Senator Burr Commends the Passage of Key Pieces of Legislation through the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee

July 26, 2013

Yesterday, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, commended the passage of key pieces of legislation through the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

"Our nation's veterans selflessly give themselves to defend our freedoms, and it is our responsibility to ensure that we provide them with the benefits and services they need and deserve," said Senator Burr. "I commend Chairman Sanders and the members of the committee for giving several important pieces of legislation their due consideration."

Details on the legislation sponsored by Senator Burr that were among the items considered as stand-alone bills by the committee are outlined below:

o S. 572 - The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act

The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act would end the arbitrary process through which the government strips veterans and other Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) beneficiaries of their Second Amendment rights if they are appointed a VA fiduciary to help them with their benefits. Read more here.

o S. 893 - Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013

S. 893 would allow veterans benefits to rise to keep pace with inflation. The cost-of-living adjustment would boost benefits for veterans with service-connected disabilities and for their survivors by the same percent as any increase in Social Security benefits. Read more here.

The following pieces of legislation sponsored by Senator Burr were included in an omnibus bill and a bill addressing veterans' homelessness that were voted on during committee yesterday:

o S. 944 (as introduced) - Veterans' Educational Transition Act of 2013

S. 944 would require public institutions of higher education that are approved for purposes of the All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program and Post-9/11 Educational Assistance to charge certain veterans tuition and fees at no more than the in-state tuition rate.

o S. 529

S. 529 modifies the commencement date of the period of service at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune to be eligible for hospital care and medical services provided in the Janey Ensminger Act of 2012. Read more here.

o S. 495 - Careers for Veterans Act of 2013

The Careers for Veterans Act would help create long-term, sustainable jobs for America's veterans by requiring the federal government to hire 15,000 veterans to fill existing vacancies over the next five years, and transitioning the skills veterans gained through their service into jobs in the civilian workforce. By making licenses and credentials in their chosen fields more accessible, this bill will help our nation's veterans and their families by opening up career opportunities for them without adding to the national deficit. Read more here.

o S. 543 - VISN Reorganization Act of 2013

The Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN) Reorganization Act of 2013 is designed to reduce the number of VISNs and streamline the regional administrative offices of the Veterans Health Administration so that the focus returns to getting care to our veterans. Read more here.

o S. 825 - Homeless Veterans Prevention Act of 2013

This legislation would help VA improve its current prevention programs and VA's transitional housing programs. Read more here.

o S. 748 - Veterans Pension Protection Act

TheVeterans Pension Protection Act would create a "look-back" period, so VA could consider if someone applying for need-based pension recently transferred away assets. There is an entire industry aimed at convincing veterans to move assets in order to artificially qualify for pension benefits. That practice undermines the integrity of a need-based program and can leave elderly veterans without adequate resources in their greatest time of need. Read more here.