2014 Legislation

June 6, 2014
. Senate VA Bill Moves Forward: On Thursday, Senate VA Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
laid out a bipartisan bill that broadly outline solutions to VA healthcare scheduling and access deficiencies.
The VFW is pleased that the Senate has reached a compromise that will begin to improve access to care and
rebuild veterans' confidence in VA. We urge both the Senate and the House to move quickly on this and other measures
to provide timely and quality care for veterans. As this bill moves through the process, we will keep you informed.

The text of the bill is not yet available, but the provisions discussed would:
* Authorize a two-year program that allows veterans to seek medical care outside the VA if they cannot get an appointment
within a reasonable time (based on a VA wait time metric), or who reside 40 miles or more away from a VA hospital or clinic.
* Authorize 26 new major medical facilities leases in 18 states.
* Provide an expedited hiring authority for VA to employ more doctors, nurses and other medical providers.
* Permit the VA Secretary to fire employees immediately without pay, but allow employees to appeal to the Merit System
Protection Board within one week of dismissals.
* Create independent commissions on capitol planning and scheduling.
* Improves access and care for victims of Military Sexual Trauma.
* And provide in-state tuitions for veterans at public colleges and universities, which is VFW-supported legislation that has already cleared the House.

House Passes Bill with Pay Raise Intact
Week of May 26, 2014
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $601 billion defense bill that would spare cuts to military benefits
next year, despite a veto threat from the White House and major areas of disagreement in the Senate.
The House voted 325-98 in approving its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, which
sets policy goals and spending targets for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. The bill would give troops, with the
exception of general and flag officers, a 1.8 percent pay raise.

February 6, 2014
Vet Groups See Budget Cuts as Broken Promise
The2015 budget proposal, released by the Pentagon on March 4, calls for an increase in out-of-pocket
health care costs for active duty service members and retirees. The plan would scrap the current trio of available
Tricare options in favor of one consolidated plan. Other portions of the proposal call for a decrease in Basic
Allowance for Housing allotments for active duty families, an annual active duty pay raise cap of 1 percent, and
cuts to the commissary that could force stores to raise their prices by about 20 percent.
The changes to Tricare will have a particularly major impact on beneficiaries with disabilities.
. Currently, active duty families with disabled children, for example, regularly pay $1,000 a year
out of pocket for care. Under the new proposal they will be forced to pay up to $5,000.
"When you add all those [cuts] up, you're looking at almost $6,000 out of pocket for an O-3 and $5,000
for an E-5," said Mike Barron, MOAA's deputy director of government relations. "That's significant
on a military family, it really is on their ability sustain their families."

Military Retiree COLA Cap Repealed
February 24, 2014
President Obama signed the law on Feb. 15th which excludes current retirees and servicemembers from the 1 percent Retirement COLA reduction.
The law does not exclude servicemembers who joined on or after January 1, 2014


Comprehensive Veterans' and Health Benefits Package !
January 23, 2014
Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman, Bernie Sanders introduced the Veterans Health and Benefits and
Military Retirement Pay Resotration Act of 2014. The bill, S. 1950, is the most comprehensive veterans legislation to be introduced in decades.

If signed into law, this sweeping legislation would expand and improve health care and benefit services to all generations
of veterans and their families. Most notably, it would expand the current caregiver law to include all generations of
veterans and provide advance appropriations to ensure monthly compensation and pension as well as
education payments are protected from future budget battles.

The bill also offers in-state tuition protection for recently transitioned veterans, improves access to mental
health and treatment for victims of sexual assault in the military, and authorizes construction of more than 20
Community Bases Outpatient Clinics to serve veterans in rural and remote communities.

Action Needed:  Call or email your Senators today. urge them to pass S. 1950, the Veterans Health and Benefits
and Military Retirement Restoration Act of 2014. Tell them that this historic legislation will provide vital services
to all generations of veterans and their families. Remind them that past, present and future veterans have
earned these services this legislation will provide.

The VA has decided that Vietnam veterans who qualify under Agent Orange exposure, will now be covered for strokes.
There are a range of diseases and conditions already approved for such exposure.
Vets can contact their VA benefits office or local Service officer...................



Department of Veterans Affairs
Secretary Robert A. "Bob" McDonald
ANNOUNCED 6/30/2014

114th Congress
Senate Veterans Committee's

Chairman Bernie Sanders
Rockefeller IV, John D. (WV)
Murray, Patty (WA)
Brown, Sherrod (OH)
Tester, Jon (MT)
Begich, Mark (AK)
Blumenthal, Richard (CT)
Hirono, Mazie (HI)
Richard Burr (R - NC)
Isakson, Johnny (GA)
Johanns, Mike (NE)
Moran, Jerry (KS)
Boozman, John (AR)
Heller, Dean (NV)

 114th Congress
House Veterans Committee's

Chairman Jeff Miller
 Doug Lamborn (CO)
 Gus M. Bilirakis (FL), Vice Chairman
 David P. Roe (TN)
 Bill Flores (TX)
 Jeff Denham (CA)
 Jon Runyan (NJ)
 Dan Benishek (MI)
 Tim Huelskamp (KS)
 Mark Amodei (NV)
 Mike Coffman (CO)
 Brad Wenstrup (OH)
 Paul Cook (CA)
 Jackie Walorski (IN)
 Michael H. Michaud (ME)
 Corrine Brown ( FL)
 Mark Takano (CA)
 Julia Brownley (CA)
 Dina Titus (NV)
 Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ)
 Raul Ruiz (CA)
 Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA)
 Ann McLane Kuster (NH)
 Beto O'Rourke (TX)
 Tim Walz (MN)

The Committee's mailing addresses are:

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
335 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
412 Russell Senate Building
Washington D.C. 20510


 Assembly Vets Committee
 Senate Vets Committee

 Senate Vets Committee
 House Vets Committee

 Senate Vets Committee
 House Vets Committee

  House Vets Committee
 Senate Vets Committee