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JPAC’s Frustrate Families

JPAC’s Efforts Frustrate Families

On June 12, 1966, Marine Corps radioman Cpl. Gregory Harris and a contingent of South Vietnamese
marines were ambushed and overrun in Quang Ngai province. When friendly forces retook the area the
next day and recovered the dead, Harris was nowhere to be found. His family’s nightmare was just
beginning. They watched as Harris was first listed as missing, then declared dead. Months turned into
decades of waiting in vain. They say dealing with the military’s accounting agencies for the missing —
known today as the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office
— has been nearly as painful as the loss itself. They claim the agencies have withheld information and
kept important documents out of Harris’ file. Credible leads weren’t followed, they say, potential
gravesites weren’t excavated and important witnesses weren’t interviewed. The family believes that
Harris was prematurely declared dead and unrecoverable.

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Battle of the Bulge

The 16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945 Battle of the Bulge (also known as the Ardennes Offensive and the Von Rundstedt Offensive) was a major German offensive (die Ardennenoffensive), launched toward the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes Mountains region of Wallonia in Belgium, hence its French name (Bataille des Ardennes), and France and Luxembourg on the Western Front. The Wehrmacht’s code name for the offensive was Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein (“Operation Watch on the Rhine”), after the German patriotic hymn Die Wacht am Rhein. This German offensive was officially named the Ardennes-Alsace campaign by the U.S. Army, but it is known to the English- speaking general public simply as the Battle of the Bulge, the “bulge” being the initial incursion the Germans put into the Allies’ line of advance, as seen in maps presented in contemporary newspapers. The German offensive was supported by several subordinate operations known as Unternehmen Bodenplatte, Greif, and Währung. Germany’s goal for these operations was to split the British and American Allied line in half, capturing Antwerp, Belgium, and then proceed to encircle and destroy four Allied armies, forcing the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis Powers’ favor. The offensive was planned with the utmost secrecy, minimizing radio traffic and moving troops and equipment under cover of darkness. Although ULTRA suggested a possible attack, and the Third U.S. Army’s intelligence staff predicted a major German offensive, the Allies were still caught by surprise. This was achieved by a combination of Allied overconfidence, preoccupation with their own offensive plans, and poor aerial reconnaissance. Near-complete surprise against a weakly-defended section of the Allied line was achieved during heavy overcast weather, which grounded the Allies’ overwhelmingly superior air forces. Fierce resistance, particularly around the key town of Bastogne, and terrain favoring the defenders threw the German timetable behind schedule. Allied reinforcements, including General George Patton’s Third Army, and improving weather conditions, which permitted air attacks on German forces and supply lines, sealed the failure of the offensive. In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left severely depleted of men and equipment as survivors retreated to the defenses of the Siegfried Line. For the Americans, with about 500,000 to 840,000 men committed and some 70,000 to 89,000 casualties, including 19,000 killed, the Battle of the Bulge was the single largest and bloodiest battle that they fought in World War II. Background After the breakout from Normandy at the end of July 1944, and the landings in southern France on 15 August 1944, the Allies advanced toward Germany more quickly than anticipated. Coupled with an initial lack of deep water ports, it presented the Allies with enormous supply problems. Over-the-beach supply operations using the Normandy landing areas and direct landing LSTs on the beaches exceeded planning Page 2 2 expectations. The only deep water port the Allies had captured was Cherbourg, near the original invasion beaches, but the Germans had thoroughly wrecked and mined it before it could be taken. It took the Allies many months to build up its cargo-handling capability. The Allies captured the port of Antwerp, Belgium, fully intact in the first days of September, but it was not operational until 28 November when the estuary of the Scheldt River, which controls access to the port, was cleared of German troops. The delay was caused in part by differences between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Bernard Montgomery over whether Montgomery or American General George S. Patton in the south would get priority access to supplies. German forces remained in control of several major ports on the English Channel coast until May 1945. The extensive destruction of the French railway system prior to D-Day, intended to hamper German movement, proved equally damaging to the Allies as it took time to repair the system of tracks and bridges. A trucking system known as the “Red Ball Express” made mainly up of African Americans, brought supplies to front line troops, but transportation took five times as much fuel to reach the front line near the Belgian border as was delivered. By early October, the Allies suspended major offensives to improve their supply lines and availability. Generals Patton, Montgomery, and Omar N. Bradley each pressed for priority delivery of supplies to their respective armies so they could continue their individual lines of advance and maintain pressure on the Germans. General Eisenhower, however, preferred a broad-front strategy. He gave some priority to Montgomery’s northern forces, who had the short-term goal of opening the urgently needed port of Antwerp and the long-term goal of capturing the Ruhr area, the industrial heart of Germany. With the Allies paused, Gerd von Rundstedt was able to reorganize the disrupted German armies into a coherent defense. Field Marshal Montgomery’s Operation Market Garden only achieved some of its objectives while its territorial gains left the Allied supply situation worse than before. In October, the Canadian First Army fought the Battle of the Scheldt, clearing the Westerschelde by taking Walcheren and opening the port of Antwerp to shipping. As a result, by the end of October, the supply situation had eased somewhat. Despite a lull along the front after the Scheldt battles, the German situation remained dire. While operations continued in the autumn, notably the Lorraine Campaign, the Battle of Aachen, and the fighting in the Hürtgen Forest, the strategic situation in the west changed little. The Western Allies already had 96 divisions at or near the front with an estimated ten more divisions en route from the United Kingdom to the battle zone. Additional Allied airborne units remained in England. The Germans could field a total of 55 divisions. Hitler promised his generals a total of 18 infantry and 12 armored or mechanized divisions “for planning purposes.” The plan was to pull 13 infantry divisions, two parachute divisions, and six panzer-type divisions from the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) strategic reserve. On the Eastern Front, the Soviets’ Operation Bagration during the summer had destroyed much of Germany’s Army Group Center (Heeresgruppe Mitte). The extremely swift operation ended only when the advancing Red Army forces outran their supplies. By November, it was clear that Soviet forces were preparing for a winter offensive. Meanwhile, the Allied air offensive of early 1944 had effectively grounded the Luftwaffe (German Air Force), leaving the German Army with little battlefield intelligence and no way to interdict Allied supplies. The converse was equally damaging; daytime movement of German forces was almost instantly noticed, and interdiction of supplies combined with the bombing of the Romanian oil fields starved Germany of oil and gasoline. One of the few advantages held by the German forces in November 1944 was that they were no longer defending all of Western Europe. Their front lines in the west had considerably shortened and were much Page 3 3 closer to the German heartland. This dramatically improved their supply problems despite Allied control of the air. Additionally, their extensive telephone and telegraph network meant that radios were no longer necessary for communications, which lessened the effectiveness of ULTRA intercepts. Nevertheless a prevailing “myth” is that ULTRA did not give the Allies sufficient warning. Some 40-50 decrypt messages were sent per day by ULTRA. They recorded the quadrupling of German fighter forces and noticed that the camouflaging name given to the German build up-Jägeraufmarsch-was synonymous with an offensive operation. ULTRA also picked up communiqués regarding extensive rail and road movements in the region. ULTRA also picked up German orders that movements should be made on time. The information reaching Allied Headquarters was sufficient to indicate something was afoot. Drafting the offensive German leader Adolf Hitler felt his armies still might be able to defend Germany successfully if they could find a way to neutralize the Western Front. Hitler believed he could split the Allied forces and force the Americans and British to settle for a separate peace, independent of the Soviet Union. Success in the West would give the Germans time to design and produce more advanced weapons (such as jet aircraft, new U-boat designs, and super-heavy tanks) and permit the concentration of forces in the East. After the war ended, this assessment was generally viewed as unrealistic, given Allied air superiority throughout Europe and the ability to continually disrupt German offensive operations. Given the reduced manpower of German land forces at the time, the Germans believed the best way to seize the initiative would be to attack in the West against the smaller Allied forces, rather than against the vast Soviet armies. Even the encirclement and destruction of entire Soviet armies, an unlikely outcome, would still have left the Soviets with a numerical superiority. Several senior German military officers including Walter Model and Gerd Von Rundstedt expressed concern as to whether the goals of the offensive could be realized. They offered alternative plans but Hitler would not listen. The plan banked on unfavorable weather including heavy fog and low-lying clouds which would minimize the Allied air advantage. Hitler originally set the offensive for later November, before the anticipated start of the Russian winter offensive. In the West, supply problems began to significantly impede Allied operations, even though the opening of the Port of Antwerp in November 1944 slightly improved the situation. The Allied armies positions were stretched from southern France to the Netherlands. German planning for the counter offensive rested on the premise that a successful strike against thinly-manned stretches of the line would halt Allied advances on the entire Western Front. Several plans for major Western offensives were put forward, but Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (High Command of the Armed Forces, or OKW) quickly concentrated on two. A first plan for an encirclement maneuver called for a two-pronged attack along the borders of the U.S. armies around Aachen, hoping to encircle the Ninth and Third Armies and leave the German forces back in control of the excellent defensive grounds where they had fought the U.S. to a standstill earlier in the year. A second plan called for a classic blitzkrieg attack through the weakly defended Ardennes Mountains, mirroring the successful German offensive there during the Battle of France in 1940, aimed at splitting the armies along the U.S.- British lines and capturing Antwerp. This plan was named Wacht am Rhein or “Watch on the Rhine”, after a popular German patriotic song; this name also deceptively implied the Germans would be adopting a defensive posture in the Western Front. Page 4 4 Hitler chose the second plan, believing a successful encirclement would have little impact on the overall situation and finding the prospect of splitting the Anglo-American armies more appealing. The disputes between Montgomery and Patton were well known, and Hitler hoped he could exploit this perceived disunity. If the attack were to succeed in capturing the port of Antwerp, four complete armies would be trapped without supplies behind German lines. Both plans centered on attacks against the American forces. Hitler believed the Americans were incapable of fighting effectively, and that the American home front was likely to crack upon hearing of a decisive American loss. Tasked with carrying out the operation were Generalfeldmarschall (Field Marshal) Walther Model, the commander of German Army Group B (Heeresgruppe B), and Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, the overall commander of the German Army Command in the West (Oberbefehlshaber West). Model and von Rundstedt both believed aiming for Antwerp was too ambitious, given Germany’s scarce resources in late 1944. At the same time, they felt maintaining a purely defensive posture (as had been the case since Normandy) would only delay defeat, not avert it. They thus developed alternative, less ambitious plans that did not aim to cross the Meuse River, Model’s being Unternehmen Herbstnebel (Operation Autumn Mist) and von Rundstedt’s Fall Martin (“Case Martin”). The two field marshals combined their plans to present a joint “small solution” to Hitler, who rejected it in favor of his “big solution”. Confusingly, Wacht am Rhein was renamed Herbstnebel after the operation was given the go-ahead in early December. Planning OKW decided by mid-September, at Hitler’s insistence, that the offensive would be mounted in the Ardennes, as was done in 1940. Many German generals objected, but the offensive was planned and carried out anyway. In 1940, German forces had passed through the Ardennes in three days before engaging the enemy, but the 1944 plan called for battle in the forest. The main forces were to advance westward to the Meuse River, then turn northwest for Antwerp and Brussels. The close terrain of the Ardennes would make rapid movement difficult, though open ground beyond the Meuse offered the prospect of a successful dash to the coast. Four armies were selected for the operation. The Sixth SS Panzer Army, under Sepp Dietrich. Newly created on 26 October 1944, it incorporated the senior formation of the Waffen-SS, the 1. SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler as well as the 12. SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend. Sixth SS Panzer Army was designated the northernmost attack force, having its northernmost point on the pre-attack battlefront nearest the German town of Monschau. It was entrusted with the offensive’s primary objective, capturing Antwerp. The Fifth Panzer Army under Hasso von Manteuffel, was assigned to the middle attack route with the objective of capturing Brussels. The Seventh Army, under Erich Brandenberger, was assigned to the southernmost attack, having its southernmost point on the pre-attack battlefront nearest the Luxembourg town of Echternach, with the task of protecting the flank. This Army was made up of only four infantry divisions, with no large scale armored formations to use as a spearhead unit. As a result, they made little progress throughout the battle. Page 5 5 Also participating in a secondary role was the Fifteenth Army, under Gustav-Adolf von Zangen. Recently rebuilt after heavy fighting during Market Garden, it was located on the far north of the Ardennes battlefield and tasked with holding U.S. forces in place, with the possibility of launching its own attack given favorable conditions. For the offensive to be successful, four criteria were deemed critical: the attack had to be a complete surprise; the weather conditions had to be poor to neutralize Allied air superiority and the damage it could inflict on the German offensive and its supply lines; the progress had to be rapid-the Meuse River, halfway to Antwerp, had to be reached by day 4; and allied fuel supplies would have to be captured intact along the way because the Wehrmacht was short on fuel. The General Staff estimated they only had enough fuel to cover one-third to one-half of the ground to Antwerp in heavy combat conditions. The plan originally called for just under 45 divisions, including a dozen panzer and panzergrenadier divisions forming the armored spearhead and various infantry units to form a defensive line as the battle unfolded. By this time, however, the German Army suffered from an acute manpower shortage and the force had been reduced to around 30 divisions. Although it retained most of its armor, there were not enough infantry units because of the defensive needs in the East. These 30 newly rebuilt divisions used some of the last reserves of the German Army (Wehrmacht Heer). Among them were Volksgrenadier units formed from a mix of battle-hardened veterans and recruits formerly regarded as too young or too old to fight. Training time, equipment, and supplies were inadequate during the preparations. German fuel supplies were precarious-those materials and supplies that could not be directly transported by rail had to be horse-drawn to conserve fuel, and the mechanized and panzer divisions would depend heavily on captured fuel. As a result, the start of the offensive was delayed from 27 November to 16 December. Before the offensive, the Allies were virtually blind to German troop movement. During the liberation of France, the extensive network of the French resistance had provided valuable intelligence about German dispositions. Once they reached the German border, this source dried up. In France, orders had been relayed within the German army using radio messages enciphered by the Enigma machine, and these could be picked up and decrypted by Allied code-breakers headquartered at Bletchley Park, to give the intelligence known as ULTRA. In Germany, such orders were typically transmitted using telephone and teleprinter, and a special radio silence order was imposed on all matters concerning the upcoming offensive. The major crackdown in the Wehrmacht after the 20 July plot resulted in much tighter security and fewer leaks. The foggy autumn weather also prevented Allied reconnaissance aircraft from correctly assessing the ground situation. Thus, Allied High Command considered the Ardennes a quiet sector, relying on assessments from their intelligence services that the Germans were unable to launch any major offensive operations this late in the war. What little intelligence they had led the Allies to believe precisely what the Germans wanted them to believe-that preparations were being carried out only for defensive, not offensive operations. In fact, because of the Germans’ efforts, the Allies were led to believe that a new defensive army was being formed around Düsseldorf in the northern Rhine, possibly to defend against British attack. This was done by increasing the number of flak batteries in the area and the artificial multiplication of radio transmissions in the area. The Allies at this point thought the information was of no importance. All of this meant that the attack, when it came, completely surprised the Allied forces. Remarkably, the U.S. Third Army intelligence chief, Colonel Oscar Koch, the U.S. First Army intelligence chief, and the SHAEF intelligence officer all correctly predicted the German offensive capability and intention to strike the U.S. VIII Corps area. These predictions were largely dismissed by the U.S. 12th Army Group. Because the Ardennes was considered a quiet sector, economy-of-force considerations led it to be used as a training ground for new units and a rest area for units that had seen hard fighting. The U.S. units deployed in the Ardennes thus were a mixture of inexperienced troops (such as the raw U.S. 99th and Page 6 6 106th “Golden Lions” Divisions), and battle-hardened troops sent to that sector to recuperate (the 2nd Infantry Division). Two major special operations were planned for the offensive. By October, it was decided Otto Skorzeny, the German commando who had rescued the former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, was to lead a task force of English-speaking German soldiers in “Operation Greif”. These soldiers were to be dressed in American and British uniforms and wear dog tags taken from corpses and POWs. Their job was to go behind American lines and change signposts, misdirect traffic, generally cause disruption and to seize bridges across the Meuse River between Liège and Namur. By late November, another ambitious special operation was added: Colonel Friedrich August von der Heydte was to lead a Fallschirmjäger (paratrooper) Kampfgruppe in Operation Stösser, a night-time paratroop drop behind the Allied lines aimed at capturing a vital road junction near Malmedy. German intelligence had set 20 December as the expected date for the start of the upcoming Soviet offensive, aimed at crushing what was left of German resistance on the Eastern Front and thereby opening the way to Berlin. It was hoped that Stalin would delay the start of the operation once the German assault in the Ardennes had begun and wait for the outcome before continuing. In the final stage of preparations, Hitler and his staff left their Wolf’s Lair headquarters in East Prussia, in which they had coordinated much of the fighting on the Eastern Front. After a brief visit to Berlin, on 11 December, they came to the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s headquarters near Bad Nauheim in southern Germany, the site from which he had overseen the successful 1940 campaign against France and the Low Countries. In a personal conversation on 13 December with Friedrich von der Heydte, who was put in charge of Operation Stösser, Generalfeldmarschall Model gave the entire operation less than a 10% chance of succeeding. Model told him it was necessary to make the attempt. “It must be done because this offensive is the last chance to conclude the war favorably.” Initial German assault On 16 December 1944, at 5:30 a.m., the Germans began the assault with a massive, 90-minute artillery barrage using 1,600 artillery pieces across an 80 miles (130 km) front on the Allied troops facing the Sixth SS Panzer Army. The Americans’ initial impression was that this was the anticipated, localized counterattack resulting from the Allies’ recent attack in the Wahlerscheid sector to the north where the 2nd Division had knocked a sizable dent into the Siegfried Line. In the northern sector Dietrich’s Sixth SS Panzer Army assaulted Losheim Gap and Elsenborn Ridge in an effort to break through to Liège. Heavy snowstorms engulfed parts of the Ardennes area. While having the desired effect of keeping the Allied aircraft grounded, the weather also proved troublesome for the Germans because poor road conditions hampered their advance. Poor traffic control led to massive traffic jams and fuel shortages in forward units. In the center, von Manteuffel’s Fifth Panzer Army attacked towards Bastogne and St. Vith, both road junctions of great strategic importance. In the south, Brandenberger’s Seventh Army pushed towards Luxembourg in their efforts to secure the flank from Allied attacks. Only one month before 250 members of the Waffen-SS had unsuccessfully tried to recapture the town of Vianden with its castle from the Luxembourgish resistance during the Battle of Vianden Page 7 7 Attack on the northern shoulder The battle for Elsenborn Ridge was a decisive component of the Battle of the Bulge, deflecting the strongest armored units of the German advance. The attack was led by one of the best equipped divisions on the western front, 1st SS Panzer Division (LSSAH). The division made up the lead unit for the entire German 6th Panzer Army. Kampfgruppe Peiper of the LSSAH division was selected its spearhead to lead the main effort and was commanded by then SS Obersturmbannführer Joachim Peiper. The attacks by the Sixth SS Panzer Army’s infantry units in the north fared badly because of unexpectedly fierce resistance by the U.S. 2nd and 99th Infantry Divisions. On the first day, an entire German battalion of 500 men was held up for 10 hours at Lanzerath, which controlled a key route through the Losheim Gap. To preserve the quantity of armor available, the infantry of the 9th Fallschirmjaeger Regiment, 3rd Fallschirmjaeger Division, had been ordered to clear the village first. A single 18-man Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon from the 99th Infantry Division along with four Forward Air Controllers held up the battalion of about 500 German paratroopers until sunset, about 4:00 p.m, causing 92 casualties among the Germans. This created a bottleneck in the German advance. Kampfgruppe Peiper, at the head of the SS Oberstgruppenführer Sepp Dietrich’s Sixth Panzer Army had been designated to take the Losheim- Losheimergraben road, but it was closed by two collapsed overpasses. Once the Germans reached Bucholz Station, they quickly captured portions of the 3rd Battalion of the 394th Infantry Regiment. To Kampfgruppe Peiper’s north, the 277th Volksgrenadier Division attempted to break through the defending line of the U.S. 99th Infantry Division and positions of 2nd Infantry Division. Their intention was to control the twin villages of Rocherath-Krinkelt which would clear a path to the high ground of Elsenborn ridge. Occupation of this dominating terrain would allow control of the roads to the south and west and ensure supply to Kampfgruppe Peiper’s armored task force. The stiff American defense prevented the Germans from reaching the vast array of supplies near the cities of Liège and Spa, Belgium and the road network west of the Elsenborn Ridge leading to the Meuse River Historian John S.D. Eisenhower wrote, “…the action of the 2nd and 99th Divisions on the northern shoulder could be considered the most decisive of the Ardennes campaign.” The 99th Infantry Division as a whole, outnumbered five to one, inflicted casualties in the ratio of eighteen to one. The division lost about 20% of its effective strength, including 465 killed and 2,524 evacuated due to wounds, injuries, fatigue, or trench foot. German losses were much higher. In the northern sector opposite the 99th, this included more than 4,000 deaths and the destruction of sixty tanks and big guns. Driving south and east of Elsenborn, Kampfgruppe Peiper entered Honsfield, where they encountered one of the 99th Division’s rest centers, clogged with confused American troops. They killed many and destroyed a number of American armored units and vehicles. Peiper easily captured the town and 50,000 US gallons (190,000 l; 42,000 imp gal) of fuel for his vehicles. Peiper then advanced towards Büllingen, keeping to the plan to move east, apparently unaware he had nearly taken the town and unknowingly bypassing an opportunity to flank and trap the entire 2nd and 99th Division. Peiper suddenly turned south to detour around Hünningen, interested only in getting back onto his assigned route. Kampfgruppe Peiper a few days later gained notoriety for their murder of U.S. prisoners of war in what became known as the Malmedy massacre. Peiper entered Stavelot on 18 December but encountered fierce resistance from the American defenders. Unable to defeat them, he left a smaller support force in town and headed for the bridge at Trois-Ponts Page 8 8 with the bulk of his strength, but by the time he reached it, retreating U.S. engineers had already destroyed it. Peiper pulled off and headed for the village of La Gleize and from there on to Stoumont. As Peiper approached, engineers blew up the bridge, and the American troops were entrenched and ready. Peiper’s troops were cut off from the main German force and supplies when the Americans recaptured Stavelot on 19 December. As their situation in Stoumont was becoming hopeless, Peiper decided to pull back to La Gleize, where he set up his defenses waiting for the German relief force. Since no relief force was able to penetrate the Allied line, Peiper decided to break through back to the German lines on 23 December. The men of the Kampfgruppe were forced to abandon their vehicles and heavy equipment, although most of what remained of the unit was able to escape. On 17 December, the 12th SS Panzer Division, reinforced by additional infantry (Panzergrenadier and Volksgenadier) divisions took the key road junction at Losheimergraben just north of Lanzerath and attacked the twin villages of Rocherath and Krinkelt. However, after more than ten days of intense battle, they were able to push the Americans out of the villages, but were unable to dislodge them from Elsenborn Ridge, where elements of the V Corps of the First U.S. Army prevented the German forces from reaching the road network to their west. Operation Stösser Operation Stösser was a paratroop drop into the American rear in the Hohes Veen area. Their objective was the “Baraque Michel” crossroads. It was led by Oberst Friedrich August Freiherr von der Heydte, hero of the legendary if ill-fated airborne assault on Crete. It was the German paratroopers’ only nighttime drop during WWII. Prior to the assault, von der Heydte was given only eight days to prepare. He was forbidden from using his own regiment because their movement might alert the Allies to the impending counterattack. Instead, he was provided with a Kampfgruppe of 800 men. The II Fallschirmkorps was tasked with contributing 100 men from each of its regiments. Instead of contributing their best men as ordered, the regiments sent their misfits and troublemakers. In loyalty to their command, 150 men from von der Hydte’s own unit, the 6th Parachute Division, went against orders and joined him. They had little time to establish any unit cohesion or train together. The parachute drop was a complete failure. Von der Heydte ended up with a total of around 300 troops. Too small and too weak to counter the Allies, they abandoned plans to take the crossroads and instead converted his mission to reconnaissance. With only enough ammunition for a single fight, they withdrew towards Germany and attacked the rear of the American lines. Only about 100 of his weary men finally reached the German rear. The Malmedy massacre In the north, the main armored spearhead of the Sixth SS Panzer Army, Kampfgruppe Peiper, consisted of 4,800 men and 600 vehicles of the 1st SS Panzer Division under the command of then Waffen-SS Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) Joachim Peiper. Bypassing the Elsenborn ridge, at 07:00 on 17 December, they seized a U.S. fuel depot at Büllingen, where they paused to refuel before continuing westward. At 12:30, near the hamlet of Baugnez, on the height halfway between the town of Malmedy Page 9 9 and Ligneuville, they encountered elements of the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, U.S. 7th Armored Division. After a brief battle the Americans surrendered. They were disarmed and, with some other Americans captured earlier (approximately 150 men), sent to stand in a field near the crossroads where most were shot. News of the killings raced through Allied lines. Following the end of the war, captured SS soldiers who were part of Kampfgruppe Peiper along with several commanding officers including SS general, Sepp Dietrich and Joachim Peiper were tried for this massacre at the Malmedy massacre trial. The fighting continued and, by the evening, the spearhead had pushed north to engage the U.S. 99th Infantry Division, and Kampfgruppe Peiper arrived in front of Stavelot. Peiper was already behind the timetable, because it had taken 36 hours to advance from Eifel to Stavelot; the same advance had taken just nine hours in 1940. As the Americans fell back, they blew up bridges and fuel dumps, denying the Germans critically needed fuel and further slowing the German progress. Wereth 11 Another, much smaller massacre was committed in Wereth, Belgium, approximately a thousand yards northeast of Saint-Vith, on 17 December 1944. Eleven black soldiers, after surrendering, were tortured and then shot by men of the 1st SS Panzer Division, belonging to Kampfgruppe Hansen. The identities of the murderers remain unknown, and the perpetrators were never punished for this crime. Attack in the center The Germans fared better in the center (the 20 miles (32 km) Schnee Eifel sector) as the Fifth Panzer Army attacked positions held by the U.S.28th and 106th Infantry Divisions. The Germans lacked the overwhelming strength as had been deployed in the north, but still possessed a marked numerical and material superiority over the very thinly spread 28th and 106th divisions. Thus, they succeeded in surrounding two largely intact regiments (422nd and 423rd) of the 106th Division in a pincer movement and forced their surrender, a tribute to the way Manteuffel’s new tactics had been applied. The official U.S. Army history states: “At least seven thousand [men] were lost here and the figure probably is closer to eight or nine thousand. The amount lost in arms and equipment, of course, was very substantial. The Schnee Eifel battle, therefore, represents the most serious reverse suffered by American arms during the operations of 1944-45 in the European theater.” Battle for St. Vith In the center, the town of St. Vith, a vital road junction, presented the main challenge for both von Manteuffel’s and Dietrich’s forces. The defenders, led by the 7th Armored Division, and including the remaining regiment of the 106th U.S. Infantry Division, with elements of the 9th Armored Division and 28th U.S. Infantry Division, all under the command of General Bruce C. Clarke, successfully resisted the German attacks, thereby significantly slowing the German advance. Under orders from Montgomery, St. Vith was given up on 21 December; U.S. troops fell back to entrenched positions in the area, presenting an imposing obstacle to a successful German advance. By 23 December, as the Germans shattered their flanks, the defenders’ position became untenable, and U.S. troops were ordered to retreat west of the Salm River. As the German plan called for the capture of St. Vith by 18:00 on 17 December, the prolonged action in and around it presented a major blow to their timetable. Page 10 10 To protect the river crossings on the Meuse at Givet, Dinant and Namur, Montgomery ordered those few units available to hold the bridges on 19 December. This led to a hastily assembled force including rear echelon troops, military police and Army Air Forces personnel. The British 29th Armored Brigade, which had turned in its tanks for re-equipping, was told to take back their tanks and head to the area. XXX Corps in Holland began their move to the area on 20 December. The furthest westward penetration made by the German attack was by the 2nd Panzer Division of the Fifth Panzer Army, coming to less than ten miles (16 km) of the Meuse by 24 December. Operation Greif and Operation Währung For Operation Greif, Otto Skorzeny successfully infiltrated a small part of his battalion of disguised, English-speaking Germans behind the Allied lines. Although they failed to take the vital bridges over the Meuse, the battalion’s presence produced confusion out of all proportion to their military activities, and rumors spread quickly Checkpoints were set up all over the Allied rear, greatly slowing the movement of soldiers and equipment. Military policemen drilled servicemen on things which every American was expected to know, such as the identity of Mickey Mouse’s girlfriend, baseball scores, or the capital of a US State- though some could not remember or did not know. The tightened security nonetheless made things very hard for the German infiltrators, and some of them were captured. Even during interrogation they continued their goal of spreading disinformation; when asked about their mission, some of them claimed they had been told to go to Paris to either kill or capture General Eisenhower. Security around the general was greatly increased, and he was confined to his headquarters. Because these prisoners had been captured in American uniform, they were later executed by firing squad. This was the standard practice of every army at the time, although its legality was ambiguous under the Geneva Convention, which merely stated soldiers had to wear uniforms that distinguished them as combatants. In addition, Skorzeny deemed that such an operation would be well within the rules of warfare as long as his men were wearing their German uniforms when firing weapons. Skorzeny and his men were fully aware of their likely fate, and most wore their German uniforms underneath their Allied ones in case of capture. Skorzeny was tried by an American tribunal in 1947, but was acquitted and moved to Spain and later South America In Operation Währung, a small number of German agents infiltrated Allied lines in American uniforms. These agents were then to use an existing Nazi intelligence network to attempt to bribe rail and port workers to disrupt Allied supply operations. This operation was a failure. Further south on Manteuffel’s front, the main thrust was delivered by all attacking divisions crossing the River Our, then increasing the pressure on the key road centers of St. Vith and Bastogne. The more experienced 28th Infantry Division put up a much more dogged defense than the inexperienced (or “green”) soldiers of the 106th infantry division. The 112th Infantry Regiment (the most northerly of the 28th Division’s regiments), holding a continuous front east of the Our, kept German forces from seizing and using the Our river bridges around Ouren for two days, before withdrawing progressively westwards. The 109th and 110th Regiments of the 28th Division, however, fared worse, as they were spread so thinly that their positions were easily bypassed. Both offered stubborn resistance in the face of superior forces, and threw the German schedule off by a matter of days. The 110th regiment’s situation was by far the worst, as it was responsible for an eleven-mile front, while its 2nd battalion was withheld as the divisional reserve. Panzer columns took the outlying villages and widely separated strong points in bitter fighting, and advanced to points near Bastogne within four days. The struggle for the villages and American strong points, plus transport confusion on the German side, slowed the attack sufficiently to allow the 101st Page 11 11 Airborne Division (reinforced by elements from the 9th and 10th Armored Divisions) to reach Bastogne by truck on the morning of 19 December. The fierce defense of Bastogne, in which American paratroopers particularly distinguished themselves, made it impossible for the Germans to take the town with its important road junctions. The panzer columns swung past on either side, cutting off Bastogne on 20 December but failing to secure the vital crossroads. In the extreme south, Brandenberger’s three infantry divisions were checked after an advance of 4 miles (6.4 km) by divisions of the U.S. VIII Corps; that front was then firmly held. Only the 5th Parachute Division of Brandenberger’s command was able to thrust forward 12 miles (19 km) on the inner flank to partially fulfill its assigned role. Eisenhower and his principal commanders realized by 17 December that the fighting in the Ardennes was a major offensive and not a local counterattack, and they ordered vast reinforcements to the area. Within a week, 250,000 troops had been sent. General Gavin of the 82nd AB arrived on the scene first and ordered the 101st to hold Bastogne while the 82nd would take the more difficult task of facing the SS Panzer Divisions, the 82nd Airborne Division was also thrown into the battle north of the bulge, near Elsenborn Ridge. Siege of Bastogne By the time the senior Allied commanders met in a bunker in Verdun on 19 December, the town of Bastogne and its network of eleven hard-topped roads leading through the mountainous terrain and boggy mud of the Ardennes region were to have been in German hands for several days. By the time of that meeting, two separate west-bound German columns that were to have bypassed the town to the south and north, the 2nd Panzer Division and Panzer-Lehr-Division of XLVII Panzer Corps, as well as the Corps’ infantry (26th Volksgrenadier Division), coming due west had been engaged and much slowed and frustrated in outlying battles at defensive positions up to ten miles from the town proper-and were gradually being forced back onto and into the hasty defenses built within the municipality. Moreover, the sole corridor that was open (to the southeast) was threatened and it had been sporadically closed as the front shifted, and there was more confidence it would be closed than it could be held open, giving every confidence the town would soon be surrounded. Eisenhower, realizing the Allies could destroy German forces much more easily when they were out in the open and on the offensive than if they were on the defensive, told the generals, “The present situation is to be regarded as one of opportunity for us and not of disaster. There will be only cheerful faces at this table.” Patton, realizing what Eisenhower implied, responded, “Hell, let’s have the guts to let the bastards go all the way to Paris. Then, we’ll really cut ’em off and chew ’em up.” Eisenhower, after saying he was not that optimistic, asked Patton how long it would take to turn his Third Army (located in northeastern France) north to counterattack. He said he could attack with two divisions within 48 hours, to the disbelief of the other generals present. Before he had gone to the meeting, however, Patton had ordered his staff to prepare three contingency plans for a northward turn in at least corps strength. By the time Eisenhower asked him how long it would take, the movement was already underway. On 20 December, Eisenhower removed the First and Ninth U.S. Armies from Bradley’s 12th Army Group and placed them under Montgomery’s 21st Army Group. By 21 December, the German forces had surrounded Bastogne, which was defended by the 101st Airborne and Combat Command B of the 10th Armored Division. Conditions inside the perimeter were tough-most of the medical supplies and medical personnel had been captured. Food was scarce, and by 22 December artillery ammunition was restricted to 10 rounds per gun per day. The weather cleared the next day, however, and supplies (primarily ammunition) were dropped over four of the next five days. Page 12 12 Despite determined German attacks, however, the perimeter held. The German commander, Generalleutnant Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz, requested Bastogne’s surrender. When General Anthony McAuliffe, acting commander of the 101st, was told of the Nazi demand to surrender, a frustrated McAuliffe responded “Nuts!” After turning to other pressing issues, his staff reminded him that they should reply to the German demand. One officer (Harry Kinnard, then a Lieutenant Colonel) recommended that McAuliffe’s initial reply would be “tough to beat.” Thus McAuliffe wrote on the paper delivered to the Germans the line he made famous and a morale booster to his troops: “NUTS!” That reply had to be explained, both to the Germans and to non-American Allies. Both 2nd Panzer and Panzer Lehr moved forward from Bastogne after 21 December, leaving only Panzer Lehr’s 901st Regiment to assist the 26th Volksgrenadier Division in attempting to capture the crossroads. The 26th VG received one panzergrenadier regiment from the 15th Panzergrenadier Division on Christmas Eve for its main assault the next day. Because it lacked sufficient troops and those of the 26th VG Division were near exhaustion, the XLVII Panzer Corps concentrated its assault on several individual locations on the west side of perimeter in sequence rather than launching one simultaneous attack on all sides. The assault, despite initial success by its tanks in penetrating the American line, was defeated and all the tanks destroyed. The next day, 26 December, the spearhead of the 4th Armored Division broke through and opened a corridor to Bastogne. Allied counteroffensive On 23 December, the weather conditions started improving, allowing the Allied air forces to attack. They launched devastating bombing raids on the German supply points in their rear, and P-47 Thunderbolts started attacking the German troops on the roads. Allied air forces also helped the defenders of Bastogne, dropping much-needed supplies-medicine, food, blankets, and ammunition. A team of volunteer surgeons flew in by military glider and began operating in a tool room. By 24 December, the German advance was effectively stalled short of the Meuse. Units of the British XXX Corps were holding the bridges at Dinant, Givet, and Namur and U.S. units were about to take over. The Germans had outrun their supply lines, and shortages of fuel and ammunition were becoming critical. Up to this point the German losses had been light, notably in armor, which was almost untouched with the exception of Peiper’s losses. On the evening of 24 December, General Hasso von Manteuffel recommended to Hitler’s Military Adjutant a halt to all offensive operations and a withdrawal back to the West Wall. Hitler rejected this. Patton’s Third Army was battling to relieve Bastogne. At 16:50 on 26 December, the lead element, Company D, 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment of the 4th Armored Division, reached Bastogne, ending the siege. German counterattack On 1 January, in an attempt to keep the offensive going, the Germans launched two new operations. At 09:15, the Luftwaffe launched Unternehmen Bodenplatte (Operation Baseplate), a major campaign against Allied airfields in the Low Countries. Hundreds of planes attacked Allied airfields, destroying or severely damaging some 465 aircraft. However, the Luftwaffe lost 277 planes, 62 to Allied fighters and 172 mostly because of an unexpectedly high number of Allied flak guns, set up to protect against German Page 13 13 V-1 flying bomb attacks, but also by friendly fire from the German flak guns that were uninformed of the pending large-scale German air operation. The Germans suffered heavy losses at an airfield named Y-29, losing 24 of their own planes while downing only one American plane. While the Allies recovered from their losses in just days, the operation left the Luftwaffe weak and ineffective for the remainder of the war. On the same day, German Army Group G (Heeresgruppe G) and Army Group Upper Rhine (Heeresgruppe Oberrhein) launched a major offensive against the thinly stretched, 70 miles (110 km) line of the Seventh U.S. Army. This offensive, known as Unternehmen Nordwind (Operation North Wind), was the last major German offensive of the war on the Western Front. It soon had the weakened Seventh Army, which had at Eisenhower’s orders, sent troops, equipment, and supplies north to reinforce the American armies in the Ardennes, in dire straits. By 15 January, Seventh Army’s VI Corps was fighting on three sides in Alsace. With casualties mounting, and running short on replacements, tanks, ammunition, and supplies, Seventh Army was forced to withdraw to defensive positions on the south bank of the Moder River on 21 January. The German offensive drew to a close on 25 January. In the bitter, desperate fighting of Operation Nordwind, VI Corps, which had borne the brunt of the fighting, suffered a total of 14,716 casualties. The total for Seventh Army for January was 11,609.[1] Total casualties included at least 9,000 wounded. First, Third and Seventh Armies suffered a total of 17,000 hospitalized from the cold. Allies prevail While the German offensive had ground to a halt, they still controlled a dangerous salient in the Allied line. Patton’s Third Army in the south, centered around Bastogne, would attack north, Montgomery’s forces in the north would strike south, and the two forces planned to meet at Houffalize. The temperature during January 1945 was extremely low. Weapons had to be maintained and trucks had to be run every half hour, so as to prevent the oil in them from congealing. The offensive went forward regardless. Eisenhower wanted Montgomery to go on the counter offensive on 1 January, with the aim of meeting up with Patton’s advancing Third Army and cutting off most of the attacking Germans, trapping them in a pocket. However, Montgomery, refusing to risk underprepared infantry in a snowstorm for a strategically unimportant area, did not launch the attack until 3 January, by which time substantial numbers of German troops had already managed to successfully fall back, but at the cost of losing most of their heavy equipment. At the start of the offensive, the First and Third U.S. Armies were separated by about 25 miles (40 km). American progress in the south was also restricted to about a kilometer a day. The majority of the German force executed a successful fighting withdrawal and escaped the battle area, although the fuel situation had become so dire that most of the German armor had to be abandoned. On 7 January 1945, Hitler agreed to withdraw forces from the Ardennes, including the SS panzer divisions, thus ending all offensive operations. Winston Churchill, addressing the House of Commons following the Battle of the Bulge said, “This is undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war and will, I believe, be regarded as an ever-famous American victory”. Page 14 14 Controversy at high command As the Ardennes crisis developed, Montgomery assumed command of the American First and Ninth Armies (which, until then, were under Bradley’s command). This operational change in command was approved by Eisenhower, as the northern armies had lost all communications with Bradley, who was based in Luxembourg On the same day as Hitler’s withdrawal order, 7 January, Montgomery held a press conference at Zonhoven in which he said he had, “headed off … seen off … and … written off” the Germans. “The battle has been the most interesting, I think possible one of the most tricky … I have ever handled.” Montgomery said he had “employed the whole available power of the British group of armies … you thus have the picture of British troops fighting on both sides of the Americans who have suffered a hard blow.” Montgomery also gave credit to the “courage and good fighting quality” of the American troops, characterizing a typical American as a “very brave fighting man who has that tenacity in battle which makes a great soldier”, and went on to talk about the necessity of Allied teamwork, and praised Eisenhower, stating, “Teamwork wins battles and battle victories win wars. On our team, the captain is General Ike.” Despite these remarks, the overall impression given by Montgomery, at least in the ears of the American military leadership, was that he had taken the lion’s share of credit for the success of the campaign, and had been responsible for rescuing the besieged Americans. His comments were interpreted as self-promoting, particularly his claiming that when the situation “began to deteriorate,” Eisenhower had placed him in command in the north. Patton and Eisenhower both felt this was a misrepresentation of the relative share of the fighting played by the British and Americans in the Ardennes (for every British soldier there were thirty to forty Americans in the fight), and that it belittled the part played by Bradley, Patton and other American commanders. In the context of Patton’s and Montgomery’s well-known antipathy, Montgomery’s failure to mention the contribution of any American general beside Eisenhower was seen as insulting. Indeed, General Bradley and his American commanders were already starting their counterattack by the time Montgomery was given command of 1st and 9th U.S. Armies. Focusing exclusively on his own generalship, Montgomery continued to say he thought the counteroffensive had gone very well but did not explain the reason for his delayed attack on 3 January. He later attributed this to needing more time for preparation on the northern front. According to Winston Churchill, the attack from the south under Patton was steady but slow and involved heavy losses, and Montgomery claimed to be trying to avoid this situation. Montgomery subsequently recognized his error and later wrote: “I think now that I should never have held that press conference. So great were the feelings against me on the part of the American generals that whatever I said was bound to be wrong. I should therefore have said nothing.” Eisenhower commented in his own memoirs: “I doubt if Montgomery ever came to realize how resentful some American commanders were. They believed he had belittled them-and they were not slow to voice reciprocal scorn and contempt.” Bradley and Patton both threatened to resign unless Montgomery’s command was changed. Eisenhower, encouraged by his British deputy Arthur Tedder, had decided to sack Montgomery. However, intervention by Montgomery’s and Eisenhower’s Chiefs of Staff, Maj. Gen. Freddie de Guingand, and Lt. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, moved Eisenhower to reconsider and allowed Montgomery to apologize. The German commander of the 5th Panzer Army, Hasso von Manteuffel said of Montgomery’s leadership: Page 15 15 The operations of the American 1st Army had developed into a series of individual holding actions. Montgomery’s contribution to restoring the situation was that he turned a series of isolated actions into a coherent battle fought according to a clear and definite plan. It was his refusal to engage in premature and piecemeal counter-attacks which enabled the Americans to gather their reserves and frustrate the German attempts to extend their breakthrough. Aftermath Casualty estimates from the battle vary widely. The official U.S. account lists 80,987 American casualties, while other estimates range from 70,000 to 108,000. According to the U.S. Department of Defense the American forces suffered 89,500 casualties including 19,000 killed, 47,500 wounded and 23,000 missing. An official report by the United States Department of the Army lists some 108,347 casualties including 19,246 killed, 62,489 wounded and 26,612 captured and missing. The Battle of the Bulge was the bloodiest of the battles that U.S. forces experienced in World War II; the 19,000 American dead were unsurpassed by those of any other engagement.[18] British losses totaled 1,400. The German High Command’s official figure for the campaign was 84,834 casualties, and other estimates range between 60,000 and 100,000. The Allies pressed their advantage following the battle. By the beginning of February 1945, the lines were roughly where they had been in December 1944. In early February, the Allies launched an attack all along the Western front: in the north under Montgomery toward Aachen; in the center, under Courtney Hodges; and in the south, under Patton. Montgomery’s behavior during the months of December and January, including the press conference on 7 January where he appeared to downplay the contribution of the American generals, further soured his relationship with his American counterparts through the end of the war. The German losses in the battle were critical in several respects: the last of the German reserves were now gone, the Luftwaffe had been shattered and the remaining German forces in the West were being pushed back to the defenses of the Siegfried Line. [Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Bulge Dec 2010 ++]

