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
Supporting Those Struggling in the Opioid Crisis
Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the lead Democrat on the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, introduced the Enhancing Veterans Experience with Telehealth Services Act (eVETS), bipartisan legislation to improve access to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment via telemedicine. The introduction comes less than a week after the Department of Veterans Affairs reported an alarming surge in the suicide rate among veterans. The bill seeks to remove barriers that stand in the way of vital, evidence-based treatments for veterans with PTSD.
Applauding Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) voted in favor of a bipartisan appropriations bill that funds important priorities for New Hampshire families, and will help to bolster the response to the opioid epidemic. The legislation provides robust funding for community health centers, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and workforce development and technical training programs. It will now head to the President’s desk for his signature.
(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the lead Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, backed legislation that preserves vital programs for veterans in New Hampshire and around the nation. After passing the House, The Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2018 will be sent to the White House for the president’s signature.
(Washington, DC)—Today, Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), and Mike Coffman (R-CO) introduced legislation directing the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to take immediate action to standardize the level of care delivered at the VA’s Community-Based Outpatient Clinics.
Taking Care of Our Veterans
Reflecting on September 11th
(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 her vote in favor of legislation to fund the Department of Veterans Affairs and other federal agencies for the Fiscal Year 2019. The legislation included a number of important provisions that will help veterans in New Hampshire.
Congresswoman Kuster giving remarks at NH Veterans Home
(Tilton, NH) – On the 17th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) joined veterans and their families to reflect upon the anniversary and give remarks on Patriot Day.