Share This Article
The Senate advanced a trio of bills strengthening veterans benefits championed by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“We made a promise to the men and women who wore our nation’s uniform. I’m proud to advocate for veterans and fulfill our promise to them. I urge the president to quickly sign these bills into law,” Boozman said.
Boozman and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) led measures to ensure veteran survivors of military sexual trauma (MST) have access to trained peer support specialists within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and to make it easier for veterans with service-related conditions to receive the clothing allowance benefit they earned.
The VA Peer Support Enhancement for MST Survivors Act requires the VA to modernize how it cares for survivors of MST by assigning a trained peer support specialist to every individual who files a claim relating to MST to help them through the process.
The VA Clothing Allowance Improvement Act will reduce the annual claim filing burden for veterans whose use of prosthetics, orthopedic devices or medications causes irregular wear or damage to their clothing and authorize automatic renewal of the benefit. This legislation was included in a larger veterans package included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2023.
Boozman also joined Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to successfully expedite disbursement of veterans’ life insurance benefits. The Senate approved the Faster Payments to Veterans’ Survivors Act of 2022which will ensure veterans’ surviving family members or beneficiaries will receive the VA benefits their loved ones earned through their service to our country in a timely fashion.
These bills are among several veterans-related measures headed to the president’s desk to be signed into law.
As a result of Boozman’s leadership, a number of additional significant improvements were made to veterans benefits during the 117th Congress including:
- The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022, landmark legislation expanding VA health care to toxic-exposed veterans of all eras.
- The Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas SERVICE Act, legislation requiring the VA to conduct mammograms for all women veterans who served in areas associated with burn pits and other toxic exposures.
- Making Advances in Mammography and Medical Options (MAMMO) for Veterans Act which will require the VA to develop a strategic plan to improve breast imaging services, create a telemammography pilot program for veterans in areas where the VA does not offer in-house mammography and expand veterans’ access to clinical trials through partnerships with the National Cancer Institute. The legislation would also require the VA to upgrade all in-house breast imaging to 3D mammography, which is considered the gold standard of imaging technology.
- Strengthening Oversight for Veterans Act of 2021, a measure providing the VA Office of Inspector General with the authority to subpoena testimony from former VA employees who have left federal service, former contractor personnel who performed work for the department, or other potentially relevant individuals during its inspections, reviews and investigations.
- The Strengthening and Amplifying Vaccination Efforts to Locally Immunize all Veterans and Every Spouse (SAVE LIVES) Act to provide no-cost vaccination services at the VA to all veterans, veteran spouses, caregivers and Civilian Health and Medical Program of the VA (CHAMPVA) recipients.