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
On Monday, I had the opportunity to tour and meet with staff at Mid-State Health Center in Bristol, which offers primary care, behavioral health care, laboratory services, and dental and pharmacy services. I was proud to help Mid-State apply for funds through the Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development to build their Bristol location, and I will continue working to ensure every Granite Stater has access to community health centers and the care they need.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, House Veterans’ Affairs Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Julia Brownley (D-CA) requested that the VA Inspector General investigate recent reports of undue influence by unaccountable outside individuals on the operations of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
**NDAA includes a pay raise for military members**
**Kuster priorities and provisions to address military sexual assault, support New Hampshire jobs, fight opioid epidemic included in final legislation**
(Washington, DC) – Last night, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, applauded the passage of five pieces of legislation she has cosponsored to support veterans and their families as well as improve healthcare services at the Department of Veterans Affairs and increase efficiency.
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following statement on the confirmation of Robert Wilkie as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs:
WASHINGTON, DC— Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, today announced that Easterseals NH will be receiving a $206,000 Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program grant from the US Department of Labor. The Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program is the only federal program that specifically focuses on providing employment services to homeless veterans.
**Kuster applauds bipartisan productivity of VA Committee**
** This Congress the Veterans’ Affairs Committee has seen 22 bills signed into law**