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RAO BULLETIN 1 October 2010

THIS BULLETIN CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES

== VA Disclosure Policy ————————– (Praised in NEJoM)

== Tricare Suspicious Calls ———————————– (Surveys)

== Mobilized Reserve 28 SEP 2010 —————– (1875 Increase)

== HUD-VASH [01] ———— (Disability Compensation Income)

== VA Compensation & Pensions [02] — (FY 2011 Increase Hoax)

== VA Blue Water Claims [13] ————- (17,000 Claim Reviews)

== GI Bill [85] —————————————— (FY 2011 Rates)

== VA Contractor Use [03] ——- (Policies Not Uniformly Applied)

== Debt Settlement Companies ——————— (New FTC Rules)

== FEGLI ———————————————— (Pay Out Policy)

== State Veterans Home Program [03] ———– (Gold Star Parents)

== Military Retirement Fund ———————————- (Funding)

== Military Retirement Fund [01] ————- (Unanticipated Needs)

== Tricare 26 [01] ——————————- (Dependent on NDAA)

== Military Tax Relief [02] —————————– (Hearing Held)

== NDAA 2011 [06] ————————————— (More Delay)

== Mojave Desert Veteran Memorial [06] —— (New Legal Action)

== Vietnam Veterans Memorial [08] ** —— (AO Death Inclusion)

== USFSPA & Divorce [15] ** — (Vets Turn to State Legislatures)

== Foreclosure [06] —————————— (Ally Halts Evictions)

== Tax-exempt Status ———————- (IRS Form 990N deadline)

== Health Care Reform [39] ————— (New Fraud Regulations)

== VA Home Loan [22] ———————————– (How to Get)

== USO [01] ————————————— (Ontario CA Center)

== Veterans Relationship Management ——— (New VA Initiative)

== Reserve Benefits [03] ————- (H.R.3787 Veteran Definition)

== CHAMPVA [02] ——————————————— (S.3801)

== DIC Retroactive Award ————————- (SBP Tax Impact)

== Vet Gun Control [03] ————————————- (H.R.2547)

== Vet Toxic Exposure Lejeune [13] ———- (VA Says No Link)Ok.

== POW VA Benefits [05] ———————— (Expanded Policies)

== Vet Jobs [22] ————————————– (Federal Agencies)

== Arlington National Cemetery [15] ——— (Exhumation Results)

== Arlington National Cemetery [16] ———– (Accountability Bill)

== Veterans’ Court [07] ——————- (1st Federal Criminal Case)

== VA Financial Management System ——— (Upgrade Cancelled)

== HVAC [13] —————————————- (6 Bills Approved)

== VA Presumptive VN Vet Diseases [13] —– (Payment Handling)

== VA Presumptive VN Vet Diseases [14] — (Final Rule Published)

== Stop-loss Pay [06] ———————— (21 OCT Deadline Nears)

== Ohio Vet Bonus [01] ———————————– (Non-taxable)

== Vet Insurance Life [08] —————— (VA Corrective Action)

== Vet Insurance Life [09] ** ———– (Prudential Letter to Vets)

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== Saving Money —————————————- (Shopping Tips)

== Medicare Fraud [49] ——————————- (15-30 Sep 2010)

== Medicad Fraud [22] ——————————– (15-30 Sep 2010)

== State Veteran’s Benefits ———————————– (Delaware)

== Military History ——————————- (The Battle of Britain)

== Military History Anniversaries ———- (October 1-15 Summary)

== Military Trivia 13—————————————– (Number 13)

== Tax Burden for Oregon Retirees —————————— (2009)

== Congressional Alphalist ———————————— (Index M)

== Veteran Legislation Status 28 SEP 2010 ——- (Where we stand)

== Have You Heard? ———————- (Paraprosdokian sentences)

Attachment – House Veteran Legislation

Attachment – Senate Veteran Legislation

Attachment – Delaware State Veteran’s Benefits

Attachment – Q&A for Vietnam Service Connection

Attachment – Blue-Brown Water Claim Ships & Diseases

** Denotes Military Times sourced articles. Anyone who cannot access or open the website provided either because

they do not have a password or the information has been removed from their site can submit a request to

raoemo@sbcglobal.net for it to be forwarded to them by email.

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VA Disclosure Policy:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) policy on disclosure of adverse

medical events was praised as a ‘valuable resource for all health care institutions’ in an article in a recent issue of the

New England Journal of Medicine. “At VA we strive every day to deliver superior health care,” said Dr. Robert

Petzel, VA’s Under Secretary for Health. “When mistakes occur, we immediately acknowledge them and learn how

we can do better in the future.” Adverse events, such as incomplete cleaning of medical instruments, may affect

significant numbers of patients over time. However, prompt disclosure also presents an opportunity to quickly assess

risk to patients and to learn how to improve health care delivery and processes.

The article, entitled The Disclosure Dilemma, states that although many health care organizations have adopted

policies encouraging disclosure of adverse events to individual patients, these policies seldom address large scale

adverse events. It adds, however, that VA’s own disclosure policy is a notable exception. The authors, including

Denise Dudzinski, Ph.D., an associate professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the Department of Bioethics &

Humanities at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, go on to say that VA’s policy outlines “a

clear and systematic process” for disclosure decisions regarding large scale adverse events -a process that can

include convening a multidisciplinary advisory board with representation from diverse stakeholder groups and

experts, including ethicists. A co-author of the article is VA employee Mary Beth Foglia, RN, Ph.D., of the

National Center for Ethics in Health Care and affiliate faculty at the Department of Bioethics and Humanities the

University of Washington.

The VA policy endorses transparency and expresses an obligation to disclose adverse events that cause harm to

patients. Its provisions can include the convening of a multidisciplinary advisory board to review large-scale

adverse events, recommend whether to disclose and provide guidance on the manner of disclosure. The authors of

the article conclude with the following observation, which summarizes VA’s philosophy on the matter: “Disclosure

should be the norm, even when the probability of harm is extremely low. Although risks to the institution are

associated with disclosure, they are outweighed by the institution’s obligation to be transparent and to rectify

unanticipated patient harm.” For additional information, contact the VA Office of Public Affairs at (202) 461-7600.

[Source: VA News Release 29 Sep 2010 ++]

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Tricare Suspicious Calls:

Recently there has been a rash of calls to military personnel from

individuals who claimed to be with DoD and requested information under the guise of it being a Tricare national

survey. If you receive a call that request personal information do not disclose it. Ask the caller basic type questions

to help ensure you determine if the call is legitimate i.e. a call back number, there name and employee number, the

name of the company needing the information, and why they need your personal information. Remember your

personal information is yours and you need to protect it. Following is a Synopsis of one event:

On 15 Sep 2010, an active duty Hurlburt Field (HFLD) Airmen was contacted about a Tricare survey. The member

was asked for personal information such as: Social Security Number, home address, Date of Birth. Additionally, the

caller asked about deployment status and length of deployments. When the Airmen asked why personal information

Tricare already had on file was being asked, the caller immediately hung up. The Airmen attempted to call the

number back, but no one answered. The member saved the phone number (312) 258-4260. An online phone look up

was conducted the number originates from Chicago, Illinois area. Using whocallsme.com showed there is a blog

about the above number and calling others around the United States. The Investigations section called the above

number and an answering machine picked-up and spoke about a Tricare survey. The national and local Tricare

offices were contacted and verified they do conducted surveys; however, they never request the above type personal

information. If you receive a call from anyone about a Tricare and believe it to be false contact your local Tricare

office. The below link is contains some added safeguard

measures:www.tricare.mil/mybenefit/home/Medical/RightsAndResponsibilities/ProtectingPersonalInformation.

[Source: 1 SOSFS/S2I Intelligence Bulletin 10-001 15 Sep 2010 ++]

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Mobilized Reserve 28 SEP 2010:

The Department of Defense announced the current number of

reservists on active duty as of 28 SEP 2010. The net collective result is 1875 more reservists mobilized than last

reported in the 15 SEP 2010 RAO Bulletin. At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals

while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease. The total number

currently on active duty from the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 76,828; Navy Reserve, 6,881; Air

National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 15,469; Marine Corps Reserve, 4,013`; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 709.

This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been activated to 103,900 including both units

and individual augmentees. A cumulative roster of all National Guard and Reserve personnel who are currently

activated may be found at http://www.defense.gov/news/d20100928ngr.pdf. [Source: DoD News Release No. 887-

10 dtd 29 SEP 2010 ++]

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HUD-VASH Update 01:

The Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act of 2010 (H.R.3553/S.3246),

co-sponsored by Sen. John Thune (R-SD), passed the Senate 27 SEP. The legislation would discontinue the practice

of counting veterans’ disability compensation as income. Because housing assistance provided by the U.S.

Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) is based on income, the

practice has often pushed disabled Native American veterans above the income threshold for housing assistance, or

actually increased their rent. The bill, which was also sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) passed the House of

Representatives in April. It is now headed to the president’s desk for signature. [Source: Rapid City Journal article

29 Sep 2010 ++]

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VA Compensation & Pensions Update 02:

There is a hoax circulating the web that VA comp

rates are going up significantly due to recent legislation. What is being sent around is a chopped version of an actual

bill, H.R.4667, which has passed both houses and awaits the President‘s signature. The real bill calls for VA rates to

be increased at same rate as SS is increased. However, the increase in SS is determined by the increase in the

Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Department of Labor. By law,

it is the official measure used by SS to calculate the cost-of-living adjustment. If you check SSA‘s website, here is

what they said last year about the COLA. ―Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

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benefits will not automatically increase in 2010 as there was no increase in the CPI-W from the third quarter of 2008

to the third quarter of 2009.‖ That is also the current situation this year. The version on the web has erroneous

rates showing the 100% is going to double, the 10% rate is going up to over $400, and others. The information is

false. If in doubt you can check the text of H.R.4667 at www.thomas.gov. [Source: DAV Memo 29 Sep 2010 ++]

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VA Blue Water Claims Update 13:

Following oversight requests from Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), the Department of Veterans Affairs has agreed to review the cases of

nearly 17,000 Brown Water and other Vietnam Era veterans who claimed disabilities related to Agent Orange. VA

had previously denied a number of claims without properly determining whether veterans served in Vietnam’s inland

waterways (Brown Water) or otherwise served in locations where veterans may have been exposed to herbicides,

such as Agent Orange. “I commend VA for responding to data showing that many Navy vessels thought to have

stayed at sea actually traveled into the inland waters of Vietnam. As a result, veterans who served on these vessels

are eligible for the same benefits as Vietnam veterans who served on land. I urge veterans and advocates to visit the

Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee website to determine if evidence of ships in inland waters or service on the

perimeter of Air Force bases in Thailand entitles them or someone they know to health care and benefits,” said

Senator Akaka.

