Since I became a member of Congress, I have worked to ensure that all our veterans are given access to affordable housing, healthcare, and tuition assistance. With our aging veteran population and so many new veterans returning home, I am committed to providing veterans and their families with the care and benefits they deserve.
Our men and women in uniform face enormous challenges adjusting to civilian life upon returning home, and I support efforts to help our veterans make this transition. Just as the military pledges to leave no soldier behind on the battlefield, we will leave no veteran behind when they return home. I am proud to have supported the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act, which was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives and subsequently signed into law by the President on February 12, 2015. This legislation expands access to mental health services for our nation’s veterans and increases the capacity and efficiency of VA care for the more than one million veterans returning from war.
The original GI Bill sparked economic growth and expansion after World War II for a whole generation of Americans and made a free college education available to more than 15 million war veterans. I am proud to have voted for the GI Bill for the 21st Century. The new GI Bill fully restores complete, four-year college scholarships for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, making it on par with the educational benefits available to returning soldiers after World War II. Specifically, this bill increases educational benefits for those who have served at least 3 months on active duty since September 11, 2001. Additionally, those who have served on active-duty for three years or more would qualify for the full educational benefit or the costs of a four-year education up to the level of the most expensive in-state public school.
I will continue to do everything I can in Congress to ensure that veterans in the 8th District have access to the important care and services they were promised. We must remain devoted to strengthening quality health care for veterans, and must continue to send returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to college under the new GI Bill. Please know that my office is always open to address any needs or concerns of veterans in our community.
More on Veterans
Last week in Washington, I cosponsored a number of bills to enhance veterans’ health, attended two Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings which examined Russia as a counterterrorism partner and the effectiveness of the Kingpin Designation Act, and spoke on the floor about the dangerous effects of the Majority’s tax plan. I also met with different groups to discuss legislative priorities.
While in Washington this week, I cosponsored several pieces of legislation to assist our veterans and a bill to grow American income, discussed the role of external actors in the deteriorating situation in Venezuela, and met with the Ambassadors from Honduras and Antigua and Barbuda.
The month of August was busy as I addressed current events, cosponsored new legislation, and sent letters to the Administration urging for the protection of important policies that are essential to the wellbeing of New Jersey and the nation. As Congress returns to Washington this week, it is crucial that we work together in bipartisan cooperation to address unfinished business and pressing issues such as relief for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
(Elizabeth, N.J.) – Today, Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-08) and Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage announced a constituent service event for veterans that will be held on October 6, 2016 at the Stephen Sampson Senior Center in Elizabeth. This veteran claims clinic will allow veterans to meet one-on-one with a representative from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to discuss benefits, claims, compensation, or entitlements.
(Bayonne, N.J.) – Today, Reps. Albio Sires (NJ-08) and Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) along with Bayonne Mayor James Davis announced a Veterans Claim Clinic for veterans that will be held on October 5, 2016 at the Catholic War Veterans Post 1612 in Bayonne. This event will allow veterans to meet one-on-one with a representative from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to discuss benefits, claims, compensation, or entitlements.
The Bayonne VA Claims Clinic will be hosted on Wednesday, October 5th from 9:30 AM to 5 PM at the Catholic War Veterans Post 1612. Veterans interested in meeting with a VA representative to discuss benefits, claims, compensation, or entitlements can contact 202-225-7919 to schedule an appointment.
(Washington, D.C.) - Today, Congressman Sires voted against H.R. 4974, the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. This bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 295-129. While this legislation provides funding for important military construction and veterans programs, it neglects the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by funding it $1.5 billion below the President’s requested level.