We have a responsibility to care for the women and men who have served our nation in the armed forces. The people who swear an oath to defend our country do the work and make the sacrifices that keep us safe. It is their government’s duty to care for them as they transition to civilian life or if they are struggling with a visible or invisible fight.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a range of services and benefits for military veterans and eligible dependents who meet certain criteria. These benefits include medical care, disability compensation and pensions, education, vocational rehabilitation assistance to homeless veterans, administration of life insurance and traumatic injury protection insurance, and death benefits that cover burial expenses.
For more information on these and all other benefits offered by the Department, you can visit www.va.gov.
I take my responsibility to our veterans seriously. That is why I have co-sponsored:
- H.R. 299,the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, to extend presumption of service and exposure to Agent Orange for veterans who served in the waters off Vietnam. This bill was passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by the President on June 25, 2019.
- H.R. 186, the Veterans Jobs Opportunity Act, to provide tax credits for military veterans who open a small business in underserved communities.
- H.R. 663, the Burn Pit Accountability Act, to direct the Department of Defense to evaluate whether servicemembers were exposed to toxic chemicals used in burn pits.
- H.R. 3867, the Violence Against Women Veterans Act, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to improve the services and benefits that the Department offers to veterans who experience domestic violence or sexual assault.
Help for Constituent Servicemembers
I have long supported our military veterans and often meet with organizations representing former servicemembers from New Jersey. My office is always ready to assist constituents with any questions about, or requests for, assistance with the Department of Veterans Affairs. If you or someone you know wants to contact my office with questions about casework with the VA, please click here. I was honored to receive a 2019 Legislator of the Year Award from the New Jersey Veterans of Foreign Wars for my work on behalf of our servicemembers.
More on Veterans
Over the weekend, the House was back in session to vote on legislation to curb the Administration’s preposterous attacks on the United States Postal Service (USPS). I also signed onto the Supporting Connectivity for Higher Education Students in Need Act and legislation to ensure the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could provide funeral assistance to undocumented immigrants dealing with the fallout of COVID-19.
This week, I was back in Washington to vote on two appropriations bills to fund the Federal Government. I also had a meeting with students from Rutgers University, spoke on the phone with the new Guatemalan Ambassador to the U.S., and signed onto an amendment prohibiting the Administration’s restrictive and predatory birth control rules.
This week, I continued to work with my colleagues addressing police brutality, the coronavirus pandemic, and other issues facing our community. Additionally, the 2020 Census is ongoing and needs your help! If you have not done so already, take 10 minutes to respond online at 2020census.gov or by phone at 844-330-2020. During this time of social distancing, check in with your family, friends, and neighbors to make sure they have filled out their forms too! Together, we will make sure the 8th District is counted fairly and received the proper federal funding for the next decade.
(Washington, D.C.) - Earlier this week, the House passed 2 funding packages that averted another painful holiday shutdown. While the packages were not perfect, they funded vital programs that will help Americans across the country and include landmark funding for essential initiatives.
This week in Washington, I voted for the passage of legislation to support veteran-owned small businesses as well as a bill to increase the competitiveness of U.S. exports. I met with DACA recipients, the New Jersey League of Conservation, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and more to discuss the impacts of federal policy on our community. I also attended a House Budget Committee hearing with the Chair of the Federal Reserve and a Europe and Eurasia Subcommittee hearing on democratic values in NATO.
Congress returned to Washington this week and began working to protect our shorelines from oil and gas drilling. Since the Senate is also back from recess, I believe it is time for Senate Majority Leader to act immediately on passing commonsense gun reform legislation already passed in the House, like H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. This week, I also met with the New Jersey Veterans of Foreign Wars and convened the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee for a hearing on deforestation in the Amazon and the recent outbreak of devastating fires.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Representative Albio Sires (D-NJ), issued the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s decision to take millions of dollars from military projects to fund a border wall:
“Every single day, our servicemen and women work around the world to carry out their mission of defending our nation, our partners, and our values. That honorable work is as important today as it has ever been, and it is their government’s responsibility to provide them with the tools they need to get those jobs done.
Last week in Washington, the House continued to advance the funding for fiscal year (FY) 2020 as well as vote on humanitarian assistance for migrants at the Southern border and election security. I spoke at a House Committee on the Budget hearing about the positive impact of immigrants on our economy, received the Legislator of the Year award from the New Jersey Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars, and met with stakeholders as a part of my work on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Last week in Washington, the House considered remedies to veteran’s services, consumer protection, and retirement savings. I met with community groups focused on youth job training, postal services, and disaster relief in Puerto Rico. I also attended a post office dedication in Belleville and executed my Budget and Foreign Affairs Committee duties.
Each year, the creation our federal government’s annual budget is a collaboration between the Executive Branch and Congress to set the course for our nation’s priorities. Initiating the process for fiscal year (FY) 2020, President Trump released his budget request on March 11, 2019 to Congress, reflecting a compilation of his administration’s experience running our federal agencies and including their priorities for the upcoming year.