Akaka successfully urged VA to reconsider cases in which claims by Vietnam veterans potentially exposed to

Agent Orange were denied without obtaining relevant military records, such as deck logs. These claims

had been held in abeyance by VA while litigation was pending concerning so-called “Blue Water” veterans and their

exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides, and were subsequently denied. Akaka discovered that

many of these veterans actually served in so-called “Brown Water” or inland waters of Vietnam, and should have

received the same presumption of service-connection as veterans who had “boots on the ground” in Vietnam. By

law, VA presumes that veterans who served in inland waterways were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides.

Any of those veterans who suffer from certain diseases, and their survivors, may qualify for monetary benefits and

health care.

With this review, certain veterans who were previously considered “Blue Water” veterans will have their claims

re-evaluated for evidence of “Brown Water” service, or evidence of service in other locations where VA

acknowledges that herbicides may have been used, such as the perimeter of Air Force bases in Thailand. The Senate

Veterans’ Affairs Committee website provides a list of the ships VA has acknowledged traveled in inland waters, as

well as evidence about other ships that the committee has received. A list of the ships

identified to have traveled in Vietnam’s inland waters by VA is available at

http://veterans.senate.gov/upload/Ships_in_Vietnam.docx. Akaka’s committee staff also has compiled an additional

list of ships with evidence or suggestion of service in Vietnam’s inland waters. That list is available at

http://veterans.senate.gov/upload/Tracking_List_Ships.docx. For a list of the conditions Vietnam veterans are

presumed exposed to, refer to www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/diseases.asp#veterans. In addition,

monetary benefits and care are provided to Vietnam veterans’ offspring with spina bifida, and to children of women

veterans who served in Vietnam who have birth defects. For more information refer to

www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/birth_defects.asp . Note: The information from all

these websites can be found on the ―Blue-Brown Water Claim Ships & Diseases” attachment to this Bulletin.

[Source: www.VAWatchdog.com Larry Scott article 28 Sep 2010 +]

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GI Bill Update 85:

The VA released the Fiscal Year 2011 Montgomery GI Bill payment rates. This year

the MGIB rates increased by 4 percent to $1,426 a month, making the total value of the older GI Bill program over

$51K (for 36 months) for those who have not started using their benefit. Unlike the the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the MGIB

rates for full-time, three quarter, half, and less then half-time are relatively straight forward. A student veteran

carrying a full load (normally 12 semester hour units) earns the full monthly payment rate of $1,426 while the

halftime-time student would get half that amount ($713). The VA also released the FY2011 payment rates for the

Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR), Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP) and

Survivors‘ and Dependents‘ Education Assistance Program (DEA). These new payment rates do not go into effect

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until Oct. 1, 2010. This means that vets using the MGIB can expect to see the increase in their October payment (the

November 2010 check). Follow these links to find the payment rates for each program:

www.military.com/education/content/gi-bill/active-duty-gi-bill-payment-rates.html Montgomery GI Bill

www.military.com/education/content/gi-bill/selected-reserve-gi-bill-payment-rates.htm Montgomery GI

Bill — Selected Reserve

www.military.com/education/content/gi-bill/reserve-education-assistance-program-reap.html Reserve

Education Assistance Program

www.military.com/education/content/money-for-school/spouse-family/dependents-educational-assistance-

dea.html Survivors‘ and Dependents‘ Education Assistance

[Source: Veterans Report Terry Howell article 27 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

VA Contractor Use Update 03:

The House Veterans‘ Affairs Health Subcommittee, led by

Chairman Michael Michaud (D-ME), held a hearing to provide oversight of the contracting and procurement

practices by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The hearing

specifically focused on existing deficiencies and explored potential remedies in order to improve practices so they

are fair, fiscally responsible, and effective. ―Recent reports on VA‘s contracting activities identified the need for

increased transparency and increased fiscal responsibility, while highlighting inadequate competition and lack of

accountability and oversight,‖ said Chairman Michaud. ―Past hearings have brought to light the difficulties that

many private companies face in contracting with the VA. As a result of these deficiencies in VHA‘s procurement

practices, veterans may not have access to the latest innovations or the appropriate equipment when receiving health

care.‖ The Committee received the testimonies of private companies that contract with the VA and those that are

seeking to contract with the VA, which highlighted the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the Department‘s

acquisition and procurement processes. Witnesses expressed concerns over unfairly award contracts, overly complex

contracts, and lack of competition during the bidding process. Some businesses face more extreme challenges.

Mark T. Munroe, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Mobile Medical Corporation testified that ―the

last thing our company ever expected would be the need to sue the U.S. Government for actions taken during a

procurement process.‖

Contractors suggested the VA strengthen communication lines with contractors by appointing a single contact

person for each contractor and sharing important information in a consistent manner with a specific point person.

Moreover, they pressed for a simplification of contracts that should to be awarded to one company per industry.

Belinda Finn of the VA‘s Office of the Inspector General discussed findings from late 2009 that ―identified systemic

issues such as poor acquisition planning, problematic contract award processes, poorly written contracts, and

inadequate contract monitoring that impacted VA‘s efforts to effectively and economically deliver goods and

services to VA facilities.‖ She continued that procurement problems led to ―inadequate competition for contracts,

the misuse of funds, and a general lack of assurance that VA procurements achieved fair and reasonable prices or

were in the best interest of the Government. We attributed many of these systemic procurement problems to VA‘s

decentralized organizational structure for procurement activities, inadequate oversight and accountability, and

inaccurate and incomplete procurement data. Our work since we testified in December continues to identify

systemic weaknesses in procurement practices that negatively impact VA‘s ability to obtain quality goods and

services in a timely manner at fair and reasonable prices.‖

Bob Filner (D-CA), Chair of the House Committee on Veterans‘ Affairs, said, ―This Committee is committed to

providing necessary resources to VA – but those resources are intended for veterans. I am beyond frustrated with

the continued lack of due diligence regarding firms that do business with the VA, lack of a clearinghouse for

contracting data which results in hidden and invisible contracts, and lack of consequences for abusive firms. For the

most part, I support the policy guidelines currently in place, yet clear evidence remains that they are not uniformly

applied in the field. VA officials must work with local providers and facility directors to ensure adherence to policy

and return accountability to those that fail to ensure patient safety and those that refuse to end waste, fraud, and

abuse in the VA‘s contracting process.‖ [Source: Imperial Valley News article 27 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

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Debt Settlement Companies:

Ads from debt settlement companies claiming they can help you pay

off your credit card balances for pennies on the doll are everywhere these days. Debt settlement involves negotiating

with credit card companies and other creditors to lower the principal amount you owe, then paying it off in a single

lump sum. This is different than credit counseling, which typically involves negotiating a lower interest rate and

payments, then paying off the debt in full over time. Unfortunately too many debt settlement companies are bad

apples. These promise things they have no intention of delivering, charge too much to do too little, and utterly

vaporize your credit history. Last summer the FTC finally stepped up to the plate and put out new rules for debt

settlement companies that will cost them money and probably save hapless consumers from abuse. And now those

rules are starting to go into effect. As of 26 SEP the rules require them to tell the truth. They:

Require debt relief companies to make specific disclosures to consumers;

Prohibit them from making misrepresentations; and

Extend the telemarketing sales rule to cover calls consumers make to these firms in response to debt relief

advertising.

What this means in plain English is that debt settlement companies can‘t overstate the success of their programs.

They are also required to disclose potential negative side effects of a debt settlement. For example, many debt

settlement companies have in the past assured consumers that settling a debt wouldn‘t negatively impact their credit

score. This is complete hogwash. Paying less on a debt than is owed will nearly always lower your credit score. It

could also cause an income tax issue. Starting 27 OCT another new FTC rule requires them not to charge you

anything until they do something. While telling the truth may prove difficult for some debt settlement companies,

it‘s this new rule that‘s really going to hurt. Because rather than charge up-front for their services like they typically

do now, they‘ll have to wait until at least one of the following occurs:

The debt relief service successfully renegotiates, settles, reduces, or otherwise changes the terms of at least

one of the consumer‘s debts;

There is a written settlement agreement, debt management plan, or other agreement between the consumer

and the creditor, and the consumer has agreed to it; and

The consumer has made at least one payment to the creditor as a result of the agreement negotiated by the

debt relief provider.

In other words, until the debt settlement company actually performs, they don‘t get paid. Another rule that will

go into effect on 27 OCT requires them to keep all customer funds in a segregated, insured account. These rules

don‘t apply to all companies, just the for-profits. And don‘t think that just because there are new rules that prohibit

wrong-doing that it won‘t occur anyway. After all, we‘re talking about companies that, at least in some cases,

employ commissioned salespeople who take complete advantage of the broke, innocent, and desperate – not

normally the type to follow rules. Bottom line if you‘re in debt trouble, it would be prudent to avoid debt settlement

companies. Instead, talk to a credit counseling organization, or a bankruptcy lawyer. Consumer Credit Counseling

Service agencies, as well as some others, belong to an organization called NFCC, or the National Foundation of

Credit Counselors. Another national organization that represents credit counseling agencies is the Association of

Independent Credit Counseling Agencies, or AICCCA. You can find NFCC members near you via their Find a

Counselor Now page at www.nfcc.org/FirstStep/firststep_01.cfm. You can find AICCCA members near you by

using their state by state lists at http://aiccca.org/find.cfm. [Source: Money Talks News Stacy Johnson article 24 Sep

2010 ++]

===============================

FEGLI:

On 22 SEP Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) introduced H.R.6175 which would require participants in

the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGL) program to opt out of receiving lump-sum benefit payouts; the

current default payment option is a retained-asset account, where insurance benefits are deposited and from which

beneficiaries can withdraw funds using what appear to be checks. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation does

not protect funds in retained-asset accounts and a financial institution must cash the checks. The account

management firm controls the money until beneficiaries‘ cash out the accounts in full. Concerns about whether

beneficiaries and their families are aware of the payout options are behind Connolly’s push for an opt-out default.

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“We’re all busy, and insurance companies aren’t motivated to inform [participants] because they get to make money

off of that,” he said. “As long as everyone is fully informed and has choices and can make decisions about

investments, that’s a fairer way to proceed.” National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley said she

supports having lump-sum payments as the default option under FEGLI. “For those beneficiaries who prefer another

payment option, such as a [total control account], an active election will allow one,” Kelley said in a statement.

“However, we believe (your) approach with a lump-sum default is the more prudent practice in this federal program,

while still affording transparency and choice for the federal workforce family.”

Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) in August expressed concern that Prudential Financial, which manages accounts

for the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance program and the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance program, has failed

to inform participants’ families about the procedures for receiving benefits. A Prudential spokesman said the

company would cooperate fully with Towns’ request for information, and the Veterans Affairs Department this

month announced improvements to its financial counseling process to clarify benefit payment options. Connolly said

his legislation might be considered in Congress’ lame duck session, but added he will continue to push the issue.

[Source: GovExec.com Emily Long article 24 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

State Veterans Home Program Update 03:

Rep. Mac Thornberry‘s (R-TX-13) bill H.R.4505

to help Gold Star Parents gain access to state-run veterans homes awaits President Obama‘s signature. The bill

legislates away red tape that has kept the parents out of state veterans homes unless every single one of their

children has died in military service. ―It‘s the right thing to do,‖ Thornberry, a Republican from Clarendon, said. ―It

shouldn‘t have had to take an act of Congress to do it, but it has.‖ Thornberry said he‘s grateful that even this

dysfunctional Congress can make a relatively small but important correction allowing for better care of Gold Star

Parents. The measure changes the wording in federal regulations to allow a Gold Star Parent‘s admission to a state

veterans home if the parent has lost at least one child in active military service. Texas Land Commissioner Jerry

Patterson, who oversees the state‘s veteran‘s homes, said he‘s proud to finally be able to welcome every Gold Star

parent who needs the care into those homes. ―Their sacrifice has certainly earned them a place in a home where

honor lives,‖ Patterson said. In Texas alone veterans‘ homes in Amarillo, Big Spring, Bonham, El Paso, Floresville,

Temple and McAllen provide skilled nursing, rehabilitation, dementia and Alzheimer‘s, end-of-life and other types

of care to more than 1,000 veterans. Overall the United States and Puerto Rico have 137 state veterans‘ homes

providing care to about 28,500 veterans and dependents, Thornberry has said. The Senate version of the legislation

was passed unanimously 20 SEP. The House approved the bill unanimously 30 JUN. Obama is expected to sign the

bill. The Veterans Administration determined Thornberry‘s bill would not mean additional costs for the federal

agency. Gold Star Parents admitted to state homes would rely on private insurance and Medicaid. Groups

supporting the legislation include the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Iraq and

Afghanistan Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America, and the National Association of State Veterans

Homes. [Source: San Angelo Standard times Trish Choate article 24 sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Military Retirement Fund:

For many years, the Defense Department funded military retirement on

a “pay-as-you-go” basis, estimating how much money was needed to write checks for current retirees and adding

that amount to the budget. This system worked well as far as paying retirees went, but it did not hold policymakers

fiscally responsible for today’s decisions affecting the size of the future retirement bill, e.g., increasing the force size.

To promote better management, in 1984, Congress directed a switch to an accrual method of funding retirement.

Under this procedure, each year the services transfer into a fund the amount necessary to pay for future retirements.

The amount transferred is a percentage of the service’s basic pay. Thus, if a service implements policies that affect

the future value of retirement benefits, it sees the budgetary consequences of that decision immediately in the form

of an increase in the amount transferred to the retirement fund. Analysis by Arroyo Center researchers William Hix

and William Taylor, reported in A Policymaker’s Guide to Accrual Funding of Military Retirement, suggests that the

current procedures do not fully capture the intent of the legislation and that changes could eventually save the Army

as much as $5-6 billion annually.

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When Congress established the retirement fund, it shifted responsibility for service rendered before 1 OCT 84, to

the Department of the Treasury; DoD has responsibility to fund service rendered after that date. At the time of the

transfer, Treasury accepted an unfunded liability estimated at $529 billion, which was to amortize over 60 years.

Annually the services transfer an amount equal to a percentage of their basic pay accounts for the active and reserve

components. The percentage differs by component, but it is identical within components for all services. In FY95,

fund transfers equaled 33.5% of the active duty basic pay and 9.7% of the selected reserves. The Board of Actuaries

annually calculates the liability for the pre-1984 service, adjusted for changes in assumptions and experience, and

transfers an amount equal to one year’s amortized payment. The money in the fund is invested in nonnegotiable

government securities, and it draws interest. Transfers into the fund and its investment transactions qualify as intra-

governmental transfers (even though they represent an outlay to DoD) and thus have no effect on the deficit. Only

payments to retirees from the fund represent outlays to the federal government. The fund’s liability is not static, and

three things can cause what are called actuarial gains and losses:

Funding assumptions can change: To determine how much money DoD has to transfer to the fund, a

Board of Actuaries reviews assumptions about economic and noneconomic factors at the beginning of each

year. Economic factors include assumptions about pay raises, cost of living allowance (COLA) increases,

and interest rates. An assumed pay raise means that the future liability of the fund will increase because

retirees will draw more money. Therefore, the amount transferred into the fund has to increase to account

for this future liability. An assumption that the interest rate will increase has the opposite effect. The fund

earns interest on nonnegotiable government securities. So if interest rates go up, the fund will earn more

interest, thus the amount transferred can be less. The so-called noneconomic assumptions include such

things as the rates of retirement and the longevity of retirees. If, for example, higher retirement rates or

lower death rates are assumed, funding requirements increase.

Benefits can change: Benefit changes also affect the size of the contribution. For example, Congress

slipped the 1994 and 1995 COLA increases from` JAN to later in the year. These delays reduced the

actuarial value of the retirement benefit and, hence, the funding required.

Experience can differ from assumptions: As mentioned, the actuaries review certain economic assumptions

at the beginning of the year. Frequently, these differ from what actually happens during the year. For

example, if the pay raises or COLAs approved differ from the assumptions, the fund earns more interest

than anticipated, or fewer people retire than anticipated, the funding requirements change. Right now only

Treasury benefits from any decreases in fund liability. The Treasury would make annual payments to fund

this amount amortized over 50 years. If the liability of the fund goes down because it earns more interest or

for some other reason, the size of the Treasury payment goes down. The assumptions made by the Board of

Actuaries have turned out to be conservative; over its life, the fund has never had an actuarial loss. All the

net changes in liability have been downward. These decreases can be substantial. In FY95, for example, the

liability was reduced by $48 billion. The Treasury amortized this amount over 30 years, and reduced its

annual payment by that amortized amount. Over the first 10 years of the fund’s life, the average annual gain

has been almost $30 billion, and the annual Treasury payment has shrunk from $25 billion to $11.5 billion.

Another area of interest pertains to service retirement practices. The intention of the annual transfer from the

services is to fund the future retirement liability of the individuals represented in those accounts. This procedure

assumes that all services retire people at an identical rate. But they do not. A service’s level of seniority directly

affects the number of people it retires. The higher the level of seniority, the more retirees. For both the officer and

the enlisted forces, the Air Force maintains the most seniority, the Marine Corps the least. Accrual percentages

computed with service-specific personnel policies would differ significantly by service. Current policies cause the

budgets of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps to carry several hundred millions of dollars a year of the cost of Air

Force personnel policies. Hence, in its retirement budget the Air Force appears several hundred million dollars a

year cheaper than its actual cost; the other services appear more expensive. [Source: RAND research brief ‗A

Policymaker’s Guide to Accrual Funding of Military Retirement‘ 1997 ++]

===============================

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Military Retirement Fund Update 01:

Wartime demands for personnel, and record retention

rates due in part to a dismal job market, have left the services with an older, more experienced force — and a

surprise $1-billion-a-year pop in retirement costs. The Department of Defense‘s Board of Actuaries in late July

overhauled the assumptions used to calculate what the services must budget for annually to cover future retirement

obligations to the current force. It acted on analyses from the Dod Office of the Actuary which, for the first time,

weighed the effects on retirement costs of Post-9/11 developments including nine years of sustained operations, a

deep economic recession and growth in military entitlements of retirees and survivors. The result is an $800 million

jump in accrual retirement costs the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps have to pay starting 2012 because

more service members are staying until retirement. Some of that cost too is a projected 40% increase in disability

retirements, the result of a crackdown on the low-balling of disability awards by service through stricter compliance

with rating practices of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Another $200 million in added yearly retirement costs is

attributed to retirees living longer. Death rates are falling — and sharply.

―The improvement that military retirees are seeing in their own mortality is just phenomenal,‖ said Peter Rossi,

one of DoD actuaries that worked on revising projected retirement costs. Retiree deaths are ―decreasing at such a

rapid rate — faster than the American public, faster than anyone else — we are seeing a 2-plus percent a year

change for active, reserve. It‘s everybody.‖ Deaths for non-disabled retirees in 2008-2009 were 8% lower than found

for non-disabled retirees in 2004-2005. For retired reservists, data showed a 4% drop. No cause has been identified,

Rossi added. ―Maybe military folks are just in better shape.‖ The changes in actuarial assumptions reportedly

surprised Under Secretary of Defense Robert Hale, the DoD comptroller, who already was under considerable

pressure to curb the services‘ soaring personnel costs. ―The comptroller was not pleased,‖ said one official. ―He now

had to go out and find [$1 billion] when Defense Secretary [Robert] Gates is telling him he needs to save money.

That was a contentious issue for a while.‖

The retention rate of careerist is so high that in the 2012 budget to be delivered to Congress next February, the

services will assume that 19% of all new entrants serve for 20 years, long enough to qualify for retirement. That‘s a

―huge‖ change from the 17% previously assumed, said Rossi. Specifically, the probability of newly commissioned

officers reaching retirement will climb to 49% from 47. For new enlistees, the assumed retirement rate will be raised

to 17% from 15. It forces the services overall to set aside $20 billion in their 2012 budgets to cover active duty

retirement costs, an unplanned for 5% jump. Another $2.8 billion will have to be set aside for Guard and Reserve

retirement but that‘s unchanged. Rossi said the Office of the Actuary has not reconsidered assumptions for Guard

and Reserve retirement but it soon will. Another way to look at the effect of the new assumptions on retirement costs

is by individual member costs. For fiscal 2011 the services will set aside $32.70 for future retired pay for every $100

paid in basic pay. That proportion will climb to $34.30 for every $100 in basis pay in fiscal 2012. So if a service

member draws $50,000 in basic pay, his or her service will have to pony up $17,150 that year for future retired pay,

or $800 more than was needed a year earlier.

For many years, the military ignored future retirement obligations, budgeting only to cover payments due each

year to current retirees and survivors. That pay-as-you-go method created a huge unfunded liability. Critics also said

the services had no incentive to control retirement costs. In 1984 Congress ordered DoD to switch to ―accrual

accounting‖ for retirement accounts. The Treasury Department was given responsibility for the unfunded liability

and established a military retirement trust fund. The services began to pay into that fund whatever amount was

needed to cover retirement costs for the current active, Guard and Reserve forces. So retirement obligations today

are paid from two pots. Treasury pays roughly $50 billion a year to cover annuities of current retirees and survivors.

The services pay more than $20 billion a year in accrual payments. The board of actuaries assumed at its July

meeting that military retirees, social security recipients, federal civilian retirees, disabled veterans and survivors will

have to wait until at least January 2012 before they see their next cost-of-living adjustment or COLA. That

prediction looks even more solid now, to the regret of retirees. No COLA last year eased the unfunded liability of

the military retirement system by $22.3 billion. But it gave no relief to service budgets because Treasury‘s pays

COLAs of current retirees. Rossi said that over time retirees can expect COLAs to deliver an annual average boost

of 3%. [Source: Kitsap Sun Tom Philpott article 24 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

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Tricare 26 Update 01:

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) required civilian

health plans that provide medical coverage to children to make that coverage available until the child turns 26 years

of age. This particular provision of the health reform law became effective 23 SEP. However, The PPACA did not

give DoD the authority to offer this benefit through Tricare. There are provisions in the Senate and House versions

of the pending National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2011, S. 3454 & H.R. 5136 (respectively), that

would extend dependent medical coverage up to age 26 under a premium-based program. The Tricare Management

Authority told the National Association or Uniformed Services they are prepared to implement changes when

enacted.

Tricare already meets or exceeds most of the other new health care provisions which took effect 23 SEP under

PPACA. The Act provides new or expanded options and consumer protections for those with private health

insurance coverage. Most provisions under PPACA, such as restrictions on annual limits, lifetime maximums, ―high

user‖ cancellations, denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, have not been a concern for the active duty

military and retiree families under Tricare. Because Tricare is an entitlement provided for by law, Tricare‘s coverage

has no lifetime cap. Under the basic entitlement, Tricare costs are determined by legislation and in general, active

duty families and military retirees pay low, or no, annual or monthly fees, unlike coverage under most commercial

health insurance plan. There is no cost for medical care for active duty service members. [Source: NAUS Weekly

Update 24 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Military Tax Relief Update 02:

On 22 SEP, witnesses from The Military Coalition (TMC) testified

before the Senate Finance Committee concerning needed improvements in tax law affecting service personnel and

their families and survivors. This is first time the Coalition has been asked to address the Finance Committee which

is encouragiong for possible TMC input in future hearings. Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) opened the

hearing stating, “This committee will take a hard look at how we can improve tax and fiscal policy to make life

better for our military and their families…we did much in 2008…but I know that there’s more to do.” The Committee

heard from witnesses representing the Montana National Guard, a small business owner from Iowa who actively

recruits veterans, and the Coalition concerning tax changes needed for reservists and survivors. The hearing focused

on tax credits to incentivize employers to hire and retain drilling Guard and Reserve personnel in the face of

increased deployment requirements, improving tax deductions for drill-related travel expenses for Guard and

Reserve members, and protecting Survivor Benefit plan annuities for children from inadvertent penalties under the

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The Coalition proposed making permanent the temporary tax credit, enacted in

2008, for small businesses that pay a wage differential to reservists who are called to active service. All the

witnesses expressed concern that out-of-pocket expenses reservists incur in traveling to their training duty stations

can be deducted from their income taxes only if the drilling duty station is more than 100 miles from home, vs. the

50-mile standard used for other federal purposes. TMC members had previously met with Sen. John Kerry’s (D-MA)

staff to seek support for a legislative fix, and were pleased when Kerry and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)

announced at the hearing that they had just introduced S.3819 to reduce the mileage requirement to 50 miles. Baucus

called the proposal “a no-brainer”, and also expressed strong interest in the Coalition’s proposal to exempt surviving

military children’s SBP annuities from AMT penalties. [Source: MOAA Leg Up 24 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

NDAA 2011 Update 06:

It’s looking virtually certain that the Senate will delay action on the FY2011

Defense Authorization Bill until after the elections, which will make for a very raucous November and December on

Capitol Hill. The Senate briefly brought the bill up for consideration this week, but leadership withdrew it from the

table after debate reached an impasse over potential amendments on the “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” issue and allowing

illegal immigrants to gain citizenship by joining the military. Because action on the defense bill typically consumes

a week of debate with over 300-plus amendments, Senate leaders pulled it from the floor to focus on other essential

legislation – i.e., approving temporary funding to avoid a government shutdown on 1 OCT, the start of FY2011.

Congress will leave Washington to hit the campaign trail within the next two weeks, but will face some very tough

slogging when it returns for a “lame duck” session after the November 2nd election. In what’s likely to be a short

and bitterly debated session, legislators will be faced with:

Finishing the Defense Authorization Bill

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Preventing a 23.5% cut in Medicare and Tricare payments to doctors from going into effect on Dec. 1, as

required under current law

Approving funds for government operations beyond December

Initiatives to extend part or all of the Bush-era tax cuts

Announcement of the recommendations of the President’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and

Reform on Dec. 1

[Source: MOAA Leg Up 25 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Mojave Desert Veteran Memorial Update 06:

A Texas-based nonprofit filed a motion in

federal court 21 SEP requesting it intervene in the ongoing legal battle over a steel cross erected in the Mojave

National Preserve as a memorial to war veterans. The Liberty Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting

Constitutional freedoms, filed the motion in U.S. District Court in Riverside on behalf of the Veterans of Foreign

Wars Department of California and VFW Post 385 in Barstow. It argues that the VFW has a vested interest in the

legal proceedings and should be included in the existing lawsuit that has been challenged repeatedly over the last 10

years. The VFW installed the approximately 7-foot-tall Latin cross, crafted from concrete-filled welded steel pipe, at

Sunrise Rock, about 12 miles south of the 15 Freeway and east of Cima Road, in 1934 as a tribute to soldiers who

fought and died in World War I. It has existed there in some form or another ever since. Since then:

In 2000, the land on which the cross sits was incorporated into the Mojave National Preserve by executive

order from the President. In 2001, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the National Parks Service on

behalf of Frank Buono, a former assistant superintendent for the Mojave National Preserve. The ACLU

contended that it was improper to display a sectarian symbol on public land.

In 2004, Congress authorized the transfer of the one-acre of public land the cross sits on back to the VFW

in exchange for five acres of land elsewhere.

In April, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a lower court erred when it invalidated the land transfer,

In May, the cross was stolen, which prompted a federal investigation.

