Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Attends Veterans Roundtable with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

June 2009

General Robert Magnus, USMC (Ret.), JWV Senior Defense Fellow, represented the JWV at a Roundtable on Veterans Issues on June 17, 2009, convened by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The roundtable was also attended by more than 20 other Members of Congress, including Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA), and Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO).

The JWV was pleased to learn that H.R. 1016, the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, has been passed unanimously out of the Veterans Affairs Committees. It was announced at the roundtable that the full House will take up the legislation before the August recess.

This legislation provides for long-needed reform of the Veterans Health Care System and provides advance appropriations that will lead to sufficient, timely and predictable funding for veterans health care, while allowing Congress, the President, and VA to retain the discretion they currently have to set VA's funding levels.

Other legislation coming up soon for a vote of the full House includes provision to pass benefits from the GI Bill to children of fallen soldiers and provides payment retroactive to 9/11 for those service people whose deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan were extended through stop-loss.

Other issues of importance to the JWV that were discussed at the roundtable included proposed training to help lower the increasingly high suicide rate among returning veterans; the reluctance of employers to hold jobs for Reserve and National Guard troops who may redeploy and the problem of high levels of unemployment among returning veterans; the need for increased health care for returning female veterans; an increase in vocational training opportunities under the GI Bill; and the need to reform concurrent receipt and Survivor Benefit DIC payments.

JWV looks forward to attending future roundtables and will continue to fight for the rights and benefits to which veterans of all wars are entitled and have won.

 

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