So many of the freedoms we enjoy today are because of the sacrifices and dedication of our service men and women. We owe them a lifetime of gratitude. Throughout my career, I have had the honor to work with countless Veterans on a variety of military and quality of life issues, and I am honored to have the opportunity to serve them in Congress.
Among many important concerns, one of the most critical issues facing our Veterans is timely access to quality health care. Unfortunately, increases in patient volumes and case complexity have resulted in unacceptable delays in care across the VA. Fixing this should be a top priority of the Federal Government. Our Veterans are heroes and we must keep our promise to them by ensuring the highest quality health care.
In addition to the direct services my office provides for our heroes, here are some examples of legislative efforts I've undertaken to serve and honor our Veterans in the 114th Congress. If you have questions or would like to suggest additional ideas, email me today.
Introduced HR 2852 FLORICH Act to allow burial privileges at Arlington for any member of a reserve component who dies while on inactive duty during a training mission where an active duty member also dies.
Member of the Military Families Caucus
Sent a letter to VA Secretary McDonald expressing concern over the decision to appoint Skye McDougall to oversee healthcare operations in Louisiana's region.
HR 1338 Dignified Interment of our Veterans Act
Status: Passed the House
47,000 unclaimed vets' remains in the U.S. today. This bill makes it a requirement that the VA sec. perform a study to determine best practices for solving this problem. Includes determining the scope of the issues, assessing effectiveness of the procedures, identifying state/local laws and developing recs for legal/administrative action to make sure vets get dignified interment.
HR 1475 Korean War Veterans Memorial Wall of Remembrance Act
Status: Passed the House
Permits a privately funded addition to the Korean War Memorial including names of 611 soldiers from Louisiana.
HR 969 Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act
Expands veteran benefits to Blue Water Navy vets who were exposed to Agent Orange during the war in Vietnam.
HR 1302 VA Appeals Backlog Relief Act
Directs the Secretary to ensure that a VA regional office issues a VA Form 9 appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals within one year of the request.
HR 1399 Veteran Education Empowerment Act
Reauthorizes a Department of Education grant program designed to help colleges establish vet student centers – helps LSU and BRCC establish these centers.
HR 2992 Merchant Marine of WWII Congressional Gold Medal Act
Awards the CGM to Merchant Mariners of WWII.
HR 2737 Filipino Veterans of WWII Congressional Gold Medal Act
Awards the CGM to Filipino Veterans of WWII.
HR 5166 WINGMAN Act
Allows certain employees of Members of Congress to access case tracking information at the VA to expedite constituent service for our Veterans.
HR 4352 Faster Care for Veterans Act
This bill is in response to the long wait times for veterans to receive medical care – various studies have shown that the average wait time is increasing. The bill establishes a pilot program which incorporates commercially available self-scheduling technologies at VA medical facilities. Pilot program would start with a small sample of three VISNs and would require vets to schedule appointments online. The VA plans to spend $624 million over the next five years to develop a new scheduling system, the value of which is unclear. This acts as a more cost effective alternative. May incentivize the VA to rethink turning down Zocdoc, who offered their product to the VA for free.
Are you having trouble with your Veteran's benefits?
Veterans can contact me for any assistance with questions or concerns regarding their benefits or other matters. As a reference, there is information available at the Department of Veterans website where Veterans can learn more about the following benefits:
For more information concerning work and views related to Veterans issues, please contact our office.
More on Veterans
Below is a snapshot of some of the recent legislation Congressman Graves has been working on in the US House of Representatives. If you have questions or comments regarding these or other legislative issues, contact our office today.
Last Week Revisited – On the Floor
Congressman Garret Graves (LA 06) is hosting a Service Academy Day this Sunday, October 9, 2016 at LSU's College of the Coast & Environment from 2:30 - 5:30 pm.
By Hayride Publisher, Scott Mckay
You probably heard about the notably idiotic statements made by Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, who made excuses for the poor service record of his agency by alleging that Disney doesn’t monitor wait times for the rides at Disneyland.
My job is to represent you, and that works best when you and I are interacting. That’s why I prioritize open communication. For example, folks in Ascension Parish had the opportunity to attend a Town Hall in Prairieville this week. We filmed a “postgame interview” so those of you who couldn’t make it can still be a part of the action. Watch the short video below, and 'like' my Facebook page to continue the conversation!
View the latest videos by "Liking" Congressman Garret Graves on Facebook.