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.
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 calling for a “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day,” (H.R. 30). 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.
Elimination of the "Widow's Tax" - I know the importance of the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), a program intended to ensure that the surviving dependents of retired military personnel will continue to have a reasonable level of income. However, once the widow of a military retiree reaches age 62, normally the same age she is eligible for Social Security, her SBP benefit is reduced from 55 percent of the retiree’s pension to 35 percent. I support correcting this problem and am a co-sponsor of the “Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act,” (H.R. 808).
Mandatory VA Health Care Funding - Veterans have earned their health care benefits with their tremendous sacrifices. I strongly feel that the VA should not have to compete with other government agencies for scarce dollars. I am a proud cosponsor of the “Assured Funding for Veterans Health Care Act” (H.R. 515), which would not only increase VA health funding this year, but also provide a formula to calculate mandatory VA funding for the future. I am working hard to make sure that the VA has the resources to provide veterans with superior health care.