Supporting Veterans, Military Families, and National Security
As a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee and daughter and daughter-in-law of WWII veterans, I am proud to advocate for the courageous veterans, service members, and military families who have sacrificed so much for our country. We have a fundamental responsibility to strengthen health care benefits, cut bureaucratic red tape, expand job opportunities, and properly honor the dedicated men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States.
As a nation, we have the duty to serve our nation’s veterans as well as they have served us, which is why I am taking the following actions:
- Helping Veterans Secure Employment: I helped introduce the Troop Talent Act (H.R. 1796), legislation that would improve the alignment of specialty skills acquired in the military with civilian certifications or licenses required for post-service employment, expands existing efforts to meet current workforce demands, and implements quality assurance measures to ensure credentials translate into the private sector. In addition, I helped introduce the Boosting Rates of American Veteran Employment (BRAVE) Act (H.R. 1382), which would encourage the hiring of veterans to support businesses that employ them.
- Ending Military Sexual Trauma and Assault. In May of 2013, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a report which found that the number of service members anonymously reporting sexual assaults increased by more than 30% over the past two years. To combat this threat to our service members, I was proud to lead a bipartisan group of lawmakers in calling for a hearing on the VA’s efforts to meet the needs of veteran survivors of military sexual trauma, and in July of 2013 this request was granted. I also cosponsored the SUPPORT Act (H.R. 2026), bipartisan legislation that would improve support for survivors of military sexual assault and confront issues surrounding it head-on, like retaliation and the stigma surrounding male victimization. I am also a cosponsor of the Stopping Exploitation of Power Act (H.R. 4864), which would address situations where someone uses their position, rank, or authority to coerce another person in a sexual assault.
- Eliminating the Veterans Benefits Backlog. As part of my commitment to serving our nation’s veterans, I joined a group of lawmakers on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in proposing a coordinated legislative package to help the VA address the shameful backlog of benefit claims. In 2015, I helped introduce the Veterans Benefits Claims Filing Act of 2015; legislation that would provide veterans accurate information about faster filing options and encourage them to submit Fully Developed Claims (FDCs) to help the VA process quicker. The bill would also require the VA to measure and compare the average turnaround times for five types of filing options each quarter.
To better serve our nation’s veterans, service members, and military families, I am a member of the Military Families Caucus, the Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus, the Veterans Jobs Caucus, the USO Congressional Caucus, and the United Service Organization Caucus.
More on Supporting Veterans, Military Families, and National Security
(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the lead Democrat on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs’ Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, released the following statement on the results of an Office of Inspector General (OIG) report on conditions at the Washington, DC VAMC. The report identified that medical equipment and supply shortages and an ineffective inventory management system are placing patients at risk of harm.
(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement on yesterday's U.S. airstrike against a Syrian military airfield:
(Washington, DC) – Today it was reported in the Washington Examiner that as many as 7 million veterans could lose access to tax credits for their health insurance under the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The proposed change comes as a result of yet another late night amendment to appease the Tea Party wing of the Republican party.
A high resolution version of the photo is available here
(Washington, DC) — Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee Chairmen Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) and Jack Bergman (R-MI), along with Ranking Members Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Julia Brownley (D-CA) released the following statements on the introduction of the VA Prescription Data Accountability Act:
Kuster Applauds Announcement by the Department of Veterans Affairs that it will offer mental health services to veterans with other-than-honorable administrative discharges
Kuster helped introduce the Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act to extend access to mental health services
(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) applauded last night’s remarks by Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin about the need for the VA to move toward a commercially tested IT record system.
The Exchange Between Sectary Shulkin and Congresswoman Kuster is Available Here
Kuster shared concerns of North Country veterans with VA head
Kuster and Shulkin also discussed pain management and the prescribing of opioid drugs in the VA