The week of March 22nd, the House passed a series of veterans measures, including a bill to arm the VA with better tools to fight and end homelessness. It is unacceptable that an estimated 131,000 veterans are homeless on any given night after risking their lives on behalf of this country. These bills would also increase on-the-job training opportunities for returning veterans, prevent mortgage lenders from foreclosing on a veteran's home after their service, and make sure payments for disabled veterans keep pace with the cost of living.
In these challenging economic times, with returning veterans experiencing unemployment rates in the double digits, we must do more to provide for our veterans' basic needs. This legislation shows that the U.S. is grateful for our veterans' service. Just as the military pledges to leave no soldier behind on the battlefield, this nation will leave no veteran behind when they come home.
- End Veteran Homelessness Act of 2010 (H.R. 4810, Filner) - Strengthens successful comprehensive programs for homeless veterans through investments, requires housing counselors to generate more veterans housing opportunities at each VA medical center with housing services, strengthens permanent housing programs, and pays special attention to the needs of homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children. This includes provisions from H.R. 2504 and H.R. 3906 (Teague); H.R. 2559, (Hare); and H.R. 2735 (Rodriguez).
- National Guard Employment Protection Act of 2010 (H.R. 1879, Coffman) - Extends key reemployment rights to all of those called up for full-time National Guard duty, including those assigned to a homeland security mission.
- Helping Heroes Keep Their Homes Act of 2010 (H.R. 3976, Perriello) - Extends expiring protections that safeguard veteran homeowners from foreclosure immediately following deployment.
- Energy Jobs for Veterans Act (H.R. 4592, Teague) - Increases job opportunities for veterans by reimbursing employers for the cost of providing on-the-job training for veterans in the energy sector through a new “Veterans Energy Related Employment Program” of competitive grants.
- Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2010 (H.R. 4667, Perriello) - Increases the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans, effective December 1, 2010.
These bills build on a significant record of accomplishment for veterans and troops over the last three years under the New Direction Congress - including the New GI Bill to make our returning veterans part of our economic recovery, historic investments to strengthen quality veterans' health care and improve care for those with PTSD.