obtain VA-issued ID cards

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON –  A bill allowing all veterans to receive official identification cards through the Department of Veterans Affairs is on its way to President Barack Obama's desk.

    The House approved the bill unanimously late Tuesday. Supporters say the bill should minimize the threat of identity theft and make it easier for veterans to prove their military service.

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    Topics
    Legislation
    VA
  • Congress on verge of passing Rep. Vern Buchanan's veterans ID bill

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON -- A bill that would create a uniform identification card for U.S. military veterans is in the final stages of its journey from idea to law, and is being seen both as a nice benefit for America's fighting men and woman and an illustration of just how hard it can be to get anything through Congress.

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    Topics
    Legislation
    VA

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