Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today voted to pass a comprehensive package of bills to improve health care, education and job opportunities for America’s veterans and their families.
“My colleagues and I in Congress remain committed to ensuring that veterans in Maryland and across the country receive the benefits they have earned,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “Today, we took several important steps to improve business opportunities and resources for veterans, expand veterans’ access to high-quality education and improve the delivery of health care and benefits at the VA. Although we can never fully repay the debt we owe our nation’s veterans, it’s our responsibility to fulfill our commitments to them. In Congress, I will continue to make serving America’s veterans one of my top priorities.”
The package of veterans-focused legislation includes:
- The Protect the GI Bill Act (H.R. 4625), a bill requiring educational institutions to provide veterans with information about the total cost of attending the institution, to show fair recruitment practices and to accommodate the re-enrollment of veterans who deploy while in a program as a condition of approval for the purposes of the educational assistance programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- The GI Bill Planning Act of 2019 (H.R. 4162), a bill to extend the period of time in which a servicemember can elect to receive Montgomery GI Bill educational benefit entitlement and to phase out the same educational benefit to ensure the Forever GI bill is maintained.
- The Deborah Sampson Act (H.R. 3224), a bill to increase access to Department of Veterans Affairs medical care for women veterans.
- The VA Overpayment Accountability Act (H.R. 4360), a bill to improve the due process afforded to veterans with respect to the recovery of overpayments made by the Department. The bill also improves the processing of veterans benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- The VA Tele-Hearing Modernization Act (H.R. 4771), a bill allowing veterans to appear in cases before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals via phone or video from locations other than VA facilities.
- The Veteran Entrepreneur Training Act of 2019 (H.R. 3537), a bill to implement the ‘Boots to Business Program,’ which would provide veterans with entrepreneurship training.
- The Patriotic Employer Protection Act of 2019 (H.R. 3661), a bill to support entrepreneurs serving in the National Guard and Reserve.
- The Service-Disabled Veterans Small Business Continuation Act (H.R. 499), a bill to allow surviving spouses of certain service-disabled veterans to continue to receive Small Business Administration benefits.
- The Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act (H.R. 4803), a bill to facilitate the automatic acquisition of citizenship for lawful permanent resident children of military and Federal Government personnel residing abroad.