Takes Part in Hearing with Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today continued his work to improve Veterans’ services and benefits. As the only member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) from Iowa, Loebsack took part in a joint hearing with the House Veterans Affairs Committee on how to ease the transition from military service to civilian life. Earlier this month, Loebsack held a series of forums for Iowa Veterans across Eastern and Southeastern Iowa. He then personally met with senior VA leadership to bring Iowa Veterans’ concerns and idea directly to them.
“Our Veterans have proudly served our nation and it is our responsibility to support and care for them when they return home. I have helped Iowa Veterans secure VA benefits, and there is no greater honor I have than working on their behalf. However, no Veteran should have to fight to find a job here at home or to receive the Veterans benefits they deserve. Our nation has a moral responsibility to ensure they receive the care and benefits they deserve and to give them the tools they need to secure good job and successfully transition to civilian life.
“Today’s hearing focused on an issue of concern to countless Iowa Veterans I have met. There must be greater coordination between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to help Veterans successfully transition to civilian life. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I will continue to stand up for our Veterans and work to ensure they receive the support, benefits, and care they need and deserve.”
Loebsack has championed numerous initiatives to assist Veterans transitioning to civilian life, including introducing and successfully enacting legislation to increase Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits for members of the National Guard. This legislation resulted in increased benefits for over 1,300 Iowans and over 84,000 members of the National Guard nationwide. Loebsack also championed the VOW to Hire Veterans Act, which was signed into law last year. This bill provides businesses with tax credits of $2,400-$9,600 to hire veterans and extends the Transition Assistance Program, including resume writing workshops and career counseling, to all servicemembers leaving the military. It also expanded training opportunities for older veterans by providing up to a year of additional Montgomery GI benefits, and provided disabled veterans with up to a year of additional Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits. Loebsack also introduced and secured enactment of an initiative to increase access to mental health care for members of the National Guard.