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 Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, released the following statement on the VA Office of Inspector General report that outlined improper use of government funds by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, David Shulkin:
(Concord, NH) - Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the Ranking Member of the Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, is calling for a Congressional oversight hearing to investigate the Department of Veterans Affairs’ review practices. Kuster is sending a letter to the Subcommittee Chairman Jack Bergman (R-MI) requesting the hearing following a scathing review of VA’s investigation into challenges at the Manchester VA Medical Center.
(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following statement on President Trump’s Executive Order on services for veterans who are transitioning to civilian life. The Executive Order includes several Kuster priorities, such as transitioning the VA’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) to the same system used by the Department of Defense (DOD).
**Kuster’s Promoting Travel, Commerce, and National Security Act was signed into law in the United States last year**
**Legislation would promote trade and tourism, improve national security between the U.S. and Canada**
(Washington, DC) – Last night, the Senate passed the VA Prescription Data Accountability Act, legislation authored by Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force. The legislation would clarify current law to stipulate that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is required to disclose information to state controlled substance monitoring programs for anyone – veteran or non-veteran – who is prescribed these medications through VA.