Thursday, July 9, 2009
Report from the U.S. House
July 4, 2009, marks USA’s 233rd anniversary
This past weekend marked the 233rd anniversary of our nation’s independence.
I was extremely pleased to be home in Mississippi’s First District last week to commemorate this great day and pay tribute to those who honorably served our country, as well as the men and women who still fight to protect our freedoms today. I visited our new Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic in Tupelo, and had the opportunity to thank our troops and wish them well at the Calhoun County National Guard sendoff.
Without the admirable work of our men and women in the armed services, both at home and abroad, we wouldn’t be able to keep the independence that we fought so hard for over two centuries ago.
To honor their service, we must protect our soldiers’ hard-earned benefits upon their return home. To do this, the U.S. House of Representa-tives recently passed several important pieces of legislation that will ensure veterans’ access to quality health care.
At the end of June, the House passed the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act (H.R. 1016) to secure timely health care funding for the VA. The bill authorizes Congress to approve veterans’ medical care funding one year in advance to better anticipate, and meet the demand for, veterans’ health care services. The advanced funding will give the VA up to a full year to plan for the most effective and efficient way of delivering medical care, and will ensure that veterans have full access to health care services even when funding is delayed.
The issue of advanced funding is a top priority for veterans service organizations. Over 40 groups, including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, support this legislation.
In addition, Congress recently passed the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act (S. 407), and the House passed the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act (H.R. 1211). S. 407 increases veterans’ disability payments to reflect cost-of-living increases. H.R. 1211 addresses the specific issues faced by women veterans, expanding and improving the health care services available to them, and working to make those services more accessible.
These bills build on other significant accomplishments for veterans and troops over the last year, including passage of the New GI Bill, progress in improving veterans’ hospitals and facilities, the expansion of economic opportunities for returning soldiers, and improvement in care for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
I will continue to stand up for veterans and work to ensure that they have the first-class care they need and deserve. I hope all of my constituents had a wonderful Independence Day, and I thank all of our soldiers for their honorable service to this great country.
As members of the Mississippi National Guard prepare to deploy for the first, second, and even third time, my thoughts and prayers are with them and their families. God bless our troops and God bless America.
As always, please continue to keep me informed about your opinions and concerns by phone at (202) 225-4306 or by visiting my website at www.childers.house.gov.
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