Working for Veterans
I am dedicated to honoring the contributions of our service men and women. I want to ensure that those who serve today have incentives to continue, those who served in the past are properly honored, and those who choose to serve in the future are coming into a military system that is the best in the world.
Fair Credit Reporting for Service Members
Our service members make tremendous sacrifices for our country, but their credit score should not be one of them. Too many service members face challenges when they return home because of missed payments incurred while deployed. For many years, I have introduced the Fair Credit Reporting for Service Members Act to give military service members and their families some peace of mind. This bill would allow service members to dispute any negative information, or “dings,” on their credit report that occurred while they were serving in a combat zone or aboard a U.S. vessel. This bill will allow for credit reports that more accurately reflect the full picture. In the 116th Congress, my legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
First introduced in 2014, this legislation came from meetings I had with two courageous parents, John Kelsall, then President of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and his wife, long time Southern California non-profit leader, Teri. They lost their son, Jonas, a Lieutenant Commander and proud Navy Seal, in 2011, during a tour in Afghanistan. To keep their son’s legacy alive, they founded a nonprofit veteran’s business incubator to assist returning U.S. military veterans.
While updating me on the organization’s challenges and successes, they shared one hurdle that kept coming up over and over. Service members and veterans were having trouble obtaining loans to help grow their businesses. This was often due to missing payments that were out of their control during deployments, resulting in hits to their credit. I knew something had to change. Our country continues to ask so much from our men and women in uniform. They deserve financial peace of mind during deployments and they will have that when this becomes law.
Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day
I recognize that many Vietnam veterans returned to the United States in obscurity and without a formal “thank you” or “welcome home.” In an effort to help give Vietnam Veterans the warm reception so many of them didn’t receive, I have introduced a bill each year calling for a “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day”. This legislation has the support of the Vietnam Veterans of America and AmVets.
*Jose Ramos, a Vietnam veteran from Whittier, led a group of veterans on a bike trek across the country to Washington, D.C. The effort brought attention to the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” initiative.
Protecting Veterans Benefits
I have worked hard to ensure the benefits veterans were promised are protected. I continue to oppose legislation that would shut down vital hospitals, cause veterans to lose coverage, and cut services to our veterans.
I was a proud co-sponsor of the Faster Care for Veterans Act, which would allow for a pilot program for veterans to use an internet website to schedule and confirm appointments.
I am committed to ensuring veterans in California get the benefits they have earned. Our nation has a duty to provide veterans the support and care they deserve when they leave active service.