In June, a coalition of veterans sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to help restore the

memorial.

ACLU attorney Peter Eliasberg called the timing of the VFW’s action as improper. “Usually you intervene when

it’s timely. They’ve had that interest for somewhat between six to eight years,” Eliasberg said. He said the VFW

made the same effort about a year ago, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied their motion. “The issue isn’t just

whether you have an interest, but if you do it in an orderly fashion,” Eliasberg said. “If their interest is the fact

they’re going to be the recipients of this land, they knew that in 2004.” Ted Cruz, an attorney for the VFW, said the

VFW has a legal right to be included in the legal process, regardless of when they decided to engage. He said if the

Congressional statute is allowed to go into force, the actual property at the center of the litigation will be owned by

the VFW. “It’s their land by act of Congress, and intervention exists to allow parties to defend their interests,” said

Cruz. “At the end of the day, it’s their land if the statute is allowed to go into effect.” James Rowoldt, state

adjutant/quartermaster of the VFW Department of California, in a news release said, “This is our land, our memorial

and we want it back,” said . “To deny the veterans a chance to defend our own is to continue to dishonor those for

whom the memorial stands.” The motion has been scheduled to be heard by the court on 25 OCT. The ACLU plans

on filing a response to the motion before then, Cruz said.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution 28 SEP condemning the theft of the Mojave Cross

memorial and urging federal officials to allow veterans groups to replace it. Congressmen Jerry Lewis (R-CA-41)

along with a number of other representatives jointly proposed the legislative action shortly after the cross was stolen.

The resolution calls on the Interior and Justice departments to expedite the completion of a land transfer that would

give the VFW ownership of the Sunrise Rock site so it can replace the memorial, in exchange for other land within

the Mojave National Preserve. ―Legislation was approved by Congress and signed into law that would resolve this

problem by removing the land from government ownership, and it is time to complete this process that has gone on

for more than a decade now,‖ Lewis said. ―It is time to give our veterans groups the ability to replace this important

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memorial to those who gave their lives to defend our nation and freedoms.‖ [Source: A San Jose Mercury News Joe

Nelson article 22 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Update 08:

At a recent defense forum, a soldier raised a question

about whether the names of Agent Orange victims will be allowed to be placed on the wall in light of a Veterans

Affairs Department policy change that greatly expands the presumption of service connection for several health

conditions linked to Agent Orange exposure…

Note: ―We were contacted by Military Times Managing Editor who informed us that to disseminate any additional

information on the RAO website pertaining to this or any other subject taken from their publications will infringe on

the copyright of the material contained within their Army/Navy/Air Force/ Marine Corps newspapers and/or

provided on their websites. Their interpretation of any exclusion extended to us as a non-profit entity under Title 17

U.S.C. section 107 to use their material does not extend to posting it on a public website. The repository of all

Bulletin articles for those who cannot receive the Bulletin directly is

http://post_119_gulfport_ms.tripod.com/rao1.html which is considered a public website even though it is maintained

by a non-profit military fraternal organization. Military Times‘ interpretation of Title 17 exclusion does allow us to

disseminate the information via direct communication to individual subscribers. Since we cannot afford the time nor

expense to deal with their implied legal action, readers who want to obtain this information can attempt to access it

at

http://armytimes.va.newsmemory.com/default.php?token=9b26271a62d9f9f900f4e399479c130d&pSetup=armytime

s . Those who are unable to do so or who cannot access it because they do not have a password or it has been

removed from their website can obtain the information directly via email request to raoemo@sbcglobal.net.

==============================

USFSPA & Divorce Update 15:

Unable to get traction on the federal front, some military retirees

and veterans seeking to stop state courts from requiring veterans to share disability compensation with ex-spouses

are turning to state legislatures…

Note: ―We were contacted by Military Times Managing Editor who informed us that to disseminate any additional

information on the RAO website pertaining to this or any other subject taken from their publications will infringe on

the copyright of the material contained within their Army/Navy/Air Force/ Marine Corps newspapers and/or

provided on their websites. Their interpretation of any exclusion extended to us as a non-profit entity under Title 17

U.S.C. section 107 to use their material does not extend to posting it on a public website. The repository of all

Bulletin articles for those who cannot receive the Bulletin directly is

http://post_119_gulfport_ms.tripod.com/rao1.html which is considered a public website even though it is maintained

by a non-profit military fraternal organization. Military Times‘ interpretation of Title 17 exclusion does allow us to

disseminate the information via direct communication to individual subscribers. Since we cannot afford the time nor

expense to deal with their implied legal action, readers who want to obtain this information can attempt to access it

at

http://armytimes.va.newsmemory.com/default.php?token=9b26271a62d9f9f900f4e399479c130d&pSetup=armytime

s . Those who are unable to do so or who cannot access it because they do not have a password or it has been

removed from their website can obtain the information directly via email request to raoemo@sbcglonbal.net.

===============================

Foreclosure Update 06:

Some of the nation’s largest mortgage companies used a single document

processor who said he signed off on foreclosures without having read the paperwork – an admission that may open

the door for veterans owning homes across the country to challenge foreclosure proceedings. The legal predicament

compelled Ally Financial, the nation’s fourth-largest home lender, to halt evictions of homeowners in 23 states this

week. Now it appears hundreds of other companies, including mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, may

also be affected because they use Ally to service their loans. As head of Ally’s foreclosure document processing

team, 41-year-old Jeffrey Stephan was required to review cases to make sure the proceedings were legally justified

and the information was accurate. He was also required to sign the documents in the presence of a notary. In a sworn

deposition, he testified that he did neither. The reason may be the sheer volume of the documents he had to hand-

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sign: 10,000 a month. Stephan had been at that job for five years. In sworn depositions taken in December and June

for two separate court cases involving families trying to keep their homes, Stephan revealed his shortcuts when

reviewing the files. He said he would glance at the borrower’s names, the debt owed and a few other numbers but

would not read through all the documents as legally required. He would then sign them. The files were packed up in

bulk and sent off for notarization several days later.

How the nation’s foreclosure system became reliant on the tedious work of a few corporate bureaucrats is still a

matter that mortgage lenders are trying to answer. While the lenders may have had legitimate cause to foreclose, the

mishandling of the paperwork has given homeowners ammunition in their fight against foreclosure and has drawn

the attention of state law enforcement officials. Ally spokesman James Olecki called the problem with the

documents “an important but technical defect.” He said the papers were “factually accurate” but conceded that

“corrective action” may have to be taken in some cases and that others may “require court intervention.” Olecki said

the company services loans “from hundreds of different lenders,” but he declined to provide names. Spokesmen for

Fannie and Freddie confirmed 21 SEP that they use Ally, formerly called GMAC, to oversee some mortgages. The

companies have launched internal reviews to assess the scope of any potential issues. Ally, Fannie and Freddie – all

troubled mortgage companies that received extraordinary bailouts by the federal government during the financial

crisis – declined to say how many loans might be affected. The Treasury Department, which owns a majority stake in

Ally and seized Fannie and Freddie in 2008, also declined to comment.

Fannie and Freddie, created by Congress to finance mortgages and encourage homeownership, have in recent

years been repossessing houses at record numbers. Fannie alone reported recently that 450,000 of its single-family

loans were seriously delinquent or in the foreclosure process as of 30 JUN. That’s nearly 5% of the loans it

guarantees. Lawyers defending homeowners have accused some of the nation’s largest lenders of foreclosing on

families without verifying all of the information in a case, but it has been hard for them to stop foreclosure

proceedings. Ally’s moratorium comprises only the 23 states that mandate a court judgment before a lender can take

possession of a property. But if Stephan signed documents related to foreclosures in states without this requirement

(it’s unclear whether he did), it could help a much broader range of borrowers. Iowa Assistant Attorney General

Patrick Madigan, chair of a national foreclosure prevention group composed of state attorneys general and lenders,

said the fallout from the Ally review could be enormous because Stephan’s actions could be considered an unfair and

deceptive practice. “If servicers are submitting court documents that aren’t true or that have not been verified, that is

of great concern,” Madigan said. At the rate Stephan was reviewing files, if he worked an eight-hour day he would

have had an average of only 1.5 minutes for each document. [Source: Washington Post Ariana Eunjung Cha article

22 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Tax-exempt Status:

Military fraternal organizations stand to lose their tax-exempt status if they have not

filed Form 990N with the Internal Revenue Service by 15 OCT 2010, or have not filed any other 990s for three

consecutive years, regardless of their annual revenues and expenses. The filing requirement, previously unnecessary

for entities with $25,000 or less in annual revenue, is imposed as part of the Pension Protection Act of 2006. Those

entities that have not filed a 990 for a number of years may find that their Employer Identification Numbers (EIN)

have been removed from the IRS system. In that occurs you will have to take one of the following actions:

File a form SS-4 and apply for a reinstatement or new number.

Appeal to the Department of Treasury with a letter of justification for not obeying the law. The secretary of

the Treasury has discretion to grant tax-exempt status.

File for one online at www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=102767,00.html

The replacement EIN you obtain is your permanent number and can be used immediately for most of your

business needs, including opening a bank account, applying for business licenses, and filing a tax return by mail.

However, no matter how you apply (phone, fax, mail, or online), it will take up to two weeks before your EIN

becomes part of the IRS’ permanent records. You must wait until this occurs before you can file an electronic return,

make an electronic payment, or pass an IRS Taxpayer Identification Number matching program. [Source: American

Legion Online Update 21 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

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Health Care Reform Update 39:

Proposed regulations unveiled 20 SEP seek to crack down on

Medicare and Medicaid fraud by subjecting operators of certain medical firms to fingerprinting and stopping

payments when credible fraud allegations are made, documents show. The rules would give federal health officials

key powers to identify fraud early and reduce the estimated $55 billion in improper payments made each year in the

Medicare and Medicaid programs, said Peter Budetti, director of the new anti-fraud office at the federal Centers for

Medicare & Medicaid Services. “Our initiative will allow us to go beyond what we’ve always called ‘pay and chase’

and to actually have the tools and mechanisms to prevent much of the fraud we’ve seen in recent years,” Budetti

said. The proposed rules are part of the nation’s new health law, which plans to expand coverage to millions of

Americans in part by saving money on waste and fraud in the public and private health care systems. It’s not known

how much money these proposed rules would save, Budetti said. They would provide increased scrutiny to $900

billion in annual spending in federal Medicare, and the state-federal Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance

Program (CHIP) by:

Suspending payments to a provider as soon as there’s been a “credible allegation” of fraud that merits

further investigation, including tips from consumers.

Requiring state Medicaid programs to stop using medical providers that have been kicked out of Medicare

or another state’s Medicaid or CHIP program.

Visiting more medical firms to ensure they are legitimate.

Rating all types of medical providers by their risk for engaging in fraud. Those at highest risk would

undergo fingerprinting and criminal background checks. New home-health agencies and suppliers of home-

health equipment that are not publicly traded companies would initially get this increased screening,

Budetti said.

Such firms have been prosecuted by a federal strike force, which since 2007 has obtained indictments against

more than 800 people for falsely billing Medicare more than $1.85 billion. The proposed rules were published 23

SEP, beginning 60 days for comments. Budetti expects final regulations by year’s end. The regulations can be

previewed at: www.ofr.gov/inspection.aspx. Louis Saccoccio, who heads the National Health Care Anti-Fraud

Association, praised the proposed rules. “It’s long overdue,” said Saccoccio, whose group represents private insurers,

law enforcement and other government agencies. “It shows there’s a focus now on prevention as opposed to we pay

these folks and then we try to get the money back and prosecute them.” [Source: USA Today Alison Young article

21 SEP 2010 ++]

===============================

VA Home Loan Update 22:

The home mortgage interest rate is now at the lowest it has been in

decades. In view of this favorable rate, you may be considering the purchase of a home or perhaps refinancing your

existing home loan. In either case you may want to consider a loan guaranteed by the Veterans Administration. The

basic eligibility requirements are active military service and discharge or release under conditions other than

dishonorable. There are also certain service requirements — for instance, a veteran who enlisted after 7 SEP 80 or

who entered active duty after 16 OCT 81 must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they

were called to active duty in order to be eligible. The widow of a veteran whose death was declared to be the result

of a service-connected disability is also eligible. A VA home loan can be used for a variety of actions, including

buying or building a home; buying a condominium unit; repairing, altering, or improving a residence owned by the

veteran and occupied as a home; refinancing an existing home loan; or buying a manufactured home and/or lot, to

mention just some of the more common uses for a VA-backed home loan.

The first step in obtaining a VA-backed loan is to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility. This certificate can be

obtained by submitting a VA Form 26-1880 to VA Eligibility Center, Winston-Salem, N.C. Your Veterans Service

Officer has this form in stock and it can also be obtained by visiting www.va.gov/forms. After you have obtained

your certificate of eligibility your next action should be to find the property you wish to buy or a contractor to build

your home. When you have made your decision as to what you want you then must find a lender. As a reminder, VA

does not pay the mortgage. It will be necessary for you to establish credit with the firm that is making the mortgage

loan. To qualify for a VA home loan the applicant must be able to pay the monthly mortgage and property

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insurance. The veteran or the spouse of an active duty service member, or widow of a veteran whose death was

declared to be the result of a service-connected disability, must certify that he or she intends to occupy the home.

When refinancing a VA-guaranteed loan solely to reduce the interest rate, a veteran need only certify to prior

occupancy.

Veterans obtain VA-guaranteed loans through the usual lending institutions and negotiate the interest rate and

terms of the mortgage. The loans can have either a fixed interest rate or an adjustable rate, where the interest rate

may adjust up to 1% annually and up to 5% over the life of the loan. VA does not set the interest rate. Veterans may

also choose a different type of adjustable rate mortgage called a hybrid ARM, where the initial interest rate remains

fixed for three to 10 years. If the rate remains fixed for less than five years, the rate of adjustment cannot be more

than 1% annually and 5% over the life of the loan. If the lender charges discount points the veteran may negotiate

with the seller as to who will pay the points or if they will be split between the buyer and the seller. Points paid by

the veteran may not be included in the loan. A funding fee must be paid to VA unless the veteran is exempt from

such a fee because he or she receives VA disability compensation. The fee may be paid in cash or included in the

loan. Closing costs such as VA appraisals, credit report, loan processing fee, title search, title insurance, recoding

fees, transfer taxes, survey charges, or hazard insurance may not be included in this loan. [Source: The News &

Advance VSO Don Mustard article 20 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

USO Update 01:

The USO Center at the (ONT) located down from the main terminals in old Terminal

One, Building F is operational year round M-F 0600-2200, and Saturday, Sunday and Holidays. Directions can be

obtained in baggage claim and at Travelers Aid. The Airport shuttles are available to move around the terminals.

Visitors who fly in can catch the Shuttle Bus to the center. The Center offers a welcoming place to come between

flights, and offers the following services at no charge:

A place to rest, sleep, nap, recharge

Snacks, drinks, meals

Computers with internet connection

Library with many books to read there or take with you when you leave

Recreation Room with pool table, air hockey, basketball game, puzzles, and more

Media room with hundreds of DVDs to watch while you wait

Family and kids room with toys, TV, crib and child’s bed

Outdoor patio area for fresh air eating, or smoking (if you must!)

Volunteers who can help arrange transportation, hotel stays, and other services.

All service members – active duty, Guard/reserves as well as retired – and their families are invited to stop by on

their next visit to the Ontario International Airport. The goal of the United Services Organization is to serve the

needs of our troops and their families. The Center’s physical address is: 1940 East Moore way – West Wing. The

Center can be contacted at: USO – Ontario, P.O. Box 4256, Ontario, CA 91761-8956 Tel: (909) 390-4274 Fax:

(909) 390-4380 Web: www.usoontario.org . For information about the USO located in the Palm Springs airport call

(760) 833-1100 and for information about the Bob Hope Hollywood USO at LAX call (310) 645-3716. [Source:

www.usoontario.org Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Veterans Relationship Management:

The Department of Veterans Affairs is launching a multi-

year initiative called Veterans Relationship Management (VRM) that will greatly improve Veterans’ access to health

care and benefits information. “VRM will transform Veterans’ interactions with VA by using innovative 21st century

technologies,” said VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. “Veterans will have a better experience when they contact VA

for assistance, and our employees will be able to quickly convey accurate, up-to-date information through call

centers and the Internet.” Ultimately, Veterans will find enhanced self-service capabilities, and VA employees will

have the best tools to serve Veterans, their families and survivors better. By the end of 2010, VRM will deliver

improved telephone services to enable Veterans to reach a call center agent faster. Recording and review of calls

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will ensure the quality of services provided to Veterans. To help guarantee success, VRM enhancements will be

rolled out in six-month increments.

An important component of VRM is the Internet site, which puts the Veteran in the driver’s seat for information.

VA collaborated with the Department of Defense to provide a single sign-on capability for both Servicemembers

and Veterans. Single sign-on will quickly establish an individual’s identity and allow that person to complete

transactions without having to re-enter information. Self-service access through the Internet site

www.ebenefits.va.gov is already available in some benefit areas, including military personnel records, VA home

loan eligibility certificates, and status information on compensation and pension claims. VRM is just one of the

many initiatives VA is launching to help Veterans get timely access to health care and benefits. VA provides tax-

free compensation, pension, education, loan guaranty, vocational rehabilitation, employment and insurance benefits

to eligible Veterans, their families and survivors through 57 VA regional offices. Disability compensation is paid to

a Veteran for disabilities that are a result of — or made worse by — injuries or diseases that happened while on active

duty, active military, naval or air service. Pension is a benefit paid to wartime Veterans with limited income, and

who are permanently and totally disabled or age 65 or older. For additional information, go to www.va.gov or call

VA’s toll free benefits number at 1-800-827-1000. [Source: VA News Release 21 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Reserve Benefits Update 03:

The House Veterans Affairs Committee has sent to the House a bill that

would add to the definition of a veteran someone who has served at least 20 years in the National Guard or Reserve

and qualified to earn retirement pay, but did not spend at least 180 consecutive days on federal status. Currently, that

person is technically not recognized as a veteran, although he or she receives all benefits accrued through service.

The bill, H.R. 3787, is sponsored by Rep. Timothy Walz (D-MN). At the hearing last week, Walz described the bill.

―The purpose of this legislation is very clear,‖ he said. ―It‘s to honor the members of the National Guard and

Reserve who volunteered for service, wore the uniform proudly, were subject to the Uniform Code of Military

Justice, learned their trade, kept up with their training and stood ready to answer the call for as long as they were

asked by this nation. But through no fault of their own, as the law is written … if they are not called up to a period

of qualified federal service, we deny them the right to be called ‗veteran.‘ As a 24-year Guardsman and veteran, I

know this to be an injustice.‖ The change in law would have zero cost, he said, because these people are already

receiving benefits for which they are eligible, such as retirement pay and Tricare health care. ―Let me be clear. This

is about honor, not about monetary benefits,‖ Walz said. When Rep. Henry Brown Jr. (R-SC) asked about including

people who served for fewer than 20 years, Walz said he supported that idea if he could be sure it would not come

with any monetary costs. He said Brown‘s question would be looked at after H.R. 3787 becomes law. [Source:

NGAUS Washington Report 21 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

CHAMPVA Update 02:

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) on 16 SEP introduced legislation that would

expand eligibility requirements for children who receive health care under the Civilian Health and Medical Program

of the Veterans Affairs Department. “I believe it is only fair to afford children who are CHAMPVA beneficiaries the

same eligibility as dependent children whose parents have private sector coverage,” Akaka said in a floor speech.

More than 336,000 people are enrolled in the program, which was established in 1973 to provide health care

services to dependents and survivors of disabled veterans. The bill, S.3801, would raise CHAMPVA eligibility for

dependent children to age 26. Coverage for children under the insurance program currently expires when they turn

18 unless they are full-time students, in which case they continue to receive care until they turn 23 or stop attending

school on a full-time basis. It was referred to the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee for consideration.

CHAMPVA is similar to the Defense Department’s Tricare health insurance program for active-duty and retired

military personnel and their dependents. Those eligible for CHAMPVA include spouses and children of permanently

and totally disabled veterans with service-connected disabilities and surviving dependents of veterans who die from

service-related disabilities. The legislation Akaka introduced is similar to bills presented last spring in the House and

Senate that would extend Tricare coverage to adult children up to age 26. Those bills are now under consideration in

the House and Senate Armed Services committees. The aim of all three bills is to give CHAMPVA and Tricare

beneficiaries the same benefits now available to other Americans established by the Patient Protection and

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Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) President Obama signed into law on 30 MAR. “Thanks to the Patient Protection

and Affordable Care Act, families with private health insurance coverage can keep their children on their plans until

age 26,” Akaka said in a statement. “Surely coverage for veterans’ family members in need should meet this new

national standard.” [Source: GovExec.com Katherine McIntire Peters article 17 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

DIC Retroactive Award:

Anytime a taxpayer single-handedly takes on the IRS and comes out the

victor, it‘s worth mentioning. Such was the case in Remedios E. Ebert v. The United States (US-CL-CT, 2005-2

USTC para. 50,495) when Ebert, a Philippines resident and widow of a U.S. military veteran, stepped into the U.S.

Court of Federal Claims in pursuit of a tax refund. In mid-2001, Ebert, a nonresident alien residing in the

Philippines, received notice from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) that she was entitled to DIC

payments, retroactive to 1999. The SBP payments were thus discontinued at that point and the larger, nontaxable

DIC benefit began, retroactive to FEB 99. Ebert then wrote the IRS requesting a refund for taxes paid on her SBP

income for 1999, 2000, and 2001. The letter was accompanied by Form 1042-S (Foreign Person’s U.S. Source

Income Subject to Withholding), which detailed her gross income and the amount of U.S. tax withheld. The total

refund requested was $4,887, plus interest. In a motion for summary judgment, the IRS contended that Ebert had not

satisfied the requirements for a tax refund claim.

The case is a reminder that the little guy can win, and it offers instructive lessons to taxpayers on tactics the IRS

may employ to oppose taxpayer refund claims. The case also provides an opportunity to consider both the formal

refund claim requirements and the judiciary‘s informal refund claim doctrine. At issue in Ebert was whether the

taxpayer was entitled to a refund for taxes paid on survivor benefit payments (SBP) that were retroactively

converted to dependency and indemnity compensation benefits (DIC). The former is taxable income while the latter

is not—a fact about which there was no disagreement. The IRS, however, denied the refund for the following

reasons:

The taxpayer failed to satisfy the requirements for a refund claim.

Payments received under the SBP program are ―closed transactions‖ and cannot be later recharacterized for

tax purposes.

The taxpayer failed to prove she was not already reimbursed for the taxes paid under the SBP program.

An unpublished disposition of a similar case was decided in favor of the IRS.

The formal Refund Claim Requirements for this case were;

1. The taxpayer bears the burden of proving entitlement to a refund. That burden must meet the requirements

of Treasury Regulations section 301.6402-2(b). In theory, the claim ―must set forth in detail each ground

upon which a credit or refund is claimed and facts must be verified by a written declaration that it is made

under the penalties of perjury.‖

2. Timely submission of an appropriate claim form is required to obtain a refund. IRC section 6511 requires

that requests be within three years from the time the return was filed or two years from the time the tax was

paid, whichever is later. The limit is two years from the time the tax was paid if no return was filed.

3. Generally, taxpayers claim refunds on tax returns when originally filed. For those who first filed Form

1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ, subsequent refund claims must be made on Form 1040X, as required by Treasury

Regulations section 301.6402-3(a)(2). This procedure will meet the requirements of IRC section 6402

(which authorizes the Treasury Department to issue refunds, subject to other liabilities that might be owed

to other federal agencies). Taxpayers who elect to have overpayments refunded may not thereafter change

the election to have the overpayment applied as a payment of estimated income tax.

4. With respect to nonresident aliens such as Ebert, the tax return must contain the tax identification number

and the entire amount of income subject to tax, ―even if the tax liability for that income was fully satisfied

at the source through withholding under chapter 3 of the Internal Revenue Code‖ [Treasury Regulations

section 301.6402-3(e)]. A copy of Form 1042-S must be attached to the return. Nonresident aliens may not

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claim refunds if the withholding agent has already reimbursed them. Treasury Regulations section 1.1461-2

sets forth the procedure to ensure that the IRS is informed of any such reimbursement.

5. For taxpayers who have agreed to an over assessment of tax as determined by the IRS, a timely filed Form

870 or Form 890 is considered a valid refund claim. Grounds for the over assessment are considered the

basis for the claim.

6. Refund claims are filed with the IRS service center for the district in which the tax is paid. For tax paid to

the Director of International Operations, the refund claim, along with supporting evidence, is filed with the

director. For taxpayers who successfully prevail in court, the Justice Department issues documents to the

IRS authorizing a refund.

Ebert provides some insight into how the IRS can dispute a refund claim. The first thing the IRS did was attempt

to discredit the claim on the basis that all technical requirements were not met. Tax preparers are cautioned to ―cross

all the T‘s and dot all the I‘s‖ when requesting taxpayer refunds, especially if the refund may be challenged by the

IRS. It is highly unlikely the IRS would employ the judiciary‘s informal claim doctrine to circumvent formal refund

requirements. Next, when past transactions are recharacterized, expect the IRS to challenge the refund claims on the

basis of the transactions being closed, even if they are within the limitation period. Third, the IRS may expect

taxpayers to bear the burden for proving that the refund has not already been realized, even though that information

is already available to the IRS. This seems to be a particularly disingenuous tactic to derail refund claims. Finally, in

Ebert, the IRS offered support for its position in the form of cases that followed a similar but not identical fact

pattern. It is not clear whether this was a deliberate attempt to undercut the refund claim or simply the result of poor

research. Ebert provides insight into IRS tactics in challenging taxpayer refund claims. It is surprising how easily

the court dismissed each IRS argument to rule in favor of the taxpayer. It is equally surprising that this case found its

way to court, given the seeming weakness of the IRS‘s arguments and the relatively small amount of money

involved. For additional info on this case refer to www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2006/906/essentials/p44.htm .

[Source: The CPA Journal Mark A. Turner article Sep 06 ++]

===============================

Vet Gun Control Update 03:

The House Veterans Affairs Committee on 15 SEP approved

H.R.2547, authored by rep. Jim Moran (D-VA-8) in May 2009, to protect the Second Amendment rights of veterans.

The bill would change the Veteran Affair‘s current practice of revoking the gun rights of veterans and their families

if they receive assistance in managing their finances. ―I introduced this legislation to make sure veterans are not

unfairly denied the rights they fought so bravely to defend,‖ Moran said. ―It is wrong to take away veterans‘ gun

rights simply because they cannot manage their finances.‖ The VA‘s current practice labels veterans who have a

fiduciary appointed to act on their behalf financially are labeled ―mentally defective‖ and are reported to the FBI‘s

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Being listed on the NICS prevents veterans from

owning or purchasing a firearm. According to Moran‘s office, since 1998, more than 117,000 veterans and members

of veterans‘ families have been reported to the NICS because they have a fiduciary appointed on their behalf. The

legislation was approved as an amendment to a veteran benefits measure. The bill is supported by the National Rifle

Association and Gun Owners of America. Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Richard Burr (R-

NC). That bill introduced in MAR 09 (S.669) with 18 co-sponsors, would prohibit VA from submitting names to

the National Instant Criminal Background Check database unless a judicial authority finds the individuals to be a

danger to themselves or others. [Source: The McPherson Sentinel article 16 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Vet Toxic Exposure Lejeune Update 13:

In the decades that poisonous chemicals tainted the

drinking water at Camp Lejeune, N.C., hundreds of thousands of Marines filed through the base, but so far, only 200

veterans have asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to link their illnesses to the poisons. Of those, only 20 have

been told “yes.” A Veterans Affairs official told Congress on 16 SEP that despite the evidence of widespread

contamination of drinking water at Camp Lejeune, the agency doesn’t think that the science yet exists to link

exposure to the toxic water led to a host of cancers and other diseases suffered by former base residents.

