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) – 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.
(Concord, NH)- Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement ahead of Veterans Day tomorrow:
**You can watch Kuster’s remarks in Committee here**
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the lead Democrat on the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, applauded House passage of several pieces of legislation aimed at improving services for veterans. Kuster is an original cosponsor of the Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act, which would improve access to mental health services for veterans who receive a less than honorable discharge.
(Washington, DC) - Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), are applauding the Department of Veterans Affairs’ approval of plans unveiled by Manchester VA Medical Center Acting Director Alfred Montoya to improve the center’s facilities for women veterans, which were damaged during a catastrophic flood at the center in July.
(Washington, DC) - Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the Ranking Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, welcomed the decision by the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin to remove Dr. Michael Mayo-Smith, the Network Director for the VA New England Healthcare System (VISN 1), as co-chair of the Task Force that will evaluate failures in care for patients at the Manchester VAMC and make recommendations for improvements moving forward.
(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to decertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA):
(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs cleared legislation, backed by Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), to improve management at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA Management Alignment Act of 2017 would direct the VA to justify the current distribution of roles and responsibilities at the VA and provide recommendations to optimize its organizational effectiveness and accountability.
(Washington, DC) – Today, the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation is requesting that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs improve facilities for women veterans who receive care at the Manchester VA Medical Center. The current women’s facility was damaged during a catastrophic flood in July, and the delegation is urging Acting Director Alfred Montoya to use the rebuilding period as an opportunity to ensure women veterans, some of whom are survivors of military sexual trauma, are able to receive care in an appropriate setting.