Posted by Randy | February 04, 2014
Last night, the House of Representatives passed legislation to extend in-state tuition rates to Veterans who are attending public universities or colleges on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, regardless of whether they have been stationed in a state long enough to establish residency. While the Senate must now take up this legislation, I was pleased to see this bill pass the House in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion. As my friend and Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Congressman Jeff Miller said, "The men and women who serve this nation did not just defend citizens of their own home states but the citizens of all 50 states," and it’s not only a privilege, but a duty, to recognize them in all 50 states.
Posted by Randy | January 29, 2014
Commissaries are a vital recruitment and retention tool, essential to maintaining our all-volunteer military. Even more than that, though, commissaries represent a part of our commitment to taking care of our servicemembers during and after their time of service to the United States of America. Not only are they beneficial to active duty and retirees, but also to their families, who sacrifice so much for our nation. While military members are deployed for long stretches of time, their loved ones back home can still enjoy the services that the commissaries and exchanges provide. Click below to watch the speech I gave on the House Floor, opposing any efforts to close down our commissaries.
The men and women who volunteer to serve our nation are not the cause of our current fiscal crisis. Proposals asking them to carry the weight of solving it are unacceptable.
Question of the week: Do you believe our men and women in uniform should have their congressionally-required pay raise decreased?Posted by Randy | September 05, 2013
Late last Friday afternoon, President Obama sent a letter to Congress stating that he was reducing the pay increase for our nation’s servicemembers to 1%, rather than the 1.8% approved by the House in this year’s annual defense bill.
This letter to Congress came just one day before the Commander-in-Chief announced that he would seek congressional “authorization for the use of force” in Syria.
At a time when we have troops deployed in the Middle East, and the administration has cut billions of dollars from defense and subjected our military to the devastating impacts of sequestration, I believe it is the wrong course of action for the President to reduce pay for members of the military. I will continue working to ensure that our nation’s heroes receive the compensation they deserve and have rightly earned.
Question of the week: Do you believe our men and women in uniform should have their congressionally-required pay raise decreased?
( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other (leave your comments below).
Take the Poll here.
Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | August 30, 2013
Last year, I met with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and sent a letter to discuss the current backlog of claims at the Veterans Benefits Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) efforts to turn back the avalanche of overdue claims plaguing the VA for the last three years.
On May 23rd of this year, I sent a follow-up letter to Secretary Shinseki requesting an update on the severe claims backlog.
This week, I received a response from the Secretary, noting that progress has been made over the last three months in addressing the backlog, reducing it by 87,000 claims, from the peak of 600,000 in March of 2013. That means that there are still 513,000 veterans’ claims stagnated in red tape. It is unacceptable that there are still over a half a million of our nation’s heroes waiting for the benefits they’ve earned and rightly deserve. Our servicemembers have made extraordinary sacrifices for this country and, while we can never begin to repay them, we have a duty to do our utmost to serve them once they come home.
While approximately 14,000 veterans’ appeals have been pending for over two years, two-thirds of employees at the VA received bonuses totaling roughly $5.5 million at the end of 2011 for “excellent” or “outstanding” performance. Until the claims backlog is eliminated, it is unacceptable for employees to receive bonuses.
Posted by Randy | May 31, 2013
Last week, leading up to Memorial Day, the House passed three measures supporting our nation’s veterans:
I also sent a letter to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Secretary Shinseki, expressing my continued concern regarding the disability claims backlog. I met with the Secretary last year, and will continue working to ensure that these claims are processed, and veterans are afforded the benefits they deserve.
Posted by Randy | November 08, 2012
As our nation marks Veteran’s Day this Sunday, November 11th, we honor those who have served our country in the line of duty. Our veterans are all around us in Virginia, where the 4th district is home to one of the highest populations of veterans in the nation. I urge you all to pause and spend some time with a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine. Whether still on active duty, the Reserves, or a former military member, these brave men and women have served their country and sacrificed so much for all of us. It is our responsibility to recognize their sacrifice and commitment, preserve the legacy of their service, and pass this on to future generations.
Posted by Randy | June 11, 2012
Today, I called on Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki to address the underlying causes of the severe claims backlog plaguing the Veterans Benefits Administration.
Posted by Randy | June 05, 2012
“The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you.” – General Dwight Eisenhower, D-Day, 1944.
Posted by Randy | February 02, 2012
As you may know, Arlington Cemetery has been under an ongoing investigation regarding burial mismanagement that was revealed in June 2010.
Joint Hearing: Update on Accountability at Arlington National Cemetery
Friday, February 3, 2012
(Note: Timing of the hearing is subject to change if votes are called in the House.)
The Arlington Cemetery burial mismanagement reports continue to be tragic for us as a nation and for the families of the men and women who have selflessly and faithfully served our nation. I’m hopeful that this hearing will prove that the accountability issues are being rightfully addressed.
Posted by Randy | January 10, 2012
This weekend, I traveled to Fort Lee to celebrate the return home of the last support battalion to leave Iraq. The 275th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion served a 10-month mission and became responsible for bringing American troops home -- they directed logistics for the remaining military personnel and supplies until the December 31 complete withdrawal of troops from Iraq. These men and women were a part of the last unit in Iraq, signifying the end of the conflict.
I was filled with gratitude for their service as I shook the hands of our military men and women who were returning and watched as families were reunited. We are so very grateful to be amongst men and women of such courage.
Here are some photos of the ceremony as we welcomed home our heroes. Let’s express our gratitude for their service to our nation:
RECENT POSTS01/27/2015 - Question of the Week: Do you support President Obama’s plan to tax 529 college-savings plans?
01/23/2015 - Question of the Week: Do you support the President's proposals to increase taxes?
01/22/2015 - Time to Build: Keystone in the Senate
01/20/2015 - College Campus Falters on Freedom
01/20/2015 - The State of our Navy: No Reason to Worry
01/16/2015 - My Thoughts on the Year Ahead for the U.S. Navy