“Establishing presumptive diseases at this point would be premature,” said Thomas J. Pamperin, the associate

deputy undersecretary for policy and program management at Veterans Affairs. Instead, the VA has awarded

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benefits on a case-by-case and isolated basis. As the military, federal scientists, congressional officials and Veterans

Affairs try to sort out how closely to link the toxins in the water with a variety of illnesses and cancers, Marines and

their families continue to struggle for their health care.

“The degree of contamination was extraordinary at Camp Lejeune,” testified Richard Clapp, an epidemiologist

and professor emeritus at Boston University. The amount of trichloroethylene, or TCE, recorded in one sample in

1982, he noted, was 1,400 parts per billion – more than 280 times what would be allowed by today’s standards. “This

is the largest (TCE) exposure in our country’s history,” said Clapp, who also serves on an advisory panel for federal

scientists studying the issue. “Congress needs to act.” He said there’s plenty of science – going back to the early

1980s – to show that TCE and other contaminants have impacts that can include a variety of cancers and, for

newborns, birth defects. No presumption yet exists, however. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Eugene G. Payne said the

military relies on scientists to make a determination about whether the contamination can be connected to veterans’

illnesses. “We would love for the scientific community to tell us that there is one, if there is one,” Payne said in an

interview. Meanwhile, federal scientists at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in Atlanta are

continuing a water modeling study that aims to figure out how much of the contaminants residents might have been

exposed to during their time at Camp Lejeune.

The model would be used to inform a handful of epidemiology studies at the agency to offer further detail on the

potential health impacts, said Chris Poitier, who became last month became the director of the agency, which is part

of the Department of Health and Human Services. But Poitier, like Clapp, said the science showing impacts of the

poisons already exists. “It’s not just these studies (at the agency) that should be used,” Poitier said. “It’s the broader

scientific knowledge.” Still, Poitier said the agency doesn’t have the role to decide whether any links between the

toxic water and the diseases would amount to the kind of presumption the Department of Veterans Affairs could use

to award health benefits. “That’s a societal question,” Poitier said in an interview. In this case, he said, that means

Congress. Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., the chairman of the oversight panel, has introduced legislation that would

establish an assumption that if service members were at Camp Lejeune from the mid-1950s through the mid-1980s,

they will be presumed to have been exposed to the toxic water. The legislation also provides health care for veterans

and family members with diseases that could be associated with the exposure. Miller says there’s a precedent for

handling toxic exposures in the military this way – it’s how the VA handles many Vietnam veterans presumably

exposed to Agent Orange.

About a million people are estimated to have been exposed to TCE; perchloroethylene, also known as PCE or

tetrachloroethylene; benzene; and other chemicals until the wells were shut down in 1984 and 1985. It’s unknown

how many could be ill, but 163,000 people have registered with the Marine Corps for more information. If Congress

passes Miller’s legislation, thousands of people could be eligible to get their health care through the VA – at a

potential cost of millions of taxpayer dollars. “There is a great deal of concern at (the Office of Management and

Budget) and the Pentagon about the expense (of compensation),” Miller said. [Source: McClatchy Newspapers

Barbara Barrett article 16 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

POW VA Benefits Update 05:

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki wants former

American prisoners of war (POWs) to be aware of the benefits and services available to them as Americans across

the nation showed respect and appreciation for this special group of men and women during the recent POW/MIA

National Recognition Day. “These Veterans made great sacrifices for their country in time of war, and it is our

Nation’s turn to honor them by reinforcing to them the full range of compensation, health care and benefits they have

earned,” he said. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has expanded policies to cover increasing numbers of

former prisoners of war. Special benefits for former POWs include:

Enrollment in medical care for treatment at VA hospitals and clinics without copayments, as well as

disability compensation for injuries and diseases that are associated with internment.

Presumption of service-connection for certain diseases, based on the length of captivity and the severity of

their conditions is generally given.

No cost dental treatment for any dental condition. These benefits are in addition to regular Veterans’

benefits and services to which they are already entitled.

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Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), which is a monthly benefit which may be payable to the

surviving spouse, children and, in some cases, parents.

Currently, more than 15,000 POWs are receiving VA benefits for service-connected injuries, diseases, or

illnesses. VA is asking former POWs not currently utilizing VA benefits to contact the agency at 1(800) 827-1000 to

find out if they may be eligible for disability compensation and other services. Veterans can also apply online at

http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp or contact their coordinator for former POWs located at each VA

regional office. More information about VA services for former POWs is available at

hwww.vba.va.gov/VBA/benefits/factsheets/misc/formerpow.doc. [Source: VA News Release 20 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Vet Jobs Update 22:

Federal agencies increased the hiring of veterans by about 3.5 percentage points in

the first half of fiscal 2010 compared to the same period of the previous year, senior Obama administration officials

said 16 SEP. During a meeting of the Council on Veterans Employment, a federal partnership chaired by the

secretaries of Labor and Veterans Affairs, government leaders said agencies hired more than 32,800 veterans during

the first six months of fiscal 2010. Veterans were 30.2% of total new hires during that time compared to 26.8% in

the first half of fiscal 2009. “These employment outcomes show how seriously agencies are taking this initiative,”

said Ray Jefferson, assistant secretary for veterans employment and training at the Labor Department. “There is still

much work to do, but it’s clear that the federal government is up to the task.” The council also announced a new

model to guide employment initiatives. Benchmarks will be based on agencies’ current percentage of veterans hired,

and those with lower percentages will face higher goals. The Veterans Employment Council and Veterans

Employment Initiative were established under a NOV 09 executive order to increase interagency collaboration on

veterans hiring, match them with job openings and help them navigate the application process. The council

developed a strategic hiring plan and in January launched www.FedsHireVets.gov, an information portal on veterans

employment. “The jobless rate among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is unacceptably high,” VA

Deputy Secretary Scott Gould said. “The federal government wants to hire veterans because of their experience,

leadership skills and commitment to our country. Working together, we can do a lot of good for our veterans and for

our nation.” [Source: GovExec.com Emily Long article 16 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Arlington National Cemetery Update 15:

The remains of Marine Corps Pvt. Heath Warner,

who was 19 when he was killed in Iraq four years ago, were positively identified after his coffin was exhumed from

the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery. The exhumation came after the cemetery discovered last month that

two sets of remains had been buried in the wrong place. On 15 SEP Army spokesman Gary Tallman said three sets

of remains had been involved in that mix-up but revised his statement later, saying he had been provided incomplete

information by Army officials. After finding inaccurate information in burial records, Scott Warner of Canton, Ohio,

had grown concerned that his son might be interred in the wrong place and asked that his body be exhumed. Warner

said he lost faith in the cemetery’s leadership after the Army’s inspector general released a report in June that found

widespread record-keeping problems at the nation’s most important military burial site, including 211 mislabeled or

unmarked grave sites and at least four burial urns that had been dug up and dumped in a pile of excess dirt. After the

report was released, Warner demanded proof from the cemetery that his son was in the correct spot. But the

paperwork provided by the cemetery had inaccuracies that made him doubt the location of his son’s remains, he said.

He said he had no choice but to exhume his son. Once his son’s remains were positively identified, cemetery

officials took them to the mortuary and placed them in a new coffin. Heath Warner was reburied at noon in the same

plot. Three weeks ago, the cemetery took the extraordinary step of opening the grave of an Army staff sergeant after

his wife heard about the cemetery’s problems and worried that her husband was buried in the wrong place. When

officials opened his grave, they found that someone else’s remains had been interred there, Tallman said. The

cemetery found the sergeant in another plot, his wife said in an interview. Tallman declined to explain how the mix-

up occurred. [Source: Washington Post Christian Davenport article 16 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

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Arlington National Cemetery Update 16:

The secretary of the Army would have to provide

Congress with a full accounting of all of the more than 320,000 grave sites at Arlington National Cemetery under a

Senate bill introduced 28 SEP. The bill, which comes on the heels of a growing scandal at the nation’s most

hallowed military burial ground, would also require a review of the contracts issued to digitize the cemetery’s paper

records and a study to determine whether the cemetery should be transferred to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In a statement, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), who introduced the legislation with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), said

the bill would “make sure that those responsible for managing the cemetery are being held accountable and meeting

the highest standards when it comes to ensuring the proper burials of America’s fallen men and women.” The bill

also calls for a review of whether the cemetery is adequately communicating with families whose loved ones are

buried at Arlington. If the bill were enacted, Army Secretary John McHugh would have one year to specify whether

every grave site at Arlington is “correctly identified, labeled and occupied.” If graves are found to have problems,

the Army would have to detail its plan to fix them. [Source: Washington Post Christian Davenport article 28 Sep

2010 ++]

===============================

Veterans’ Court Update 07:

A New York veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, charged with

making death and bomb threats, may end up avoiding prison, his lawyer said. The case of Britten M. Walker, 33, of

Eden is the first federal criminal case in the United States to be transferred to a veterans’ court. Walker returned to

the United States last year after having been in the Army and having seen horrific incidents in the wars, and

encountered trouble readjusting to civilian life. In January, Walker allegedly threatened to kill a counselor at

Buffalo’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center, threatened to bomb several places in the city and threatened suicide. He

was charged with assaulting a security officer and a doctor at the VA facility. Walker’s case was recently transferred

from Buffalo’s federal court, where he would have faced a prison sentence of up to 10 years if convicted, to the Erie

County Veterans Treatment Court at Buffalo’s City Court. “It is the first (transferred case of this kind), and we’re

very pleased with the result. From the beginning, our position is that this is a young man who needs counseling for

(post-traumatic stress disorder) and other issues, not prison time,” said Walker’s lawyer, Tracy Hayes of the Federal

Public Defender’s Office. “We are seeking a better way to provide justice to those veterans who, despite the

sacrifices they made for our country, sadly find that they have brought the war home with them,” said U.S. Attorney

William J. Hochul Jr., who added his office has been working with the Veterans Court and Veterans Affairs officials

to give assistance to veterans charged with crimes rather than having them go to prison. [Source: UPI.com | U.S.

News article 14 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

VA Financial Management System:

White House officials announced on 15 SEP they have

canceled upgrades to financial management systems at the Small Business Administration and the Veterans Affairs

Department as part of a strategy to save about $1 billion a year. The Obama administration is reviewing the financial

systems of major agencies — worth a combined $20 billion — to identify where they can save money. The review is a

component of a reengineering of the federal information technology procurement process, which historically has

delivered systems that are late, over budget and do not work as planned. Of the projects it has assessed to date, the

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has decided the two agencies’ systems do not yet require upgrades. The

White House will save $113 million by terminating SBA’s loan management and accounting system and $423

million by shelving VA’s project, officials said. Meanwhile, SBA and VA will continue to rely on old financial

management systems that have produced clean audits. On 28 JUN the White House suspended about 30 financial

system modernizations in the first step of an initiative to redo the way government buys and uses IT. For the past

few months, agencies have slowed spending on the systems so they could scale down planned computing functions

and speed up installation schedules.

Financial systems, in particular, have experienced major setbacks because project managers add too many

sophisticated functions to requirements, Danny Werfel, controller of OMB’s Office of Federal Financial

Management, said during a call with reporters. The purpose of the systems is to collect data in a central location

from daily financial transactions that take place throughout a department so that agencies can produce a set of

statements that then can be independently audited. “The effort is still under way, but we’re already getting results,”

said OMB acting Director and Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients, who also was on the call. “This is an

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example of how we’re taking proven best practices from the private sector and applying them to government.” OMB

expects to wrap up its reviews this fall. In the meantime, the contracting community whose projects — and income —

have been interrupted is growing concerned, say some industry groups. TechAmerica officials recently warned the

uncertainty could cause companies to raise government prices as insurance against the risk that project spending

could stop. Stan Soloway, president of the Professional Services Council, another contractor trade group, said the

affected vendors should be allowed to participate in appraisals of suspended projects and other systems the

government has categorized as high risk.

Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE), chairman of the Federal Financial Management Subcommittee, praised the

administration for curbing spending by refining IT investments. He urged the House to approve a bill he sponsored,

S.920, which the Senate passed in June to mandate similar efforts.”The announcement by the administration that

they will be pulling the plug on over $300 million worth of IT investments that time and again have failed to deliver

on their promises was a welcome step in the right direction,” said Carper, “In fact, this should have happened a long

time ago. For years my colleagues and I urged the previous administration to hold agencies and contractors

accountable for the skyrocketing costs and extended time lines on these failing investments.” [Source: NextGov.com

Aliya Sternstein article 15 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

HVAC Update 13:

The House Committee on Veterans‘ Affairs led by Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA)

approved six bills on 16 SEP that would improve benefits and services to veterans provided by the Department of

Veterans Affairs (VA). The bills will next be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bills are:

H.R.6132 – The Veterans Benefits and Economic Welfare Improvement Act of 2010 (Filner). This

comprehensive bill would establish a transition program for new veterans not eligible for other employment

aid programs and who had a military occupational specialty of limited transferability to the civilian job market.

The bill includes provisions to improve the disability claim system by extending the 120-day limit for the

filing of an appeal to the Court of Veterans Appeals after a final decision of the Board of Veterans‘ Appeals

upon a showing of good cause for such time as justice may require. The bill would also increase the pension

amount for Medal of Honor recipients; establish an award program that will permit the VA to recognize

businesses for their contributions to veteran‘s employment, and protect veterans from losing their non-service

connected pension benefits because they received payments to cover expenses incurred after an accident, theft,

loss or casualty loss.

H.R.3685 – Promotion of the VetSuccess Internet Website (Stearns). This bill would require the Secretary

of Veterans Affairs to include on the home page of the Department of Veterans Affairs website a hyperlink to

the VetSuccess website.

H.R.5360, as amended – The Housing, Employment, and Living Programs for Veterans Act of 2010

(Herseth Sandlin). This comprehensive bill improves vocational rehabilitation, internship, work-study and on-

the-job training programs offered by VA. The bill provides support for programs and facilities that provide

services for homeless women veterans and their families. The bill also improves specially adapted housing

assistance.

H.R.5630 – Qualification for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and Employment Coordinators

(Boozman). This bill would provide qualifications for vocational rehabilitation counselors and vocational

rehabilitation employment coordinators employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

H.R.3787, as amended – Veteran Status for Certain Reserve Components (Walz). This bill would

recognize the service in the reserve components of certain persons by honoring them with status as veterans

under law.

H.R.5993, as amended – SAVINGS Act of 2010 (Halvorson). This bill would ensure that beneficiaries of

Servicemembers‘ Group Life Insurance receive financial counseling and disclosure information regarding life

insurance payments.

[Source: Washington Post Sgt. Shaft article 28 Sep 2010 ++].

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===============================

VA Presumptive VN Vet Diseases Update 13:

The Department of Veterans Affairs

published its final regulation Aug.31 for compensating Vietnam veterans with ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s

disease or B-cell leukemia, or their surviving spouses. Veterans diagnosed with these diseases only will have to

show they stepped foot in Vietnam sometime from Jan. 9, 1962 through May 7, 1975, to qualify for service-

connected disability ratings and compensation. The first batch of payments will be made immediately after 30 OCT,

when a required 60-day review period for Congress will expire. As many as 93,000 veterans and survivors who filed

claims previously for these conditions are in line for retroactive payments. Another 60,000 claims have been filed

since 13 OCT, when VA Secretary Eric Shinseki announced that these diseases would be added to the list of

ailments VA presumes are caused by wartime exposure to Agent Orange. VA projects that at least 150,000 more

claims will be filed over the next 12 to 18 months. To stop payments, both the Senate and House in this election year

would have to pass a joint resolution to block the regulation. President Obama then would have to sign the

resolution, after his own Office of Management and Budget spent the past two months studying the VA rule before

finally approving it. So VA officials are preparing to make payments.

Here’s a rundown of how payments will be handled for categories of veterans and survivors. This information

came from an interview 1 SEP with Thomas Pamperin, associate deputy under secretary for policy and program

management for the Veterans Benefit Administration, and Diana Rubens, associate deputy under secretary for field

operations. Veterans are advised to gather medical records from private doctors so VA won’t need to schedule new

exams to confirm their diseases:

Retroactive Pay – Because of a 25-year-old court ruling, Nehmer v. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA must

review claims previously filed for these diseases and make payments retroactive to the claim date, or to the date of

the Nehmer ruling, 25 SEP 85, whichever is later.

The 93,000 veterans and survivors so far identified as having filed a claim for one of these diseases don’t

need to file another, said Pamperin. “We are going to review those cases on our own…back to the earliest

date they claimed that disability — but not earlier than Nehmer — and will award benefits from that date.”

If the veteran is deceased, VA will award back pay to the surviving spouse. If no surviving spouse is found,

the National Veterans Legal Services Program, which litigated the Nehmer decision, will help to identify

someone else who might be eligible for the benefits. Besides disability pay, back payments could include

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for the widow, enhanced burial benefits if a veteran’s death was

due to a service-connected condition, and 36-months of education benefit to a spouse or a child, no matter

what age the child is today, if the veteran was 100-percent disabled at time of death.

If veterans or survivors are worried the VA will not identified them as eligible for retroactive payments,

they can file a new claim, Pamperin said. “We are doing a data run against our corporate record, and some

of these corporate records are limited to six diagnostic codes. So we’ve done the best we can with the

resources we have to identify people,” he said. Diana Rubens said 1000 staffers at 13 regional officers,

including 326 specially-trained rating specialists, are working only on Nehmer claims, which can involve

complex calculations and long searches for next of kin.

Recent Claims – 60,000 veterans and survivors who have filed claims for the three diseases since last October also

will receive Nehmer protection in that payment will be made back to the date of the claim. Every VA service center

and regional office is working to develop and process these claims for payment sometime after 30 OCT.”Our goal is

to spend the next couple of months setting up as many claims as possible for payments as quickly as possible,”

Rubens said.

Future Claims – If veterans or survivors planning to submit a new Agent Orange claim can show they had one of

these diseases diagnosed on or before 31 AUG 2010, and if they file their claim before30 AUG 2011, it will be

payable back to 31 AUG 2010, the date the regulation took effect. Otherwise, payment date will be the date an

approved claim was filed.

[Source: Stars and Stripes TOM PHILPOTT article 3 Sep 2010 ++]

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VA Presumptive VN Vet Diseases Update 14:

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K.

Shinseki announced on 28 SEP the publication of a final regulation in the Federal Register that makes it easier for

Veterans to obtain Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care and disability compensation for certain diseases

associated with service in Southwest Asia (including Iraq) or Afghanistan. The final regulation establishes new

presumptions of service connection for nine specific infectious diseases associated with military service in

Southwest Asia beginning on or after the start of the first Gulf War on 2 AUHG 90, through the conflict in Iraq and

on or after 19 SEP 01 in Afghanistan. The final regulation reflects a determination of a positive association between

service in Southwest Asia or Afghanistan and nine diseases and includes information about the long-term health

effects potentially associated with these diseases: Brucellosis, Campylobacter jejuni, Coxiella Burnetii (Q fever),

Malaria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Nontyphoid Salmonella, Shigella, Visceral leishmaniasis and West Nile virus.

With the final rule, a Veteran will only have to show service in Southwest Asia or Afghanistan and that he or she

had one of the nine diseases within a certain time after service and has a current disability as a result of that disease,

subject to certain time limits for seven of the diseases. Most of these diseases would be diagnosed within one year

of return from service, through some conditions may manifest at a later time. For non-presumptive conditions, a

Veteran is required to provide medical evidence to establish an actual connection between military service in

Southwest Asia or Afghanistan and a specific disease. The decision to add these presumptives was made after

reviewing the 2006 report of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (NASIOM), titled, “Gulf War

and Health Volume 5: Infectious Diseases.” The 2006 report differed from the four prior reports by looking at the

long-term health effects of certain diseases determined to be pertinent to Gulf War Veterans. Secretary Shinseki

decided to include Afghanistan Veterans in these presumptions because NAS found that the nine diseases are also

prevalent in that country. The 1998 Persian Gulf War Veterans Act requires the Secretary to review NAS reports

that study scientific information and possible associations between illnesses and exposure to toxic agents by

Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War.

While the decision to add the nine new presumptives predates VA’s Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses Task Force

(GWVI-TF), the overarching responsibility of the GWVI-TF is to regain Gulf War Veterans’ confidence in VA’s

health care, benefits, and services and reconfirm VA is 100 percent committed to Veterans of all eras. The GWVI-

TF began in fall 2009 and is not a static, one-time initiative but will continue to build on its work with annual reports

issued every August. The group’s focus centers on unanswered Gulf War Veterans’ health issues, improving access

to benefits, ensuring cutting edge research into treatments, and to make sure Veterans’ concerns are heard and

addressed. This includes continuing to solicit Veterans, experts, advocates and stakeholders to share their views to

better inform the important work of the GWVI-TF. The GWVI-TF Report can be found at www.VA.gov. For

information about health problems associated with military service in Southwest Asia and Afghanistan, and related

VA programs, go to www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/ and

www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/oefoif/index.asp. For information about how to apply for disability

compensation, go to www.va.gov or www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/compensation_benefits.asp. To

review a list of questions and answers regarding presumptions of service connection for Southwest Asia and

Afghanistan service refer to the attachment to this Bulletin titled “Q&A for Vietnam Service Connection”. [Source:

VA News Release 28 Sep 2010 ++]

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Stop-loss Pay Update 06:

On 15 SEP, the White House, Department of Defense and Department of

Veterans Affairs jointly released a new web video in which President Obama encourages active duty troops and

veterans whose service in Iraq or Afghanistan was involuntarily extended or retirement was suspended due to ‘stop

loss’ to apply for the special retroactive pay to which they are entitled. Under legislation President Obama signed

into law last year, servicemen and women who served between September 11, 2001 and September 30, 2009 and

whose service was extended due to ‘stop loss’ are eligible for $500 per month in retroactive pay for each month their

service was extended. “As your Commander in Chief, I’m here to tell you that this is no gimmick or trick,” President

Obama says in the video. “You worked hard. You earned this money. It doesn’t matter whether you were Active or

Reserve, whether you’re a veteran who experienced ‘stop loss’ or the survivor of a service member who did-if your

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service was extended, you’re eligible.” To see the full video, refer to

www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/09/15/president-obamas-message-veterans-retroactive-pay-due-stop-loss .

Eligible servicemen and women should submit their applications for this retroactive pay to

www.defense.gov/stoploss. While by law, service members who received a bonus for voluntarily reenlisting or

extending their service are not eligible, it is strongly recommended that all who may be eligible submit an

application before the deadline. The deadline to apply is October 21, 2010. The tens of thousands of veterans who

have already been approved have received an average of $3,700 each and there is still money to be claimed by

thousands of vets who have not yet applied.. Special retroactive pay for servicemen and women impacted by ‘stop

loss’ is just one of the many ways the Obama Administration is working to serve the men and women who have

served our country. Since President Obama took office, the Administration has:

Provided one of the largest funding increases in decades to help create a 21st century VA that provides our

veterans better health care, better services, and better support, including in rural communities.

Eliminated inpatient, outpatient and prescription co-pays for the catastrophically disabled, which today

account for a historically large percentage of our veterans coming home from war.

Worked to break the back of benefit claims backlog so vets don’t have to wait years for the benefits they

need, and continues to work to improve and modernize VA’s delivery of services.

Helped our veterans transition back to civilian life by helping them get jobs and sending them to college

through the post-9/11 GI Bill, which has already helped more than 300,000 veterans or their family

members pursue their dream of a college education.

Provided unprecedented resources to treat the wounds of today’s wars — traumatic brain injury and post

traumatic stress disorder – and provided additional resources to help family members and caregivers who

put their own lives on hold to care for their loved one.

Made it easier for those suffering from PTSD to qualify for VA benefits. A veteran can now establish a

claim based on his or her own testimony of events that caused PTSD without the requirement of

corroborating evidence — no matter which war they served in.

Eliminated obstacles for about 200,000 Vietnam veterans who may have been exposed to Agent Orange to

get the health care and benefits they need.

[Source: White House Press Release 15 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Ohio Vet Bonus Update 01:

The Internal Revenue Service will not tax bonuses that Ohio is paying to

thousands of veterans who served outside a combat zone during the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars,

according to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. Ohio veterans are eligible to receive $100 for each month of service in

combat zones in any of the three wars, up to $1,000. Those who served outside combat zones could get $50 a month,

up to $500, while family members of veterans who died during the recent conflicts are eligible for as much as

$6,500. Applications for these bonuses are available at www.veteransbonus.ohio.gov, at any of Ohio’s county

Veterans Services offices, or by calling 1-877-OHIO-VET. [Source: Miltary.com Veterans Report 13 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Vet Insurance Life Update 08:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has reviewed the

account administered by Prudential that includes Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and Veterans’

Group Life Insurance (VGLI) programs to ensure beneficiaries are protected, being treated fairly, and accorded the

utmost care and respect. VA is also ensuring that benefits are delivered in a transparent way that clearly outlines all

available options. Since 1965, VA has successfully delivered life insurance benefits to survivors of our Nation’s

Servicemembers and Veterans. “The most important thing we can do is ensure that beneficiaries have options that

are clear, competitive, and come at no personal cost during a time of emotional stress,” said Veterans Affairs Chief

of Staff John R. Gingrich. “Providing clear and concise options for the beneficiary is a top priority.” VA will

continue to provide a full explanation of terms up-front, increase clarity of options and more actively promote

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current financial counseling to assist in decision making. These efforts will further enhance the transparency that

will continue to ensure confidence in this important program.

The department will provide better clarity of payment options by using new documents that ask the beneficiary to

choose one payment option, including a lump sum check, or a lump sum Alliance Account (retained asset account)

that allows beneficiaries the option to immediately write a check for the entire payment or any lesser amount. VA

will also continue to offer the option for payment in 36 monthly installments. VA worked with beneficiaries,

regulators, and subject matter experts to determine appropriate improvements to provide beneficiaries all benefits

due under current life insurance programs to include Alliance Accounts in a secure and timely manner. “Prudential

has agreed to implement these adjustments, and the department will continue to carefully monitor this program to

ensure that Servicemembers’ and Veterans’ beneficiaries are well-protected,” said Gingrich. VA is also taking the

following actions:

All SGLI/VGLI related information, including frequently asked questions, website information and

handbooks will be modified to clearly and completely explain all aspects of the Alliance Account and all

options available to the beneficiary.

VA will require Prudential to conduct a follow up contact with beneficiaries whose accounts remains open

after six months to confirm the beneficiary understands the terms of the account.

VA will clearly designate the source of correspondence by removing the SGLI seal from all checks, forms,

and correspondence and replacing it to show that it is from Prudential, with the subtitle of “Office of

Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance”.

VA will identify additional opportunities to encourage beneficiaries to use the free financial counseling

service.

VA will, in coordination with the Department of Defense (DoD), improve support to Casualty Assistant

Officers and Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Personnel by helping to prepare additional training

materials and instruction.

