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.
 
  • Focus on the urgency to meet some, if not all, of the 2017 VFW Priority Goals. Be sure that you are knowledgeable about the goals. As legislative advocates for veterans, the Priority Goals are our guide when talking with legislators about veterans’ issues.
  • Respond to any alerts you receive as part of Action Corps. Keep in touch with your elected officials. Keep the mantra that "all politics are local” foremost in your work.
  • Know who your elected officials are and contact them to end sequestration NOW. Remember these individuals work for us. We need to unite and make our voices heard that we want, no, we insist, on what is best for those who defended our country and continue to do so. 
 
 RECENT -- Per VFW Action Corps Weekly (9 August 2019):

Potential Changes Coming to the Montgomery GI Bill:  "This week Representatives Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) and Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) introduced the VFW-supported GI Bill Planning Act of 2019 [H.R. 4162].  This bill would change the time to enroll in the Montgomery GI Bill  from the first week of recruit training to after a service member has served six months on active duty. "The first few days of recruit training is a chaotic period, and it is not the time to discuss the specific differences between the Post 9/11, and the Montgomery GI Bill,”  said VFW National Legislative Service Deputy Director Pat Murray. "Many VFW members have stated if they knew more about the Montgomery GI Bill  they may not have opted to pay $1,200 for a program they would never use. This proposal would allow service members additional time to  understand the nuances between the two chapters of the GI Bill, if both  are still needed, and how to best utilize their education benefits.” The  VFW thanks Representatives Bergman and Rice for their continued  bipartisan work to ensure the best outcomes for our service members,  veterans and their families."

Per VFW Action Corps Weekly (2 August 2019):

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
Guide Sheet
June and July Bulletins
August and September Bulletin
October November Bulletin
 
Misc. Information
Call to Action PTSD

 National
 
 Auxiliary Legislative Tools and Resources

Action Corps Weekly

VFW Legislative Resources

Legislative Websites