Working for Veterans

America's veterans fought to protect our country. They deserve every support we can offer to them and their families. That means streamlining the benefits process, ensuring that the VA health care system is delivering services in a timely and efficient way, and helping our returning veterans secure gainful employment.

Sarbanes Authored

  • BRAVE Act (Benefit Rating Acceleration for Veteran Entitlements Act)

    • The BRAVE Act spurred federal officials to overhaul the review process so that veterans who receive a 100% service-connected disability rating from the Veterans Administration can secure their Social Security benefits on an expedited basis.
      • Endorsed by The American Legion, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and Paralyzed Veterans of America.
  • Veterans Service Corps (Became Law in the 2009 Serve America Act)

    • Established as part of Americorps, the Veterans Service Corps enlists veterans in service to fellow veterans and military families as well as to the broader community. In 2015, Congressman Sarbanes participated in the first-in-the-nation ceremony awarding a VetCorps pin to veterans who are lifting up their communities everyday.

Sarbanes Co-Sponsored

  • Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015 (H.R. 313) (Became Law 2015)

    • Provides that any federal employee who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 30% or more is entitled to up to 104 hours of paid leave in the first year of employment in order to receive needed medical treatment.
  • Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act (H.R. 5059) (Became Law 2015)

    • Establishes greater accountability in the VA and the Department of Defense for programs aimed at preventing veterans suicide. Provides tuition debt relief for psychiatry students who choose to work in the VA health system.
  • The VA Appeals Modernization Act (H.R. 5083)

    • Seeks to reduce the backlog of VA benefits claims appeals by providing veterans with more options for presenting evidence in support of their appeals. Also ensures that successful appeals will result in benefits being awarded back to the original date when the claim was filed.
  • Enhanced Veteran Healthcare Act of 2015 (H.R. 3879)

    • Directs the VA to partner with schools of medicine, dentistry and university health science centers to provide veterans health care, promote joint hiring of medical professionals and enhance VA access to medical equipment and support services.
  • Creation of a Veterans Business Enterprises Program (H.R. 3997)

    • Within the Department of Transportation, would set a goal of ensuring that at least 10 percent of federal highway and transit contracts go to veteran-owned small businesses.

Sarbanes Voted

  • FOR Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010

    • Strengthened the “GI Bill for the 21st Century” to ensure that veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are receiving the support and benefits they need in order to attend college.
  • AGAINST FY 2016 Department of Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill.

    • Would have underfunded the VA by more than a billion dollars. The bill was opposed by the VFW, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and Paralyzed Veterans of America.

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In September 2016, Congressman John Sarbanes successfully worked to prevent the relocation of compensation and pension exams from the VA outpatient clinic at Fort Meade. He also worked with the Maryland Congressional delegation to bring the first VA community based outpatient clinic to Montgomery County, due to open in 2017.