SGLI provides group life insurance for the Uniformed Services, such as Servicemembers on active duty, ready

reservists, and members of the National Guard, among others. More information on the SGLI/VGLI program

is also available at http://www.insurance.va.gov/sglisite/sgli/sgli.htm. [Source: VA News Release 14 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Vet Insurance Life Update 09:

Prudential Financial has sent a letter to a number of military and

veteran advocacy groups saying it ―deeply resents‖ allegations that the company has devised ―some elaborate

scheme to make money from the deaths of fallen service members.

Note: ―We were contacted by Military Times Managing Editor M. Scott Mahaskey who informed us that to

disseminate any information on the RAO website pertaining to this or any other subject taken from their publication

will infringe on the copyright of the material contained within their newspapers and/or provided on their website.

Their interpretation of any exclusion extended to us as a non-profit entity under Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 to use

their material does not extend to posting it on a public website. The repository of all Bulletin articles for those who

cannot receive the Bulletin directly is http://post_119_gulfport_ms.tripod.com/rao1.html which is considered a

public website even though it is maintained by a non-profit military fraternal organization. Military Times‘

interpretation of Title 17 exclusion does allow us to disseminate the information via direct communication to

individual subscribers. Since we cannot afford the time nor expense to deal with their implied legal action, readers

who want to obtain this information can attempt to access it at www.armytimes.com/news/2010/09/military-

prudential-SGLI-letter-092410w/. Those who are unable to do so or who cannot accesraoemo@sbcglobal.nets it

because they do not have a password or it has been removed from their website can obtain the information directly

via email request to raoemo@sbcglobal.net.

===============================

Saving Money:

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Scratch and dent stores sell groceries and appliances discounted by 50% or more. They buy up truckloads

of items that are damaged, are near or beyond their sell-by dates or season (think Halloween in November),

or just didn‘t sell well. Go to www.andersoncountrymarket.net/directory for a state -by-state list. For info

on what the dates mean and how long you can anticipate the items will be good refer to

www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/18/earlyshow/health/main4953898.shtml and

http://homecooking.about.com/library/weekly/aa102102a.htm .

Cellphone minutes. Save by skipping long-winded voice-mail greetings and instructions. Press * when call

Verizon users, 1 for Sprint users, or the # sign for AT&T and T-mobile users. If you‘re not sure of the

provider, try this prudery: 1, then *, then #. When you hear a beep, you‘ve got the right one.

Groceries. To save check out www.mygrocerydeals.com where you can compare process in supermarkets

in your area by product, category or tore. Another site is www.groceryguide.com. You must register to use

the sites, but both are no-charge.

Electronic trade-ins. Trade in electronics like old cell phones and computers at www.wireflytradeins.com

and get a charity write-off, cash, or gift cards. Costco, Best buy and Sears also have electronics trade-in

programs.

Gift cards. Buy for up to 30% off their face value at www.plasticjungle.com and www.giftcardsagain.com,

where the cards are sold by gift-getters who don‘t want them.

Group coupon websites. Provide your email and city and you‘ll get a daily local offer. If a set of people

sign up, you get the deal. Sites include www.groupon.com , www.socialbuy.com, and www.angieslist,com.

Plays. See plays at no cost by volunteering as an usher. Many theaters will let you see the show of you

help[ with the paying patrons. Check with your local theater, and wear comfortable shoes – you may end up

standing for the performance.

Yard sales. Those in your area can be found at www.yardsaletreasuremap.com. The site tracks sales that

have been posted on craigslist, then gives you the when, where, and driving directions.

Owners manuals. These are often missing when you buy bargain electronic devices or appliances at online

auctions or garage sales. Manufacturers may charge for the manuals, but you can get many at no cost by

going to www.retrevo.com ormanuelsonline.com or www.usersmanualonline.com .

Online shopping rewards. Obtain at www.ebates.com . You register and then click to visit any of about

1000 partner retailers. You can collect a reward of from 1 to (very occasionally) 40% of your purchase

amount. The money arrives as a check or a credit to you PayPal account.

Promotional codes. Get discounts of up to 50% when you check out at online shopping sites. Though

some codes are for returning loyal customers, others are up for grabs – you just have to know where to find

them. Try these websites: www.retailmenot.com,. www.couponchief.com, www.currentcodes.com, and

www.freeshipping.org.

Secondhand shops. Donations are often local so head to wealthier neighborhoods. Find stores at

www.thriftshopper.com or www.thrift-shop-directory.com. Also, shop early in the week – many donations

come in over the weekend. And watch for hidden bargains. Thrift stores often set process by category, say

$3 per shirt no matter what the brand.

Plays, concerts, sports matched exhibits and other events. Avoid high ticket prices in eight major cities

by getting a membership at www.goldstar.com at no charge. This inline seller of half-price tickets levies a

service charge of $4.50 per ticket. The theater chooses the seats. Other websites such as

www.ticketloot.com can also get you through the doors at a lower price.

Supermarket registers. Keep your eyes glued to the register. Some stores have a scan guarantee policy,

which means you get the item at no cost or at a discount of the price the register displays is higher than the

real price.

Organization discounts. Take advantage of discounts offered through your membership at AAA, AFL-

CIO unions, AARP and college alumni organizations.

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Phone numbers. Call 1-800-GOOG-411, give your location, and speak a name or business category.

You‘ll get a list of matches, and the service then will dial your choice. The big advantage over 411 is that it

does not cost you anything.

[Source: AARP Bulletin Jul-Aug 2010 ++]

===============================

Medicare Fraud Update 49:

Manhattan NY – On 14 SEP Khosrow Moghaddam, the owner of two pharmacies agreed to pay $700,000

to settle a civil lawsuit filed after a Medicare fraud case. Both companies were based in Manhattan, New

York and are no longer in business. In 2001, Moghaddam enrolled his two businesses in the Medicare

program. The defendant received a provider number in order to submit reimbursement requests for various

kinds of durable medical equipment. The, from 2001 to 2004, he submitted false claims to Medicare

seeking reimbursement for medical equipment. Moghaddam repeatedly billed Medicare for powered

pressure-reducing air mattresses that were not actually provided to Medicare beneficiaries. He also billed

for mattresses that were not prescribed by physicians or were not medically necessary, contrary to

Medicare rules.

Miami FL – A federal jury on15 SEP found Antonio Ochoa guilty of conspiracy to commit health care

fraud and soliciting and receiving kickbacks and bribes. He was a patient recruiter and home health aide for

ABC Home Health and Florida Home Health Care Providers. The agencies purported to provide physical

therapy and home health services to Medicare beneficiaries. Ochoa solicited and received $1,300 per

Medicare beneficiary in exchange for referring them to ABC and Florida Home Health. The agencies then

billed Medicare for services that were either not necessary or never provided. His partner, Eduardo Romeo,

pleaded guilty in July and testified at the trial. Ochoa was one of numerous suspected rounded up last

December during a Medicare fraud sweep. Last month, five nurses, who worked at ABC Home Heath Care

and/or Florida Home Health Care, pleaded guilty to their part in the scheme, which authorities say resulted

in the filing of millions of dollars in false and fraudulent Medicare claims. Ochoa faces a maximum of 10

years in prison for the conspiracy to commit health care fraud count, and five years in prison for each of the

three kickback counts.

Los Angeles CA – Dr. Gershon Hepner faces loss of his medical license for a second time after his

conviction in a $15 million health-fraud scheme where Orange County residents of board-and-care facilities

were recruited for unnecessary respiratory treatments. Hepner was among 66 doctors who were the subject

of a June Register investigation into the reinstatement of medical licenses, often after conviction of a crime.

Late last year, he pled guilty to health care fraud and conspiracy to pay kickbacks. Hepner and 16 others

targeted the elderly and mentally ill for unnecessary respiratory treatments that were billed to Medicare and

Medi-Cal. In some cases, no treatment was provided. The fraud took place at board-and-care facilities

throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties. Residents were bribed with soda, candy, donuts and

cigarettes. Hepner was paid more than $400,000 in Medicare funds, with one-third going to illegal

kickbacks to keep a steady stream of patients. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison and nine months of

home detention. Hepner, 72, is imprisoned at Taft Correctional Institute in the central valley. Board records

show Hepner lost his license after his 1991 guilty plea to 25 counts of insurance fraud. Hepner earned $1.7

million a year by hiring “cappers” to bring him personal injury patients. He submitted inflated bills to

insurers, often for work he never did. He was sentenced to eight years in prison for that conviction. In 2002,

his medical license was reinstated.

El Centro CA – The El Centro Regional Medical Center in Imperial County, Calif., has agreed to pay the

US government $2.2 million, plus interest, to settle allegations it defrauded Medicare. The case was

brought by a whistleblower, protected under federal law. The 165-bed acute care hospital fraudulently

inflated its charges to Medicare patients to obtain larger reimbursements from the federal health care

program. The settlement covers claims submitted by the hospital for short inpatient admissions, usually of

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one day or less, when the services should have been billed on an outpatient ―observation‖ basis or as

emergency room visits. The lawsuit was brought under the qui tam — whistleblower — provisions of the

False Claims Act, which allow private citizens to bring an action on behalf of the federal government and

share in any recovery. The whistleblower in this case, Pietro Ingrande, a former employee of El Centro

Regional Medical Center, will receive $375,000 as his share of the recovery.

Torrington CT — The Arthritis And Allergy Associates has entered into a civil settlement agreement with

the government to resolve allegations that the medical practice violated the False Claims Act by submitting

false claims to the Medicare program. From 2004 through 2009 they improperly billed the Medicare

program for facet joint blocks/injections (treatment relating to back pain) that were not performed using

fluoroscopic guidance (real-time radiologic imaging). Also, from 1999 through the first quarter of 2009

they improperly billed the Medicare program for services rendered by unlicensed individuals. During the

relevant time period, Medicare paid, on average, approximately $250 for facet joint injections and

approximately $49 for single tendon injections. To settle allegations under the False Claims Act, Arthritis

And Allergy Associates agreed to pay $247,036.72, which covers conduct occurring from 1999 through the

first quarter of 2009. The whistleblower, Ms. Chwee Cass, a former employee of Arthritis And Allergy

Associates, will receive a share of the proceeds of the settlement in the amount of $41,996.24. People who

suspect health care fraud are encouraged to report it by calling 800-HHS-TIPS, or the Health Care Fraud

Task Force at (203) 785-9270.

Brooklyn NY – Dr. Boris Sachakov was arrested 22 SEP and accused of bilking $3.5 million through

phony bills from his Colon and Rectal Care of New York in Brighton Beach. The red flags included

$60,020 in bills for 85 hemorrhoidectomies Sachakov claimed he had performed on one unfortunate patient

in 20 months. Sachakov, a solo practitioner, often billed for working more than 24 hours a day. He was

supposedly so busy he claimed to have performed 6,593 hemorrhoidectomies and other procedures between

FEB 09 and JJAN 2010. The next busiest proctology clinic in the country billed Medicare for a mere 381

procedures in the same time period, a criminal complaint said. Sachakov, 41, was released on $500,000

bond. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. He maintains he did nothing

wrong.

Houston TX – Melvin Jean Barnes, 60; Johnnie Lee Andrews, 58; and Monica Renee Perry, 42, pleaded

guilty 24 SEP to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In their pleas, Andrews and Perry admitted that

they were paid kickbacks in exchange for referring Medicare beneficiaries to the durable medical

equipment [DME] company, Luant & Odera Inc. Luant & Odera submitted false and fraudulent claims to

Medicare for medically unnecessary DME, including power wheelchairs, wheelchair accessories, and

motorized scooters. In his plea, Barnes admitted that he was paid kickbacks in exchange for delivering the

medically unnecessary DME. After Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike, Medicare relaxed its normal

operating procedures to speed provision of healthcare services to elderly and disabled persons and created

the CR Modifier. Under the CR Modifier, DME companies and other healthcare providers that furnished

replacement DME in good faith, could be paid by Medicare for services provided, even if the companies

could not comply with normal program requirements because of the hurricanes. According to court

documents, Andrews and Perry agreed to refer Medicare beneficiaries to Luant & Odera in exchange for

kickbacks. Luant & Odera then used the beneficiaries‘ information to bill Medicare under the CR Modifier

for DME such as wheelchairs or scooters that were neither destroyed by a hurricane nor medically

necessary. Barnes accepted kickbacks in exchange for delivering the DME for Luant & Odera. Andrews,

Perry, and Barnes admitted that they specifically knew that the DME was not destroyed in a hurricane and

not medically necessary. Luant & Odera submitted approximately $3 million in false and fraudulent claims

to Medicare using the CR Modifier for the DME.

Minneapolis MN – A federal lawsuit filed in NOV 07 and unsealed in SEP 2010 accuses the Mayo Clinic

of fraudulently billing for surgical services that weren’t performed. The complaint alleges that over the

course of the last ten years, Mayo has routinely billed Medicare, Medicaid and other federally sponsored

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health care programs for surgical pathology services that have not been performed. The Department of

Justice declined to litigate allegations that Mayo improperly obtained laboratory accreditation and didn’t

retain slides for a decade as required, but those claims have not been dropped from the suit. In a statement

the Mayo Clinic denied the allegations and said, “Upon discovering a billing error in 2007, Mayo corrected

it and voluntarily refunded $242,711 to the federal government. The error was identified and corrected long

before Mayo became aware that a sealed complaint had been filed and well before Mayo was notified that

the Department of Justice was evaluating whether to become involved in the complaint. Mayo has fully

complied with the law, and we believe our response to the billing error and our approach to surgical

pathology represents a ‗best practice.‘ Mayo‘s strong culture of compliance allowed us to identify the error,

correct and refund the money.”

Jacksonville FL – Miami-area residents Alejandro Hernandez Quiros, 33, Vicenta Tellechea, 64, Carlos

Castaneda, 44, were sentenced to prison 24 SEP for their participation in a $22 million Medicare fraud

scheme operated through two Miami home health agencies, ABC Home Health Care Inc. and Florida Home

Health Care Providers Inc. A fourth individual Javier Zambrana, 25, was sentenced to three years of

probation, including 12 months of home detention. for his participation in the scheme. Tellechea,

Castaneda, Quiros, and Zambrana each pleaded guilty in 2009 to one count of conspiracy to commit health

care fraud. In addition, Tellechea pleaded guilty to one count of paying kickbacks and Quiros pleaded

guilty to three counts of paying kickbacks. Quiros was sentenced to 78 months in prison and three years of

supervised release; Tellechea was sentenced to 69 months in prison and three years of supervised release;

and Castaneda was sentenced to 40 months in prison and three years of supervised release. ABC

fraudulently billed more than $17 million to the Medicare program of which Medicare paid more than $11

million of the claims. Florida Home Health submitted more than $5.5 million of which Medicare paid more

than $4 million of the claims.

Detroit MI – Hassan Akhtar, 26 pleaded guilty 27 SEP to one count of conspiracy to commit health care

fraud in connection with a $4.65 million home health care fraud scheme and faces up to 10 years in prison

and a $250,000 fine. Akhtar admitted to federal investigators he and co-conspirators at Oak Park-based All

American Home Care Inc. billed Medicare for home health-care visits that were medically unnecessary

and/or never provided. Akhtar worked as All American’s office administrator and ran the company’s day-

to-day operations. Akhtar also admitted to a scheme that paid cash kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries in

exchange for their Medicare numbers and signatures on documents that falsely indicated they received

services from All American. The scheme took place between JUN 08 and OCT 09. It also relied on

physical therapists and physical therapy assistants who signed documents required to bill Medicare. A

second individual, Muhammad Shahab, pleaded guilty to the same charge and is awaiting sentencing.

[Source: Fraud News Daily reports 15-30 2010 ++]

===============================

Medicad Fraud Update 22:

Covington KY – Omnicare, Inc., the nation’s leading provider of medications for nursing home residents,

has paid $21,050,000 to settle allegations brought by a whistleblower that it defrauded the Medicaid

programs of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Michigan by knowingly charging more

for drugs for the indigent than it charges private insurers. Massachusetts and Michigan are among a select

group of states that expressly require drug providers like Omnicare to give the Medicaid program, the

federal-state health care program for the indigent, their most favored customer price for pharmaceuticals.

While the federal government agrees to contribute to state Medicaid programs only if the states pay no

more than a pharmacy’s usual and customary charge to the general public, some states like Michigan and

Massachusetts go the extra step to protect taxpayer funds and require pharmacies to give Medicaid their

best available price. Despite these stringent state laws Omnicare charged Medicaid patients in

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Massachusetts and Michigan (as well as other states) far higher prices for drugs than it charged private

insurers, thereby reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal profits at the expense of the taxpayers.

Houston TX – Fred Jessie Cole, an owner of a durable medical equipment (DME) company, has been

sentenced to prison for defrauding the Medicaid health care program of approximately $1 million by

submitting false and fraudulent claims for incontinence supplies. On 15 SEP he was given 46 months in

federal prison. Cole, 44, who was a co-owner of Crusade Integrated Health Services was indicted in JAN

2010 and pleaded guilty to 14 counts of health care fraud. Cole has admitted that between MAY 03 through

SEP 06, he submitted false and fraudulent claims to the Texas Medicaid Program for incontinence supplies

such as diapers and briefs that were not delivered to Medicaid beneficiaries, not wanted by Medicaid

beneficiaries and not medically necessary. Judge Rosenthal ordered Cole to pay $937,567.54 to the

Medicaid program which represents the amount he was paid for the false and fraudulent claims he had

submitted to the health care program and to serve a three-year term of supervised release upon completion

of his prison term.

Richmond VA – The owner of a company that provided in-home therapy for children will spend more than

four years in prison for Medicaid fraud. Denise C. McCreary, 43, also must pay $601,580 in restitution to

the Virginia Medicaid program. McCreary was convicted in June of submitting fraudulent claims for

reimbursement to the Medicaid program. She owned Camp Hope Youth Services, which provided therapy

to children with mental health, behavioral or emotional issues who were at risk of being removed from their

homes. McCreary submitted bills to Medicaid for services that weren’t reimbursable or weren’t provided.

Marlborough MA – Fe Filart, 60, was one of 42 people indicted by a federal grand jury in JUN 09. The

indictment alleged that unlicensed nurses provided services to disabled California Medicaid patients, many

of them children with cerebral palsy or other developmental disabilities, from 2004 to 2007. Filart was one

of the unlicensed nurses who operated out of southern California. She changed her plea in May and is due

in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on 24 JAN for sentencing. She faces up to 10 years in prison. The

organizer of the ring, Priscilla Villabroza, pleaded guilty in federal court to five counts of health care fraud.

Authorities said Villabroza and others hired unlicensed nurses to provide care to disabled patients and then

billed Medi-Cal nearly $4.6 million as if they were licensed. U.S. Attorney Thomas O’Brien said he thinks

the case is the largest alleging fraud of Medi-Cal, the California Medicaid program, ever filed in the state.

[Source: Fraud News Daily reports 15-30 Sep 2010++]

===============================

State Veteran’s Benefits:

The state of Delaware provides several benefits to veterans. To obtain

information on these refer to the ―Veteran State Benefits – DE‖ attachment to this Bulletin for an overview of

those benfits listed below. Benefits are available to veterans who are residents of the state. For a more detailed

explanation of each click on ―Learn more about …‖ wording highlighted in blue on the attachment.

Housing Benefits

Financial Assistance Benefits

Employment Benefits

Education Benefits

Other State Veteran Benefits

[Source: www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits/delaware-state-veterans-benefits Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Military History:

The Battle of Britain was one of the first major battles of WW2. It lasted officially from

July 10th until October 31st 1940. It is known for two very important reasons in the annals of modern history. First

it was the only battle to be staged in military warfare that was ever to be fought entirely in the air, even to this day.

Secondly it was to turn the tide for the whole future of the Second World War, because if the Battle of Britain had

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been lost German forces would have invaded Great Britain and would then have had total domination of Northern

Europe and possibly have succeeded in being a world power. But, because of the outcome, we shall never know.

After continued successful ‘Blitzkrieg’ invasions of Poland, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium and France,

Germany, under Adolf Hitler’s Nazi rule he needed only to defeat and complete a successful invasion of Great

Britain to stand fast as a world power to be taken notice of. As the last of the tired and exhausted allied personnel

had been taken from Dunkirk, Hitler’s armies were busy marching towards Paris and the claim that France had been

defeated and now belonged to Germany. The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill included in his speech at the

fall of France: “….the Battle of France is over, I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle

depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our

institutions and our Empire.”

Germany’s swift ‘Blitzkrieg’ attacks to date had a devastating effect on the enemy and gave them successes in a

very short period of time. Hitler and his Generals believed that the same methods would work for an invasion of

Great Britain, the only difference being that because the English Channel formed a natural defense between the

French and British coasts the Luftwaffe would have to destroy the Royal Air Force both in the air and on the ground.

Reichmarschall Hermann Göring, believing that the RAF was weak and demoralized after the defeat in France,

thought it could be destroyed in just three weeks. Hitler gave him four weeks and made plans for an invasion of

Great Britain by mid-August. Göring’s plan was to attack British convoys in the English Channel thus demoralizing

the British people, and depriving them of food, coal and supplies while at the same time it would lure the fighters of

the RAF into the air where they could be attacked by, what Göring thought to be his superior Messerschmitt Bf109

fighter. Those early days of July 1940 saw many hard fought combats in the air and casualties were high on both

sides. As well as the convoys, the Luftwaffe also attacked Britain’s Channel ports as well as spasmodic bombing

attacks in the west, the Midlands and along the east coast.

Fighter Command responded well, even though at this stage there was a shortage of fighter aircraft and a

desperate shortage of good pilots. At first, a number of pilots from the Fleet Air Arm had been transferred to Fighter

Command but this was not enough to bring them up to full strength. Soon, Fighter Command was strengthened by

Belgian, Polish and Czechoslovakian pilots that had fled their respective countries that had been taken over by

Germany plus nine Americans. The training period for new pilots was shortened to boost squadron strength, but this

was to place further burdens on squadron commanders who had to teach ‘green’ pilots the art of combat and how to

survive. Luftwaffe pilots were now complaining that convoys and ports could have been successfully attacked, but

the British fighters were always there. Often they were being scattered by squadrons of Hurricanes and Spitfires

before they could attack their targets. Reichmarschall Göring believed that it was this radar that the British were

using was informing them of any enemy activity, and that before any attack could be mounted on RAF airfields and

other targets inland, this radar would have to be destroyed.

Now into August and the preparation of an invasion drawing even closer, the Luftwaffe was nowhere near to

destroying the RAF as it was in early July. On 12 AUG at 0730 hours the Luftwaffe made its first all out attack on

the radar stations along the southern English coast. Bombs fell on Dover, Pevensey and Rye, while Ju87 dive

bombers attacked two convoys in the Thames Estuary. Six radar stations were attacked, but only Ventnor was put

out of action. It had been the busiest day since the Battle began with Fighter Command flying 732 sorties. August

was now the height of activity. Squadrons were flying four or five sorties a day, combat action was relentless day

after day. Pilots were now becoming exhausted, often being transferred north for rest, but this was not always the

case as they were often called into combat to intercept enemy activity that were targeting northern airfields and

industry. Down south, came the first signs of attacks on Fighter Command aerodromes. Manston, Hawkinge

Lympne, Croydon, Hornchurch, North Weald, Kenley and Biggin Hill all suffered extensive damage with many

lives lost. The four weeks that Göring had thought that he could destroy the RAF was now well past, and the

Luftwaffe was again no closer to achieving victory.

The invasion date for mid August now had to be put back to mid-September, after that the unfavorable weather

conditions of a British winter would set in. The Luftwaffe was loosing superiority in the air, the young pilots of

Fighter Command was now proving far too good a match for them. German aircraft and pilot casualties were now

three times greater than that of Fighter Command, but although AVM Keith Park was pleased with these results, he

was very much concerned that many enemy aircraft were still getting through and reaching their targets. Even

though it appeared that Fighter Command was getting the upper hand, the experience of flying in battle was playing

on the minds of the young pilots. The Battle was now taking its toll. Although the number of pilots was increasing in

numbers those that had fought with Fighter Command since the Battle of Britain began were tired, Hurricanes and

Spitfires were being destroyed as fast as new ones were being delivered, and airfields had not recovered since the

attacks on the bases had begun. But if anything, there was one glimmer of hope…..the Luftwaffe had not destroyed

them as they had planned, late August was the lowest ebb for Fighter Command.

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Then, on 7 SEP 1940 the Luftwaffe turned its attacks on London itself. One hundred plus Heinkel’s, Dornier’s

and Junkers, fully laden with bombloads and escorted by as many Bf109 fighters headed the capital. From 1115

hours until the morning of the next day wave after wave of enemy bombers came across the Channel, the night

operations being guided by the huge fires in London’s East End. Fighter Command scrambled squadron after

squadron but they were outnumbered on every raid. London docks suffered terribly, Silvertown was a blazing

inferno, the oil tanks at Thameshaven and Purfleet were ablaze and so was every borough along the Thames to

London. This day goes down as the first day of “The Blitz” which was to continue well into 1941. AVM Keith Park

did not like what he saw, but he was a relieved man. “At least they’re leaving my airfields alone.” The opportunity

came to make all the necessary repairs to the Fighter Command aerodromes. Communications were restored, water

and gas mains repaired and in the days that followed it gave ACM Hugh Dowding and AVM Keith Park time to

build up the squadrons to combat strength with pilots and aircraft. Within a week, Fighter Command was back to

almost full strength.

On 15 SEP1940, the largest concentration of enemy aircraft ever seen came across the English coast from all

directions. One pilot searching for the invaders called out upon sighting them; “It’s the whole bloody Luftwaffe!!”

The raids continued throughout the day with the Luftwaffe flying over 1,000 sorties against London. 11 Group put

up its entire force of squadrons and called for assistance from 12 Group and 10 Group. In all nearly forty fighter

squadrons, that’s 480 aircraft that were in the air in fierce combat between London and the Thames Estuary, south of

London to the South Coast and in areas north of the capital. Luftwaffe bombers were seen scampering in all

directions, releasing their bombs at random. Most of the bombers were without fighter escort as they were forced to

return back to their bases. The Luftwaffe lost 59 aircraft further adding to their frustration while Fighter Command

lost 26 aircraft and 13 pilots. Considering the days events, this was a good result giving the pilots greater confidence

for future combats. Within two days Adolf Hitler realized that an invasion of Great Britain was now impossible. His

Luftwaffe had failed to destroy the Royal Air Force and any landing in Britain was now out of the question. Fighter

Command had proven themselves masters of the air, young and inexperienced, outnumbered in both men and

machines they added another yet another chapter to the history of WW2, as this was the very first time that Germany

had failed to accomplish what it had set out to do, they had been defeated.

The Battle of Britain was to continue through until 31 OCT 1940, but after15 SEP most raids were on a far lesser

scale. The “Blitz” continued with constant night attacks for 57 consecutive days after 7 SEP, but the bombing of

British towns and industrial centers continued until 1944. Of almost 3,000 British and Allied pilots who flew in the

battle, more than 544 were killed. Almost 800 more died before the end of the war. It is thought that about 100

Battle of Britain veterans survive today. Those that have no known grave are remembered on the RAF Runnymede

Memorial near Windsor. A total of 20,514 tons of high explosive and 23,543 tons of incendiary bombs were

dropped by the German Air Force between 1 AUG and 31 OCT. During the 113 day battle the UK lost 1,065

aircraft(including 1,004 fighters) and Germany lost 1,922 aircraft (including 879 fighters, 80 Stukas and 881

bombers). UK civilian losses in the German Blitz that ended in May 1941 totaled 43,381 killed and 50,856 injured.

