House to Vote on Bills Aimed at Helping Veterans

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Five bi-partisan bills designed to provide critical resources and assistance to the nation’s veterans are slated to come before Congress on Monday, U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) announced. The bills demonstrate a bi-partisan commitment to improving the lives of those who have served the United States with honor, Rep. Roby said.

“From working to reduce the outrageous backlog at the Veterans Administration to ensuring that our poorest veterans have ample opportunities for housing, these bills are critically-needed and deserve to pass right away,” Rep. Roby said. “It is our collective duty as a nation to look out for the well-being of our veterans. Swift passage of this package of bills will enhance our education and job training programs, as well as extend a helping hand to homeless veterans.”

One of the bills being considered would limit the amount available for the VA to distribute as employee bonuses. Rep. Roby helped lead an effort earlier this year to prohibit bonuses for Veterans Affairs officials while the agency deals with a backlog of more than 800,000 veterans’ claims.

“Alabama is home to more than 400,000 veterans. My offices in Dothan, Montgomery, and Andalusia work with veterans everyday who need help dealing with delays at the VA. Many of these cases represent a person who has served his or her country only to be denied the benefits they earned because of bureaucratic red tape.

“It is Congress’ role to provide oversight and ensure accountability of Executive agencies on behalf of the American people. I believe rewarding failure only leads to more failure, and I don’t see how this agency can justify giving bonuses to high-ranking officials in the midst of such a massive backlog.

“I’m urging my House colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do right by our nation’s veterans and pass these bills without delay.”

The bills expected to be considered in the House of Representatives under a suspension of the rules are:

·H.R. 1742: Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act of 2013;

·H.R. 2189: To establish a Commission to evaluate the backlog of disability claims of the Department of Veterans Affairs;

·H.R. 2481: Veterans Economic Opportunity Act of 2013;

·H.R. 1405: To require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs include an appeals form in any Notice of Decision issued for the Denial of a Benefit sought; and

·H.R. 2011: Veterans Advisory Committee on Education Improvement Act.