GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

 

The Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America Government Affairs Committee is committed to providing timely information on issues that are specific to veterans and their families requiring support and advocacy. This committee keeps pertinent legislation in the forefront of our congressional leaders, while encouraging our members to become proactive, by contacting their elected officials via phone or e-mail, to keep the needs of our veterans and their families in the limelight as relevant acts impacting our membership are considered. AVVA members are voters, and together we are over 9800 members strong!


 

AVVA Legislative Priorities for 2017-2019:

Click here to read the AVVA Legislative Priorities for this year. There is a great deal of background information as well, which will help you in your efforts to support these issues.

 

 

BLUE WATER NAVY

 

VVA applauds passage of H.R. 299 Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act
with 382-0 vote in the House

PRESS RELEASE
VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2018 No. 18-15
Mokie Porter
301-996-0901

VVA Applauds House Passage of Blue Water Navy Act; Calls on Senate to Follow Suit ASAP

(Washington, D.C.) -- "VVA applauds the passage of H.R. 299, The Blue Water Navy Vietnam
Veterans Act of 2018, and we call on the Senate to delay no further and pass the companion bill, S.422. For far too many years, despite the overwhelming support of House members on both sides of the aisle, Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans have been thwarted in their quest to be accorded the same service connected healthcare and benefits as their fellow 'boots-on-the-ground Vietnam veterans,' " said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America.

"Now, after today's vote on H.R. 299, these 'forgotten' sailors and Marines can see the light at the end of their tunnel growing bright for the first time in a long while," said Rowan. This bill, introduced by Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), would restore eligibility for VA healthcare and disability compensation for some 90,000 Blue Water Navy veterans, ensuring that those who served in the Navy off the coast of Vietnam will receive the medical treatment and compensation due to their exposure to Agent Orange.

"We have long maintained that the service of sailors and other personnel in Yankee and Dixie Stations should be equated with the service of boots-on-the-ground troops in Vietnam," said Rowan. "Now the ball is in the Senate's court, where passage of companion legislation remains in doubt. Our nation can no longer ignore the demonstrated need of thousands of veterans who served with honor and who are suffering from the same health conditions as their in-country comrades.

"Caring for veterans is part of the continuing cost of the national defense," Rowan noted. "Regrettably, Congress has fallen down on its responsibility to these veterans and their families. Now, however, with the House in overwhelming endorsement of the Blue Water Navy Act, it's time for the Senate to follow their lead. There can be no excuse for them not to."

 

 

 

GREAT NEWS!

House Committee on Veterans Affairs
Chairman Phil Roe, M.D.

Press Releases

Roe: With Today's Senate Action, Veterans Are One Step Closer to the Care They Deserve

Washington, May 23, 2018

Tiffany Haverly (202-225-3527)

Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN.) chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following statement after the Senate passed the John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka, and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks, or VA MISSION, Act:

“With today’s Senate action, veterans are one step closer to the care they deserve, and I thank Senators Isakson and Tester for championing this bipartisan measure in the Senate. I also thank Senator McConnell for getting this bill to the Senate floor quickly so we can answer President Trump’s call to pass the VA MISSION Act by Memorial Day. The VA MISSION Act is the result of over a year of hearings, roundtables and bipartisan negotiations, and I couldn't be prouder of the final product. When I introduced this bill, I said it would put the department back on track to fulfilling President Lincoln’s promise to care for the men and women who have borne the battle. I truly believe that. This is a transformational piece of legislation that will improve the lives of veterans for generations to come, and I am thrilled this bill will soon be law.

“We would not be here today without the hard work and dedication of our veterans service organization partners. I’ve said it before, but because of them, this is a better bill. Finally, I’m incredibly grateful to President Trump and his administration for their assistance with this legislation. The president’s commitment to veterans is clear, and I am so proud of the big, bold VA reforms we’ve been able to move through Congress in just under a year and a half. Now, the committee’s focus will be on implementation of the VA MISSION Act and the department’s transition to a new electronic health record so the men and women who served our nation can finally have timely access to state of the art health care.”

Background: The VA MISSION Act passed the House on a 347-70 vote on May 16, 2018. The VA MISSION Act includes three pieces of legislation that have been considered by either the House or Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs. The bill would streamline the department’s duplicative community care programs into one cohesive program; create a non-partisan process for reviewing VA’s assets to ensure veterans can access the care they have earned and expand the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Post-9/11 Caregiver Program to all eras. These reforms are supported by major Veterans Service Organizations. The bill also includes funding for the Choice Program that is expected to last until the new program authorized under the VA MISSION Act is implemented. Additionally, the bill contains a number of provisions that would strengthen VA's internal capacity to provide timely, quality care to veteran patients within VA medical facilities by improving and expanding VA's ability to train, recruit and retain the very best providers. You can find a section-by-section summary of the VA MISSION Act here.

Source: https://veterans.house.gov/

Sharon Hodge

VVA Deputy Director, Government Affairs

(301) 585-4000 ext.111

(301) 996-8554 cell

 


 

BASIC GUIDE TO ADVOCACY:

Click here for a Power Point guide designed to help you successfully advocate for Veterans' issues. (Depending on your browser, this may automatically download to your computer, or may open in your screen.)

 

 

CONGRESS 101

Click here for an easy to follow listing of information that will make contacting congress as easy as 1 2 3!

 

 

On April 16, 2016, Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) made an unannounced visit to the VVA Chapter 317, Kansas City, “Faces of Agent Orange” Town Hall. Click the red text above for a transcript of his uplifting address regarding the Toxic Exposure Research Act, S.901.

 

 

FIND YOUR CONGRESS MEMBER OR LOOK UP LEGISLATION:

 

 

 

CONTACT CONGRESS


Take Action NOW! Click on Action Center and send the prepared alert asking your Senators to support S.2921, the Veterans First Act

Go to the VVA Government Affairs Action Center
to keep up on current legislative action and information.