September 15th is now celebrated each year in Britain and the commonwealth countries as Battle of Britain Day.

Dedicated and courageous, sometimes tired and exhausted they would not be beaten and turned the tide in favour of

the Allied forces. [Source: battleofbritain1940.net/bobhsoc/index.html Sep 2010 ++]

=============================

Military History Anniversaries:

Significant October Events in U.S. Military History are:

Oct 01 1951 – 24th Infantry Regiment, last all-black military unit, deactivated

Oct 01 1957 – Cold War: B-52 bombers begin full-time flying alert in case of USSR attack.

Oct 02 1835 – The Texas Revolution begins with the Battle of Gonzales: Mexican soldiers attempt to

disarm the people of Gonzales, Texas, but encounter stiff resistance from a hastily assembled militia.

Oct 02 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Saltville – Union forces attack Saltville, Virginia, but are

defeated by Confederate troops.

Oct 02 1944 – WWII: Battle of Aachen Germany begins. Fighting for the city took place between 13–21

October.

Oct 03 1940 – U.S. Army forms airborne (parachute) troops.

Oct 03 1993 – Somalia Intervention: Battle of Bakhara Market, Mogadishu, Somalia

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Oct 05 1813 – War of 1812: U.S. victory at the Battle of the Thames in Ontario broke Britain‘s Indian allies

with the death of Shawnee Chief Tecumseh and made the Detroit frontier safe.

Oct 05 1965 – Korea: U.S. forces in Saigon receive permission to use tear gas

Oct 05 1966 – Vietnam: Hanoi insists the United States must end its bombings before peace talks can begin.

Oct 05 2001 – GWOT: Operation Enduring Freedom began in Afghanistan.

Oct 06 1971 – Vietnam: Operation Jefferson Glenn ends. The last major operation in which US ground

forces participated.

Oct 07 1777 – American Revolution: Americans beat Brits in 2nd Battle of Saratoga aka. Battle of Bemis

Hts.

Oct 07 1864 – Civil War: Battle of Darbytown Road: Confederate forces’ attempt to regain ground that had

been lost around Richmond is thwarted.

Oct 07 1864 – Civil War: U.S.S. Wachusett captures the C.S.S. Florida Confederate raider ship while in

port in Bahia, Brazil.

Oct 07 1940 – WW II: the McCollum memo proposes bringing the United States into the war in Europe by

provoking the Japanese to attack the United States.

Oct 07 2001 – GWOT: The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan starts with an air assault and covert operations on

the ground.

Oct 08 1918 – WW I: In the Argonne Forest in France, U.S. Corporal Alvin C. York leads an attack that

kills 25 German soldiers and captures 132.

Oct 08 1950 – Korea: Chinese Communist Forces begin to infiltrate the North Korean Army.

Oct 08 1862 – Civil War: The Union is victorious at the Battle of Perryville, the largest Civil War combat to

take place in Kentucky.

Oct 08 1968 – Vietnam: U.S. forces in launch Operation Sealord, an attack on North Vietnamese supply

lines and base areas in the Mekong Delta.

Oct 09 1950 – Korea: The invasion of North Korea begins when U.N. forces led by the 1st Cav Div cross

the 38th parallel and begin attacking northward towards the capital of Pyongyang.

Oct 10 1812 – War of 1812: In a naval engagement on Lake Erie, American forces capture two British

ships: HMS Detroit and HMS Caledonia.

Oct 10 1845 – The U.S. Naval Academy is founded at Annapolis MD.

Oct 10 1861 – Civil War: Battle of Santa Rosa Island – Union troops repel a Confederate attempt to capture

Fort Pickens.

Oct 10 1864 – Civil War: Battle of Tom’s Brook – Union cavalrymen in the Shenandoah Valley defeat

Confederate forces at Tom’s Brook, Virginia.

Oct 10 1941 – WWII: German U-boat torpedoes U.S. destroyer Kearney.

Oct 10 1944 – WWII: U.S. takes Okinawa

Oct 10 1966 – Vietnam: U.S. Forces launch Operation Robin in Hoa Province south of Saigon to provide

road security between villages.

Oct 11 1776 – American Revolution: Benedict Arnold‘s Lake Champlain fleet defeated by the British.

Oct 12 1861 – Civil War: Confederate ironclad Manassas attacks Union’s Richmond.

Oct 12 1942 – WWII: In the Battle of Cape Esperance near the Solomon Islands (Guadalcanal) U.S.

cruisers and destroyers decisively defeat a Japanese task force in a night surface encounter.

Oct 12 1943 – WWII: The U.S. Fifth Army begins an assault crossing of the Volturno River in Italy.

Oct 12 2000 – Bombing of the USS Cole by Al-Queda terrorists

Oct 13 1775 – American Revolution: The US Navy was established when the Continental Congress

authorizes construction of two warships.

Oct 13 1812 – War of 1812: At the Battle of Queenston Heights a Canadian and British army defeats the

Americans who have tried to invade Canada.

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Oct 13 1942 – WWII: In the first of four attacks two Japanese battleships sail down the slot and shell

Henderson field on Guadalcanal in an unsuccessful effort to destroy the American Cactus Air Force.

Oct 14 1773 – American Revolution: The United Kingdom’s East India Company tea ships’ cargo are

burned at Annapolis, Maryland.

Oct 14 1863 – Civil War: Battle of Bristoe Station – Confederate General Robert E. Lee forces fail to drive

the Union Army out of Virginia.

Oct 14 1943 – WWII: U.S. 8th Air Force loses 60 B-17 Flying Fortresses during an assault on Schweinfurt.

Oct 14 1952 – Korea: Battle of Hill 598 (Sniper Ridge).

Oct 14 1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis begins: A U-2 flight over Cuba takes photos of Soviet nuclear weapons

being installed.

[Source: Various Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Military Trivia 13:

The U.S. Army physician who headed the “Yellow Fever” research project in the 1890s was Major

Walter Reed.

The first U.S. Infantry ground combat unit committed to Vietnam came ashore at Da Nang 8 March

1965.

The rabid anti-communist senator, known as “Tail-Gunner Joe”, who served in the US Marines was

Senator Joseph McCarthy.

The American flying unit in WWI that had more aces than any other was the 94th Aero Squadron.

The unique operational feature of the WWI “Davis Gun” (an aircraft gun invented by US Navy

Commander Davis) was that it was recoilless.

Between 1834-1841 the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine units fought a bitter war with the Seminole

Floridian Indian tribes.

General Eisenhower’s Chief of Staff for the 1944 Normandy Invasion was General Walter Bedell Smith.

During WWII despite earlier experiences and after elaborate preparation, U.S. forces assaulted the

Aleutian island Kiska only to discover that the Japanese had pulled out weeks before?

The insignia adopted by the heroic World War II US Army airborne 503rd Parachute Infantry regiment

was a white eagle descending on a blood-red outline of Corregidor island.

The U.S. 82nd Airborne Div for Operation “Market-Garden” was commanded by General Maxwell

Taylor.

The 1739-1748 war named for a part of the human anatomy fought in the eastern US was the War of

Jenkin’s Ear.

The WWII U.S. Navy admiral that said: “Hit hard, hit first, hit often was Admiral William F. Halsey Jr.

The island in the Marianas were US aircraft launched to carry out the A-bomb attacks on Japan was

Tinian.

The U.S. Marine Corps maintains musical affiliations with the British Royal Welch Fusiliers (23rd of

Foot).

The World War II U.S. made single-shot partisan’s pistol “Liberator” actually took longer to load than to

produce (7 1/2 seconds).

The “Senior Service” of the US armed forces is the Army.

The city that suffered the worst firebombing in history was Tokyo on 10 May 1945.

U.S. Navy sailors affectionately call their round white caps a “dixie cup”.

Fort Lewis, Washington, was named for the American explorer Merriweather Lewis.

The Austro-Hungarian Aviatik B-1 aircraft was the first aircraft shot down in aerial combat.

The man-pack anti-aircraft missile carried by U.S. Army and Marine infantry is called the “Redeye”

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The inflatable life vest used in World War II was named after the popular American movie star Mae

West

[Source: http://members.cox.net/mrboone/mil_trivia.html#set1_a Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Tax Burden for Oregon Retirees:

Many people planning to retire use the presence or absence of a

state income tax as a litmus test for a retirement destination. This is a serious miscalculation since higher sales and

property taxes can more than offset the lack of a state income tax. The lack of a state income tax doesn‘t necessarily

ensure a low total tax burden. Following are the taxes you can expect to pay if you retire in Oregon:

Sales Taxes

State Sales Tax: none

Gasoline Tax: 25 cents/gallon. Tax rates does not include local option taxes of 1 to 2 cents.

Diesel Fuel Tax: 24.3 cents/gallon. Tax rates does not include local option taxes of 1 to 3 cents.

Cigarette Tax: $1.18/pack of 20

Personal Income Taxes

Tax Rate Range: Low – 5%; High – 11%. Starting in tax year 2009 the personal income tax rate is 10.8% on

taxable income over $125,000 but not over $250,000, and 11% on taxable income over $250,000. For tax years

after 2011, the highest rate will be 9.9% on taxable income over $125,000.

Income Brackets: ** 3. Lowest – $3,050; Highest – $250,000. For joint returns, the taxes are twice the tax imposed

on half the income.

Personal Tax Credits: Single – $169; Married – $348; Dependents – $169

Additional Credits: Credit equal to 40% of federal credit

Standard Deduction: Single – $1,865; Married filing jointly – $3,735; Additional Deduction: Single over 65 –

$1,200; Married over 65 filing jointly $2,000

Medical/Dental Deduction: Full only for age 59 or older, if itemized. Oregon allows a tax credit on long-term care

insurance premiums. The credit is the smaller of 15% of premiums paid or $500.

Federal Income Tax Deduction: $5,000 ($2,500 if married filing separately)

Retirement Income:

Retirement Income Taxes: Federal income tax rules generally determine the amount of your pension that is taxed

by Oregon. However, you may subtract some pensions on your Oregon return that were taxed on your federal

return. Pensions not taxed are Social Security benefits, Veterans Administration benefits and Railroad Board

benefits. Oregon allows a subtraction for part or all of the payments you receive from the federal pension system.

Generally, retirement income is subject to Oregon tax. A tax credit of up to 9% of taxable pension income is

available to recipients of pension income, including most private pension income, whose household income was less

than $22,5000 (single) and $45,000 (joint), and who received less than $7,500/$15,000 in Social Security or

Railroad Retirement benefits. The credit is the lesser of tax liability or 9% of taxable pension income. For more

information on the Oregon retirement income credit, refer to www.oregon.gov/DOR/PERTAX/docs/101-

673.pdf?ga=t .

Retired Military Pay: Federal retirees, including military personnel, may be able to subtract some or all of their

federal pension income. This includes benefits paid to the retiree or to the surviving spouse. The subtraction

amount is based on the number of months of federal service before and after October 1, 1991. Retirees can subtract

their entire federal pension if all the months of federal service occurred before October 1, 1991. If there are no

months of service before October 1, 1991, retirees cannot subtract any federal pension. If service included months

before and after October 1, 1991, retirees can subtract a percentage of their pension income.

Military Disability Retired Pay: Retirees who entered the military before Sept. 24, 1975, and members receiving

disability retirements based on combat injuries or who could receive disability payments from the VA are covered

by laws giving disability broad exemption from federal income tax. Most military retired pay based on service-

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related disabilities also is free from federal income tax, but there is no guarantee of total protection.

VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: VA benefits are not taxable because they generally are

for disabilities and are not subject to federal or state taxes.

Military SBP/SSBP/RCSBP/RSFPP: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with

state department of revenue office.

Property Taxes

Oregon does not grant homeowners a homestead exemption. Tax rates are set by the counties and any special

considerations are levied by county officials. Homeowners 62 or older may delay paying property taxes based on

certain income criteria. The state offers a Disabled Citizen Property Tax Deferral Program and a Senior Citizen

Property Tax Deferral Program. Both deferral programs allow qualified taxpayers to defer payment of their property

taxes on their homes. The state pays the taxes to the county, maintains the account, and charges 6% simple interest,

which also is deferred. Taxes are owed when the taxpayer receiving the deferral dies, sells the property, ceases to

live permanently on the property, or the property changes ownership.

To qualify for either program, the taxpayer must live on the property and have a total household income of less than

$36,500 for the year before application. Participants may remain on either program as long as their federal adjusted

gross income does not exceed that amount. If a participant’s income exceeds the $36,500 limit, part of the taxes still

may be deferred. Participants can come in and out of the programs if their income changes. In addition to meeting

the income limitation and property ownership requirement, disabled persons must be receiving or be eligible to

receive federal Social Security Disability benefits to qualify. Residents must be 62 years old or older to qualify for

the Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral Program. Call 800-356-4222 or 503-376-4988 for details refer to

www.oregon.gov/DOR/SCD/faq.shtml . For other property tax information refer to www.oregon.gov/DOR/PTD.

Inheritance and Estate Taxes – An Oregon inheritance tax return is required to be filed whenever a federal estate

tax return (Form 706) is required to be filed. For a resident decedent, Oregon taxes real property and tangible

personal property located in Oregon and intangible personal property wherever it is located. For a nonresident

decedent, Oregon taxes real property, tangible personal property, and intangible personal property located in

Oregon. An exemption is allowed for intangible personal property located in Oregon if a like exemption is allowed

by the state of residence.

For further information, visit the Oregon Department of Revenue site www.oregon.gov/DOR or call 503-378-4988.

[Source: www.retirementliving.com Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Congressional Alphalist:

To better understand what is happening to veteran legislation as it proceeds

through Congress it is useful to know the language used by our representatives as they conduct business. Following

are some of the words or expressions you will see while reading about or listening to House and Senate sessions:

MACE. The ebony and silver rod on the House rostrum which symbolizes the authority of the House. As

its custodian, the Sergeant-at-Arms carries it into the Chamber at the start of each day’s session.

MAJORITY LEADER. The individual elected by his/her party members in the House or Senate to lead

them, to promote passage of the party’s issue priorities, and to coordinate legislative efforts with the

Minority Leader, the other chamber, and the White House. The Majority Leader also seeks unity among

Members on the policy positions taken by the party, and works to put together coalitions to create voting

majorities.

MAJORITY-MINORITY DISTRICTS. Districts in which a majority of residents who are part of an ethnic

minority.

MANAGER’S AMENDMENT. A package of numerous individual amendments agreed to by both sides in

advance. The managers are the majority and the minority member who manage the debate on a bill for their

side.

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MANDATORY SPENDING. Refers to funds not controlled by annual decision of Congress. These funds

are automatically obligated by virtue of previously-enacted laws.

MARK-UP. Refers to the meeting of a Committee held to review the text of a bill before reporting it out.

Committee members offer and vote on proposed changes to the bill’s language, known as amendments.

Most mark-ups end with a vote to send the new version of the bill to the floor for final approval.

MEMBER. The individuals serving as senators or representative in Congress.

MINORITY LEADER. The individual elected by his/her party members in the House or Senate to lead

them, to promote passage of the party’s issue priorities, and to coordinate legislative efforts with the

Majority Leader, the other chamber, and the White House. The Minority Leader also seeks unity among

Members on the policy positions taken by the party, and works to put together coalitions to create voting

majorities.

MODIFIED CLOSED RULE. It allows only those amendments specified to be offered to a bill. It also

describes a rule which bans amendments to only part of the bill, but allows amendments to the rest.

MODIFIED OPEN RULE. Permits all relevant amendments to be offered, subject to one or two

restrictions. An overall time limit may be put on the amendment process or amendments may have to be

printed in advance

MORNING BUSINESS. An hour reserved for 5-minute speeches on any subject and for routine business.

It includes introducing bills, filing committee reports, and the receipt of Presidential or House messages. In

daily practice, the Senate uses this time in bits and pieces during the course of a day’s session.

MORNING HOUR SPEECHES. Speeches held 90 minutes before the House convenes on Mondays and

Tuesdays. Members must reserve them in advance. They may speak up to 5 minutes on any subject they

wish.

[Source: C-SPAN Congressional Glossary Sep Oct 2010 ++]

===============================

Veteran Legislation Status 28 SEP 2010:

For or a listing of Congressional bills of interest to

the veteran community that have been introduced in the 111

th

Congress refer to the Bulletin‘s ―House & Senate

Veteran Legislation‖ attachments. Support of these bills through cosponsorship by other legislators is critical if

they are ever going to move through the legislative process for a floor vote to become law. A good indication on

that likelihood is the number of cosponsors who have signed onto the bill. Any number of members may cosponsor

a bill in the House or Senate. At http://thomas.loc.gov you can review a copy of each bill‘s content, determine its

current status, the committee it has been assigned to, and if your legislator is a sponsor or cosponsor of it. To

determine what bills, amendments your representative has sponsored, cosponsored, or dropped sponsorship on refer

to http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/d111/sponlst.html.

Grassroots lobbying is perhaps the most effective way to let your Representative and Senators know your

opinion. Whether you are calling into a local or Washington, D.C. office; sending a letter or e-mail; signing a

petition; or making a personal visit, Members of Congress are the most receptive and open to suggestions from their

constituents. The key to increasing cosponsorship on veteran related bills and subsequent passage into law is letting

legislators know of veteran‘s feelings on issues. You can reach their Washington office via the Capital Operator

direct at (866) 272-6622, (800) 828-0498, or (866) 340-9281 to express your views. Otherwise, you can locate on

http://thomas.loc.gov your legislator‘s phone number, mailing address, or email/website to communicate with a

message or letter of your own making. Refer to http://www.thecapitol.net/FAQ/cong_schedule.html for dates that

you can access your legislators on their home turf. [Source: RAO Bulletin Attachment 29 Aug 2010 ++]

===============================

Have You Heard?

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A “paraprosdokian” is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected

in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or

dramatic effect. Examples are:

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in

his car.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.

War does not determine who is right — only who is left.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Evening news is where they begin with “Good evening,” and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.

How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge

of the pool and throw them fish.

I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted pay checks.

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.

Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says “If an emergency, notify:” I put “DOCTOR.”

I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint

is wet?

Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?

Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.

A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.

Hospitality: making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.

Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

I discovered I scream the same way whether I’m about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of

seaweed touches my foot.

Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

There’s a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can’t get away.

I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not sure.

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

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===============================

“A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make

a living.”

— John F. Kennedy (1917-63) 35th US President

===============================

Lt. James ―EMO‖ Tichacek, USN (Ret)

Associate Director, Retiree Assistance Office, U.S. Embassy Warden & IRS VITA Baguio City RP

PSC 517 Box RCB, FPO AP 96517

Tel: (951) 238-1246 in U.S. or Cell: 0915-361-3503 in the Philippines.

Email: raoemo@sbcglobal.net Web: http://post_119_gulfport_ms.tripod.com/rao1.html

AL/AMVETS/DAV/FRA/NAUS/NCOA/MOAA/USDR/VFW/VVA/CG33/DD890/AD37 member

BULLETIN SUBSCRIPTION NOTES:

== To subscribe first add the above RAO email addee to your address book and/or white list and then provide your

full name plus either the post/branch/chapter number of the fraternal military/government organization you are

currently affiliated with (if any) ―AND/OR‖ the city and state/country you reside in so your addee can be properly

positioned in the directory for future recovery. Subscription is open to all veterans, dependents, and military/veteran

support organizations. This Bulletin was sent 78,443 subscribers.

== To manually submit a change of email addee provide your old and new email addee plus full name.

== To manually unsubscribe click ―Reply‖ and add the word ―Remove‖ to the subject line.

== To automatically change your email addee or Unsubscribe from Bulletin distribution click the highlighted

―Change address / Leave mailing list‖ tab at the bottom of the cover page containing this attachment.

===============================

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Connecticut State Veteran’s Benefits

The state of Connecticut provides several veteran benefits. This section offers a brief description of each of the

following benefits.

Housing Benefits

Financial Assistance Benefits

Employment Benefits

Education Benefits

Other State Veteran Benefits

Connecticut Veteran Housing Programs

Connecticut Veterans’ Home

The Department has a health care center with a capacity of 250 beds, a 50-bed substance abuse recovery program

and a 500-bed Residential Program. Professional services are provided by staff physicians, Advanced Practice

Registered Nurses, OT, PT, RT, dieticians and social workers are augmented by community specialists, as well as,

networking to local VA and major area hospitals when appropriate. By Statute, veterans who are able to pay in

whole or in part for programs or services determined by the applicable fee schedule will receive a monthly bill for

such services rendered.

Learn more about the Connecticut Veterans’ Home

Connecticut Financial Assistance Benefits

State Income Tax Exemptions

Connecticut veterans receiving federally taxable military retirement pay are eligible for an exemption from the state

income tax. Connecticut applies a 50 percent exemption from the state income tax on federally taxable military

retirement pay to members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and Army and Air National

Guard. To learn more, read the full article on Military.com.

Property Tax Exemptions

Veterans, who have ninety days of wartime service, including Merchant Marines, who served during WWII, are

eligible for a $1,500 exemption for property tax purposes (e.g., real property or automobiles). You have the option to

choose to apply this exemption to your real estate or automobile tax. Certain veterans, who do not own real property

or a motor vehicle, may be eligible for a tax refund if they are leasing a motor vehicle.

Veterans below a certain income level and/or service connected disabled veterans are eligible for additional property

tax exemptions (up to $10,000 for paraplegics). Surviving spouses of veterans may also be eligible for this

benefit. Contact your municipality’s Tax Assessor Officer for specific details.

Learn more about Property Tax Exemptions

The Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund

The Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund (SSMF) is a state fund administered by the American Legion for the

purpose of providing temporary financial assistance for veterans with ninety days of wartime service, who are

disabled, unemployed or for sickness. An applicant must be a resident of the State of Connecticut at the time of

application for benefits. SSMF provides funding for emergency needs such as clothing, food, medical and surgical

aid, and general care and relief. For further information please call 860-296-0719.

Learn more about The Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund

Connecticut State Employment Benefits

Employment Assistance

An employee who leaves any public authority or public agency to enter the armed forces can be reinstated in their

former position. Veterans must reapply within ninety days following receipt of a certificate from the armed forces

confirming satisfactory service.

For classified competitive state exams, a wartime veteran eligible for or receiving VA compensation receives an

additional ten points. A wartime veteran not eligible for VA compensation or pension receives five additional

points. A spouse of a qualified veteran is also eligible for additional points. However, to qualify, the veteran or

spouse must achieve a passing grade on the examination score. If an honorably discharged veteran has served in a

military action for which he/she received, or is entitled to receive, a campaign badge or expeditionary medal, he/she

qualifies for five additional points if they receive a passing grade on their examination.

On a competitive municipal examination, a wartime veteran eligible for VA compensation or a pension, who has

received a passing score, receives ten additional points.

A wartime veteran not eligible for compensation or a pension, who has received a passing score, receives five

additional points.

Learn more about Employment Benefits

Connecticut Veteran Education Benefits

Educational Benefit/Tuition Waivers

State law provides that tuition fees at state educational institutions be waived for certain veterans and certain

dependents.

Approved institutions for this benefit are:

State Regional Community/Technical Colleges

State Universities

In order to be eligible for a tuition waiver, one must:

Be a veteran who served 90 days of active duty during a period of war as defined in; and

Have been accepted to an approved institution; and

Be a Connecticut resident at the time of acceptance to the institution.

A veteran’s dependents can also qualify for tuition waiver if the veteran is declared missing in action while

serving in the armed forces after January 1, 1960.

Learn more about Educational Benefit/Tuition Waivers

High School Diplomas and Veterans of WWII

Local Boards of Education may award diplomas to those WWII veterans who did not receive them when they left

high school before graduation for military service.

Learn more about High School Diplomas and Veterans of WWII

Other Connecticut State Veteran Benefits

Burial in Connecticut’s Veterans’ Cemetery

Any veteran discharged with other than a dishonorable discharge is eligible for burial in a state veterans’ cemetery.

Spouses are also eligible for this benefit.

Learn more about Burial in Connecticut’s Veterans’ Cemetery

Motor Vehicles Waiver

Page 3

State law provides for free motor vehicle registration and special plates to former prisoners of war and recipients of

the Medal of Honor.

Veterans, who were state residents at the time of induction and who apply within two years of receiving an

honorable discharge, are exempt from paying for an operator’s license and examination fees for one licensing

period.

State law also provides that fees may be waived for the following registration items, subject to a formal

determination by the Department of Motor Vehicles:

Special License plates for disabled veterans

Special fee license plates for certain disabilities (loss of use or loss of limb, or blind) handicapped and

overtime parking.

If receiving auto grant from the VA or Medal of Honor recipient, exemption from registration fees.

Learn more about the Motor Vehicles Waiver

Retirement

Members of The Municipal Employees’ Retirement System, who leave municipal employment to enter the armed

forces while the United States is at war, engaged in hostilities, or during national emergencies and are re-employed

by the municipality within six months of discharge, are credited with the period of service as though they had been

continuously employed. This six-month limitation can be extended due to service-related disability.

Learn more about Retirement Benefits

[Source: www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits/connecticut-state-veterans-benefits Sep2010 ++]

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Senate VETERAN LEGISLATION 12 September 2010

Of the 6106 House and 3754 Senate pieces of legislation introduced in the 111th Congress to date, the

following are the Senate bills of interest to the non-active duty veteran community. Bill titles in green (if

any) are new additions to this summary, titles in orange have either passed either the House or Senate and

been passed to the other for consideration or been incorporated into another bill, and those highlighted in blue

have become public law. A good indication on the likelihood a bill of being forwarded to the House or Senate

for passage and subsequently being signed into law by the President is the number of cosponsors who have

signed onto the bill. An alternate way for it to become law is if it is added as an addendum to another bill

such as the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and survives the conference committee

assigned to iron out the difference between the House and Senate bills. At http://thomas.loc.gov you can

review a copy of each bill’s text, determine its current status, the committee it has been assigned to, who your

representative is and his/her phone number, mailing address, or email/website to communicate with a

message or letter of your own making, and if your legislator is a sponsor or cosponsor of it. To separately

determine what bills, amendments your representative has sponsored, cosponsored, or dropped sponsorship

on refer to http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/d111/sponlst.html. To review a numerical list of all bills introduced

refer to http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/111search.html. The key to increasing cosponsorship is letting legislators

know of their constituent’s views on issues. Those bills that include a website in red are being pushed by

various veterans groups for passage and by clicking on that website you can forward a preformatted message

to your legislator requesting he/she support the bill.

=============================================================================

S.46 : Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act of 2009 to amend title XVIII of the Social Security

Act to repeal the Medicare outpatient rehabilitation therapy caps.

Sponsor: Sen Ensign, John [NV] (introduced 1/6/2009) Cosponsors (32) Related Bill: H.R.43

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/moaa/issues/alert/?alertid=14486941&type=CO

________________________________________

S.66 : Disabled Vet Space A. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to permit former members of the

Armed Forces who have a service-connected disability rated as total to travel on military aircraft in the same

manner and to the same extent as retired members of the Armed Forces are entitled to travel on such aircraft.

Sponsor: Sen Inouye, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

________________________________________

Page 2

S.67 : Disabled POW Commissary/Exchange Use. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to authorize

certain disabled former prisoners of war to use Department of Defense commissary and exchange stores.

