LEGISLATIVE

Legislative- This purpose of this program is to urge our legislators to preserve veterans’ rights and entitlements and to advocate a strong national defense.
 
VFW Auxiliary members are instrumental in assisting the VFW pass or block legislation that impacts veterans and their families. Each year, members contact legislators to share our views regarding such legislation with them and invite them to share their positions on veterans’ issues; we hold legislators accountable for honoring America’s promises to our nation’s veterans.
 

The Legislative Program:

  • Promotes the VFW Priority Goals.
  • The Priority Goals reflect the resolutions passed by the VFW to strengthen and ensure an adequate VA system for millions of current and future veterans. They call for much-needed attention to crises and are grouped under six areas of concern:

     

    • Budget
    • Health Care
    • Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs
    • Education, Employment and Transition Assistance
    • Military Quality of Life
    • National Security, Foreign Affairs and POW/MIA
  • Promotes Action Corps
    Stay informed and up-to-date on issues facing our veterans, our military and their families by signing up to receive the VFW’s Action Corps Weekly e-newsletter. The VFW Action Corps is free and open to all patriotic Americans who care about the military and veterans’ communities.

VFW Auxiliary Members: Access Legislative Program Resources HERE.

 
Fight to End Widow’s Tax in Jeopardy:  The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA) includes several VFW-supported provisions. One such provision would eliminate the Widow’s Tax, which is a dollar for dollar offset of earned benefits for the surviving spouses of about 65,000 service members and veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice. In the coming weeks, Senate leadership will meet in conference to resolve the differences between the Senate and House versions and debate final passage. Since the provision to end the Widow Tax is not in the Senate version of the NDAA, it is in jeopardy of being left out of the final conference agreement. Contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to #AxeWidowsTax this year.

2020 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship Application is Open: The 2020 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship is now accepting applications! The program, which is in its sixth year, is for VFW members who attend an accredited institute of higher learning. Ten student veterans will be selected for the semester-long program that focuses on real policy issues faced by veterans, service members, and their families. The highlight of the program is participation in the VFW Legislative Conference, which in the past has included meetings at the White House and with senior officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Congress. Those selected also spend time with their VFW Department members on Capitol Hill pushing the VFW’s legislative priorities. Alumni of the program have become more active in all levels of the VFW and changing laws to improve care and benefits for veterans. Link:  https://www.vfw.org/studentfellowship

 Per VFW Action Corps Weekly (September 13, 2019 edition):  


VFW Statement on Wolfe v. Wilkie: "The VFW is applauding the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, who in a 2-1 decision Monday, correctly ruled for the plaintiffs in Wolfe v. Wilkie. The class action lawsuit was the result of the Department of Veterans Affairs failing to fully reimburse veterans for the emergency room care they received from non-VA facilities, an issue the VFW had thought solved in 2016 when the same court ruled in favor of Staab v. Shulkin. But a report released last month by the VA Office of Inspector General found that the non-VA emergency room claims of some 17,400 veterans were denied or rejected primarily due to a VA work culture that favored speed over accuracy, a number that accounts for nearly a third of the 60,800 claims examined during the IG’s six-month nationwide audit in 2017. "The first thing the VA tells people to do when calling is to hang up and dial 911 if it’s an emergency,” said VFW National Commander William J. "Doc” Schmitz. "So the VA must reimburse the actual cost of emergency medical care, regardless of whether the veteran has secondary insurance or not,” he said. "VA Secretary Robert Wilkie must make these veterans financially whole again, correct its policies and practices regarding non-VA emergency room billing immediately, and fully adopt the IG report’s 11 recommendations to improve the accuracy of the non-VA emergency room claims processing.”

Senate Passes Veterans COLA and TSA Pre-Check Bills:  "Yesterday, the Senate passed the VFW-supported H.R. 1200, Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019, which would authorize a cost-of-living increase for certain VA benefits, equal to the same increase granted for Social Security benefits. H.R. 1200 was passed by the House earlier this year and now heads to the president’s desk. The Senate also passed S. 1881, Veterans Expedited TSA Screening Safe Travel Act, which would make Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Pre® available for certain severely disabled veterans at no cost. TSA Pre® is already offered to active duty, reserves, and National Guard service members at no cost. S. 1881 now heads to the House.”

 
 

Michigan

 
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