Sponsor: Sen Inouye, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

________________________________________

S.68 : Filipino Service Certification. A bill to require the Secretary of the Army to determine the validity of

the claims of certain Filipinos that they performed military service on behalf of the United States during

World War II.

Sponsor: Sen Inouye, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.94 : Long-Term Care Family Accessibility Act. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

provide for a nonrefundable tax credit for long-term care insurance premiums.

Sponsor: Sen Vitter, David [LA] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

Major Action: 1/13/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.239 : Veterans Health Equity Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to ensure that

veterans in each of the 48 contiguous States are able to receive services in at least one full-service hospital of

the Veterans Health Administration in the State or receive comparable services provided by contract in the

State.

Sponsor: Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] (introduced 1/14/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Companion Bill H.R.190

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/14/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.246 : Veterans Health Care Quality Improvement Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

improve the quality of care provided to veterans in Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, to

encourage highly qualified doctors to serve in hard-to-fill positions in such medical facilities, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] (introduced 1/14/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/14/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.252 : Veterans Health Care Authorization Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

enhance the capacity of the Department of Veterans Affairs to recruit and retain nurses and other critical

health-care professionals, to improve the provision of health care veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 1/15/2009)

Cosponsors (11)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Ordered to be reported without amendment favorably.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

Page 3

http://capwiz.com/dav/issues/alert/?alertid=14008476&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

S.263 : Servicemembers Access to Justice Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

improve the enforcement of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994,

and for other purposes. Companion Bill H.R.1474.

Sponsor: Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] (introduced 1/15/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.274 : Veterans Jobs Opportunity Act of 2009. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

provide an incentive to hire unemployed veterans.

Sponsor: Sen Baucus, Max [MT] (introduced 1/16/2009)

Cosponsors (1) Related Bill: H.R.4443

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 1/16/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

________________________________________

S.296 : Fair Tax Act of 2009. A bill to promote freedom, fairness, and economic opportunity by repealing the

income tax and other taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and enacting a national sales tax to be

administered primarily by the States.

Sponsor: Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] (introduced 1/22/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 1/22/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

________________________________________

S.307 : Critical Access Hospital Flexibility Act of 2009. A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security

Act to provide flexibility in the manner in which beds are counted for purposes of determining whether a

hospital may be designated as a critical access hospital under the Medicare program and to exempt from the

critical access hospital inpatient bed limitation the number of beds provided for certain veterans. Companion

Bill H.R.668

Sponsor: Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] (introduced 1/22/2009)

Cosponsors (15)

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 1/22/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

________________________________________

S.315 : Veterans Outreach Improvement Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

improve the outreach activities of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes. Companion

Bill H.R.32

Sponsor: Sen Feingold, Russell D. [WI] (introduced 1/26/2009)

Cosponsors (2) Related Bill H.R.2257

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.347 : Vet Hand Loss Traumatic Injury Protection. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to allow

the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to distinguish between the severity of a qualifying loss of a dominant hand

and a qualifying loss of a non-dominant hand for purposes of traumatic injury protection under

Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Ensign, John [NV] (introduced 1/29/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Page 4

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.402 : Keeping Our Promise to America’s Military Veterans Act. A bill to improve the lives of our Nation’s

veterans and their families and provide them with the opportunity to achieve the American dream.

Sponsor: Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/10/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.404 : Veterans’ Emergency Care Fairness Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

expand veteran eligibility for reimbursement by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for emergency treatment

furnished in a non-Department facility, and for other purposes. Companion Bill H.R.1377.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/10/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.407 : Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009. A bill to increase, effective as of

December 1, 2009, the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of

dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (17)

Related bill H.R.1513

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Senate Reports: 111-24

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-37 [GPO: Text, PDF]

________________________________________

S.423 : Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38,

United States Code, to authorize advance appropriations for certain medical care accounts of the Department

of Veterans Affairs by providing two-fiscal year budget authority, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (56)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 8/6/2009 Senate floor actions. Status: Returned to the Calendar. Calendar No. 101.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12703276

________________________________________

S.491 : Federal and Military Retiree Health Care Equity Act. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of

1986 to allow Federal civilian and military retirees to pay health insurance premiums on a pretax basis and to

allow a deduction for TRICARE supplemental premiums.

Sponsor: Sen Webb, Jim [VA] (introduced 2/26/2009)

Cosponsors (48)

Companion Bill H.R.1203

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 2/26/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

________________________________________

S.498 : Vet Dental Insurance. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize dental insurance for

veterans and survivors and dependents of veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Burr, Richard [NC] (introduced 2/26/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/26/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Page 5

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.514 : Veterans Rehabilitation and Training Improvements Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United

States Code, to enhance vocational rehabilitation benefits for veterans, and for other purposes. Companion

Bill H.R.297.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 3/3/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.535 : SBP DIC Offset Elimination. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to repeal requirement for

reduction of survivor annuities under the Survivor Benefit Plan by veterans’ dependency and indemnity

compensation, and for other purposes. Companion Bill H.775.

Sponsor: Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] (introduced 3/5/2009)

Cosponsors (58)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/5/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senator send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=14275496&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

S.543 : Veteran and Servicemember Family Caregiver Support Act of 2009. A bill to require a pilot program

on training, certification, and support for family caregivers of seriously disabled veterans and members of the

Armed Forces to provide caregiver services to such veterans and members, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] (introduced 3/6/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Companion Bill H.R.785.

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/6/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.546 : Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to permit certain

retired members of the uniformed services who have a service-connected disability to receive both disability

compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for their disability and either retired pay by reason of

their years of military service of Combat-Related Special Compensation. Companion Bill H.R.811.

Sponsor: Sen Reid, Harry [NV] (introduced 3/9/2009)

Cosponsors (45)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/9/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12904686&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

S.572 : Purple Heart Forever Stamp. A bill to provide for the issuance of a “forever stamp” to honor the

sacrifices of the brave men and women of the armed forces who have been awarded the Purple Heart.

Companion Bill H.R.1305.

Sponsor: Sen Webb, Jim [VA] (introduced 3/11/2009)

Cosponsors (17)

Committees: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/23/2009 Referred to Senate subcommittee. Status: Committee on Homeland Security

and Governmental Affairs referred to Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government

Information, Federal Services, and International Security.

________________________________________

S.597 : Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States

Page 6

Code, to expand and improve health care services available to women veterans, especially those serving in

operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for

other purposes. Companion Bill H.R.1211

Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 3/16/2009)

Cosponsors (20)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/16/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.606 : Veterans Corps Program. A bill to amend the National and Community Service Act of 1990 to

establish a Veterans Corps program.

Sponsor: Sen Warner, Mark R. [VA] (introduced 3/17/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Latest Major Action: 3/17/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

________________________________________

S.614 : WASP Gold Medal Award. A bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Airforce

Service Pilots (“WASP”).

Sponsor: Sen Hutchison, Kay Bailey [TX] (introduced 3/17/2009)

Cosponsors (75)

Companion Bill

H.R.2014

Committees: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-40 [GPO: Text, PDF]

________________________________________

S.642 : Health Care for Members of the Armed Forces Exposed to Chemical Hazards Act of 2009. A bill to

require the Secretary of Defense to establish registries of members and former members of the Armed Forces

exposed in the line of duty to occupational and environmental health chemical hazards, to amend title 38,

United States Code, to provide health care to veterans exposed to such hazards, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Bayh, Evan [IN] (introduced 3/19/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/19/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

________________________________________

S.644 : National Guard and Reserve Retired Pay Equity Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 10, United States

Code, to include service after September 11, 2001, as service qualifying for the determination of a reduced

eligibility age for receipt of non-regular service retired pay.

Sponsor: Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] (introduced 3/19/2009)

Cosponsors (13) Companion Bill H.R.208

Related Bill S.831

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/19/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/ncoausa/issues/alert/?alertid=12995086&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id] or

http://capwiz.com/moaa/issues/bills/?bill=12960556

________________________________________

S.658 : Rural Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code,

to improve health care for veterans who live in rural areas, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Tester, Jon [MT] (introduced 3/19/2009)

Cosponsors (10)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/19/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

Page 7

S.663 : Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38,

United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish the Merchant Mariner Equity

Compensation Fund to provide benefits to certain individuals who served in the United States merchant

marine (including the Army Transport Service and the Naval Transport Service) during World War II.

Sponsor: Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin [NE] (introduced 3/19/2009)

Cosponsors (51)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.669 : Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

clarify the conditions under which certain persons may be treated as adjudicated mentally incompetent for

certain purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Burr, Richard [NC] (introduced 3/23/2009)

Cosponsors (18)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/16/2009 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No.

78.

________________________________________

S.691 : Colorado National Cemetery for Veterans. A bill to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to

establish a national cemetery for veterans in southern Colorado region, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Bennet, Michael F. [CO] (introduced 3/25/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.699 : South Texas Veterans’ Hospital. A bill to provide for the construction by the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs of a full service hospital in Far South Texas.

Sponsor: Sen Cornyn, John [TX] (introduced 3/25/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.700 : Ending the Medicare Disability Waiting Period Act of 2009. A bill to amend title II of the Social

Security Act to phase out the 24-month waiting period for disabled individuals to become eligible for

Medicare benefits, to eliminate the waiting period for individuals with life-threatening conditions, and for

other purposes. Companion Bill H.R.1708.

Sponsor: Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] (introduced 3/25/2009)

Cosponsors (21)

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

_______________________________________

S.728 : Veterans’ Insurance and Benefits Enhancement Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States

Code, to enhance veterans’ insurance benefits, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 3/26/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/7/2009 Senate floor actions. Status: Returned to the Calendar. Calendar No. 155.

________________________________________

S.731 : TRICARE Coverage For “Gray Area” Reservists. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to

provide for continuity of TRICARE Standard coverage for certain members of the Retired Reserve.

Page 8

Companion Bill H.R.270

Sponsor: Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin [NE] (introduced 3/26/2009)

Cosponsors (23)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/26/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services. ‘

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://www.ngaus.org/content.asp?bid=1805&False&False

________________________________________

S.734 : Rural Veterans Health Care Access and Quality Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States

Code, to improve the capacity of the Department of Veterans Affairs to recruit and retain physicians in Health

Professional Shortage Areas and to improve the provision of health care to veterans in rural areas, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 3/30/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/30/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.746 : Nebraska National Cemetery. A bill to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a national

cemetery in the Sarpy County region to serve veterans in eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, and northwest

Missouri.

Sponsor: Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin [NE] (introduced 3/31/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.760 : National World War I Memorial. A bill to designate the Liberty Memorial at the National World

War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, as the “National World War I Memorial”.

Sponsor: Sen McCaskill, Claire [MO] (introduced 4/1/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Related Bill H.R.1849

Committees: Senate Energy and Natural Resources

Latest Major Action: 12/3/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Energy and

Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.768 : Bataan Gold Medal Initiative. A bill to grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the soldiers from the

United States who were prisoners of war at Bataan during World War II.

Sponsor: Sen Udall, Tom [NM] (introduced 4/1/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/1/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

________________________________________

S.772 : Honor Act of 2009. A bill to enhance benefits for survivors of certain former members of the Armed

Forces with a history of post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, to enhance availability and

access to mental health counseling for members of the Armed Forces and veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Bond, Christopher S. [MO] (introduced 4/1/2009)

Cosponsors (12)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/1/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.793 : Department of Veterans Affairs Vision Scholars Act of 2009. A bill to direct the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs to establish a scholarship program for students seeking a degree or certificate in the areas of

Page 9

visual impairment and orientation and mobility.

Sponsor: Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] (introduced 4/2/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/2/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.801 : Family Caregiver Program Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to waive

charges for humanitarian care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to family members

accompanying veterans severely injured after September 11, 2001, as they receive medical care from the

Department and to provide assistance to family caregivers, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 4/2/2009)

Cosponsors (27)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 9/25/2009 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No.

167.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13104956&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

S.820 : Veterans Mobility Enhancement Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

enhance the automobile assistance allowance for veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] (introduced 4/2/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.821 : VA Copay Collection Prohibition. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to prohibit the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs from collecting certain copayments from veterans who are catastrophically

disabled, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] (introduced 4/2/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/2/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read the second time and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.831 : National Guard and Reserve Retired Pay Equity Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 10, United States

Code, to include service after September 11, 2001, as service qualifying for the determination of a reduced

eligibility age for receipt of non-regular service retired pay.

Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 4/20/2009)

Cosponsors (34)

Related Bill S.644

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/20/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via www.ngaus.org/content.asp?bid=1805

________________________________________

S.832 : MOAA Federal Charter. A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to grant a Federal charter to

the Military Officers Association of America, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] (introduced 4/20/2009)

Cosponsors (41)

Companion Bill H.R.2017

Related Bill S.1449

Committees: Senate Judiciary

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-95 [GPO: Text, PDF]

________________________________________

Page 10

S.842 : VA Home Loan Payoff to Mortgagers. A bill to repeal the sunset of certain enhancements of

protections of servicemembers relating to mortgages and mortgage foreclosures, to amend title 38, United

States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to pay mortgage holders unpaid balances on

housing loans guaranteed by Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 4/21/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/21/2009 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.847 : SBP Education Assistance Limitation Exclusion. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide that utilization of survivors’ and dependents’ educational assistance shall not be subject to the 48-

month limitation on the aggregate amount of assistance utilizable under multiple veterans and related

educational assistance programs.

Sponsor: Sen Webb, Jim [VA] (introduced 4/21/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.883 : Medal of Honor Coin. A bill to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and

celebration of the establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861, America’s highest award for valor in action

against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the

United States, to honor the American military men and women who have been recipients of the Medal of

Honor, and to promote awareness of what the Medal of Honor represents and how ordinary Americans,

through courage, sacrifice, selfless service and patriotism, can challenge fate and change the course of

history.

Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 4/23/2009)

Cosponsors (85)

Committees: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/23/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

________________________________________

S.902 : Veteran’s Treatment Courts. A bill to provide grants to establish veteran’s treatment courts.

Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 4/27/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Related Bill H.R.2127

Committees: Senate Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.

________________________________________

S. 944 – The Wounded Warrior Transition Assistance Act. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to

require the Secretaries of the military departments to give wounded members of the reserve components of

the Armed Forces the option of remaining on active duty during the transition process in order to continue to

receive military pay and allowances, to authorize members to reside at their permanent places of residence

during the process, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Feingold, Russell D. [WI] (introduced 4/30/2009)

Cosponsors (5)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/30/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13266571&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

——————————————————————————–

S.977 : Prisoner of War Benefits Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide

Page 11

improved benefits for veterans who are former prisoners of war, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 5/5/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.998 : Arthur Woolweaver, Jr., Social Security Act Improvements for the Terminally Ill Act. A bill to

amend title II of the Social Security Act to eliminate the five-month waiting period in the disability insurance

program, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] (introduced 5/7/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 5/7/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

——————————————————————————–

S.1008 : Military Retired Pay Fairness Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to limit

requirements of separation pay, special separation benefits, and voluntary separation incentive from members

of the Armed Forces subsequently receiving retired or retainer pay.

Sponsor: Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] (introduced 5/7/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Companion bill H.R.2302

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 5/7/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13682656&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id] or

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13967481&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

——————————————————————————–

S.1015 : Enhanced Disability Compensation for Certain Disabled Veterans. A bill to amend title 38, United

States Code, to enhance disability compensation for certain disabled veterans with difficulties using

prostheses and disabled veterans in need of regular aid and attendance for residuals of traumatic brain injury,

and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Burr, Richard [NC] (introduced 5/11/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/11/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1016 : Vet Disability Compensation Award upon Separation. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code,

to modify the commencement of the period of payment of original awards of compensation for veterans who

are retired or separated from the Uniformed services for disability.

Sponsor: Sen Burr, Richard [NC] (introduced 5/11/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/11/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1042 : Illegal Garnishment Prevention Act. A bill to prohibit the use of funds to promote the direct deposit

of Veterans and Social Security benefits until adequate safeguards are established to prevent the attachment

and garnishment of such benefits.

Sponsor: Sen Kohl, Herb [WI] (introduced 5/14/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Page 12

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 5/14/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

——————————————————————————–

S.1055 : Gold Medal Award for 100

th

Inf Bn & 442

nd

RCT. A bill to grant the congressional gold medal,

collectively, to the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, United States Army, in

recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.

Sponsor: Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] (introduced 5/14/2009)

Cosponsors (71)

Related bill H.R.347

Committees: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/14/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1106 : Selected Reserve Continuum of Care Act. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to require

the provision of medical and dental readiness services to certain members of the Selected Reserve and

Individual Ready Reserve based on medical need, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] (introduced 5/20/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 5/20/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.1109 : PRO-VETS Act of 2009. A bill to provide veterans with individualized notice about available

benefits, to streamline application processes or the benefits, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] (introduced 5/20/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1118 : DIC Compensation Rate Increase to 55%. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide

for an increase in the amount of monthly dependency and indemnity compensation payable to surviving

spouses by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1128 : Atomic Veterans Service Medal Act. A bill to authorize the award of a military service medal to

members of the Armed Forces who were exposed to ionizing radiation as a result of participation in the

testing of nuclear weapons or under other circumstances.

Sponsor: Sen Roberts, Pat [KS] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Related bill H.R.2553

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 5/21/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.1160 : Homes for Heroes Act of 2009. A bill to provide housing assistance for very low-income veterans.

Sponsor: Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] (introduced 6/1/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Page 13

Committees: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/1/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1166 : Voluntary Support for Reservists and National Guard Members Act of 2009. A bill to amend the

Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow taxpayers to designate part or all of any income tax refund to support

reservists and National Guard members.

Sponsor: Sen Reid, Harry [NV] (introduced 6/3/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 6/3/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

——————————————————————————–

S.1168 : Nationally Significant Battlefields Protection. A bill to authorize the acquisition and protection of

nationally significant battlefields and associated sites of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 under

the American Battlefield Protection Program.

Sponsor: Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] (introduced 6/3/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Related Bill

H.R.1694

Committees: Senate Energy and Natural Resources

Latest Major Action: 7/15/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Energy and

Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks. Hearings held. With printed Hearing: S.Hrg. 111-92.

——————————————————————————–

S.1169 : Uniformed Services with Autism (USA) Heroes Act . A bill to amend title 10, United States Code,

to provide for the treatment of autism under TRICARE.

Sponsor: Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] (introduced 6/3/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/3/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.1204 : Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act of 2009. A bill to amend the Department of

Veterans Affairs Health Care Programs Enhancement Act of 2001 to require the provision of chiropractic

care and services to veterans at all Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 6/8/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Related bill H.R.1017

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1237 : Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans with Children Act of 2009. A bill to amend

title 38, United States Code, to expand the grant program for homeless veterans with special needs to include

male homeless veterans with minor dependents and to establish a grant program for reintegration of homeless

women veterans and homeless veterans with children, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 6/11/2009)

Cosponsors (10)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2010 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No.

360.

Page 14

——————————————————————————–

S.1337 : Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act of 2009. A bill to exempt children of certain Filipino

World War II veterans from the numerical limitations on immigrant visas.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 6/24/2009)

Cosponsors (6)

Committees: Senate Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 6/24/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.

——————————————————————————–

S.1347 : Carmelo Rodriguez Military Medical Accountability Act of 2009. A bill to amend chapter 171 of

title 28, United States Code, to allow members of the Armed Forces to sue the United States for damages for

certain injuries caused by improper medical care, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] (introduced 6/24/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 6/24/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13791596&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

——————————————————————————–

S.1394 : Veterans Entitlement to Service Act of 2009. A bill to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to

acknowledge the receipt of medical, disability, and pension claims and other communications submitted by

claimants, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] (introduced 7/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1427 : Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital Quality Report Card Act of 2009. A bill to amend title

38, United States Code, to establish a Hospital Quality Report Card Initiative to report on health care quality

in Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] (introduced 7/9/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1429 : Servicemembers Mental Health Care Commission Act. A bill to establish a commission on

veterans and members of the Armed Forces with post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or

other mental health disorders, to enhance the capacity of mental health care providers to assist such veterans

and members, to ensure such veterans are not discriminated against, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] (introduced 7/9/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1449 : MOAA Federal Charter. A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to grant a Federal charter to

the Military Officers Association of America, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] (introduced 7/14/2009) Cosponsors (None) Related Bill H.R.2017 & S.832

Page 15

Committees: Senate Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 7/14/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.

——————————————————————————–

S.1450 : Deceased Servicemen Parental Nursing Home Care. A bill to enable State homes to furnish

nursing home care to parents any of whose children died while serving in the Armed Forces.

Sponsor: Sen Ensign, John [NV] (introduced 7/14/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/14/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1452 : COMBAT PTSD Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the meaning of

“combat with the enemy” for purposes of service-connection of disabilities.

Sponsor: Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] (introduced 7/14/2009)

Cosponsors (5)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/14/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1467 : Lance Corporal Josef Lopez Fairness for Servicemembers Harmed by Vaccines Act of 2009. A

bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide coverage under Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life

Insurance for adverse reactions to vaccinations administered by the Department of Defense, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Sen McCaskill, Claire [MO] (introduced 7/16/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1495 : Service Dogs for Veterans Act of 2009. A bill to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry

out a pilot program to assess the feasibility and advisability of using service dogs for the treatment or

rehabilitation of veterans with physical or mental injuries or disabilities, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Franken, Al [MN] (introduced 7/22/2009)

Cosponsors (7) Related Bill H.R.3266

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/22/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1518 : Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

furnish hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care to veterans who were stationed at Camp

Lejeune, North Carolina, while the water was contaminated at Camp Lejeune.

Sponsor: Sen Burr, Richard [NC] (introduced 7/27/2009)

Cosponsors (15)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1520 : NAIV Charter. A bill to grant a Federal charter to the National American Indian Veterans,

Page 16

Incorporated.

Sponsor: Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] (introduced 7/27/2009)

Cosponsors (1) Related Bill H.R.3349

Committees: Senate Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 7/27/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.

——————————————————————————–

S.1543 : Supporting Military Families Act of 2009. A bill to amend the Family and Medical Leave Act of

1993 and title 5, United States Code, to provide leave for family members of members of regular components

of the Armed Forces, and leave to care for covered veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] (introduced 7/30/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Latest Major Action: 7/30/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

——————————————————————————–

S.1547 : Zero Tolerance for Veterans Homelessness Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States

Code, and the United States Housing Act of 1937 to enhance and expand the assistance provided by the

Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to homeless

veterans and veterans at risk of homelessness, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Reed, Jack [RI] (introduced 7/30/2009)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1556 : Veteran Voting Support Act of 2009. A bill to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to permit

facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs to be designated as voter registration agencies, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] (introduced 8/3/2009)

Cosponsors (6)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1558 : Travel Reimbursement for Inactive Duty Training Personnel (TRIP) Act of 2009. A bill to amend

title 37, United States Code, to provide travel and transportation allowances for members of the reserve

components for long distance and certain other travel to inactive duty training.

Sponsor: Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] (introduced 8/3/2009)

Cosponsors (8)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 8/3/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.1668 : National Guard Education Equality Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide

for the inclusion of certain active duty service in the reserve components as qualifying service for purposes of

Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Bennet, Michael F. [CO] (introduced 9/14/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Page 17

Affairs. Hearings held.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/ngaus/mail/compose/?mailid=14779496&azip=92571

——————————————————————————–

S.1685 : Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act of 2009. A bill to provide an emergency benefit of $250 to

seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities in 2010 to compensate for the lack of a cost-of-living

adjustment for such year, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] (introduced 9/17/2009)

Cosponsors (10) Related Bills: H.R.3597

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 9/17/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

——————————————————————————–

S.1695 : Congressional Gold Medal Award. A bill to authorize the award of a Congressional gold medal

to the Montford Point Marines of World War II.

Sponsor: Sen Burris, Roland [IL] (introduced 9/23/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Latest Major Action: 9/23/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1717 : VA Facility Leases. A bill to authorize major medical facility leases for the Department of

Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2010, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 9/25/2009)

Cosponsors (1) Related Bill S.1310

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-82

——————————————————————————–

S.1752 : Parkinson’s Disease VA Compensation. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide wartime disability compensation for certain veterans with

Parkinson’s disease.

Sponsor: Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] (introduced 10/5/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1753 : Disabled Veteran Caregiver Housing Assistance Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United

States Code, to increase assistance for disabled veterans who are temporarily residing in housing owned by a

family member, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] (introduced 10/5/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1779 : Health Care for Veterans Exposed to Chemical Hazards Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38,

United States Code, to provide health care to veterans exposed in the line of duty to occupational and

environmental health chemical hazards, and for other purposes.

Page 18

Sponsor: Sen Bayh, Evan [IN] (introduced 10/14/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1780 : Honor America’s Guard-Reserve Retirees Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

deem certain service in the reserve components as active service for purposes of laws administered by the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] (introduced 10/14/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Related bill: H.R.3787

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/19/2010 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1798 : Automatic Reserve Component Enrollment Act of 2009. A bill to provide for the automatic

enrollment of demobilizing members of the National Guard and Reserve in health care and dental care

programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] (introduced 10/19/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/19/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1932 : Post 9/11 Troops to Teachers Enhancement Act. A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary

Education Act of 1965 to allow members of the Armed Forces who served on active duty on or after

September 11, 2001, to be eligible to participate in the Troops-to-Teachers Program, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen McCain, John [AZ] (introduced 10/27/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Latest Major Action:

——————————————————————————–

S.1939 : Vet Presumptive Exposure in Vietnam. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify

presumptions relating to the exposure of certain veterans who served in the vicinity of the Republic of

Vietnam, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] (introduced 10/27/2009)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/19/2010 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1963 : Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United

States Code, to provide assistance to caregivers of veterans, to improve the provision of health care to

veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 10/28/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-163 [GPO: Text, PDF]

——————————————————————————–

S.2096 : Parent VA Burial Eligibility. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the

Page 19

eligibility of parents of certain deceased veterans for interment in national cemeteries.

Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 10/29/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/29/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.2743 : Cold War Service Medal Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for

the award of a military service medal to members of the Armed Forces who served honorably during the Cold

War, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] (introduced 11/5/2009)

Cosponsors (8)

Related bill: H.R.4051

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 11/5/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.2759 : Benefit Rating Acceleration for Veteran Entitlements Act of 2009. A bill to amend title II and

XVI of the Social Security Act to provide for treatment of disability rated and certified as total by the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs as disability for purposes of such titles.

Sponsor: Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] (introduced 11/10/2009)

Cosponsors (None) Related Bill: H.R.4054

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 11/10/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

——————————————————————————–

S.2760 : VA Homeless Vets Appropriations. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for an

increase in the annual amount authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out

comprehensive service programs for homeless veterans.

Sponsor: Sen Udall, Tom [NM] (introduced 11/10/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/10/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.2769 : Post-9/11 Veterans’ Job Training Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide for the use of entitlement under Post-9/11 Educational Assistance for the pursuit of apprenticeships

and on-job training, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] (introduced 11/10/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/10/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.2770 : Veterans Business Center Act of 2009. A bill to amend the Small Business Act to establish a

Veterans Business Center program, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] (introduced 11/10/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Latest Major Action: 11/10/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Page 20

——————————————————————————–

S.3082 : VA Work Study Allowances. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize individuals

who are pursuing programs of rehabilitation, education, or training under laws administered by the Secretary

of Veterans Affairs to receive work-study allowances for certain outreach services provided through

congressional offices, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] (introduced 3/5/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Related bill: H.R.4765

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/5/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.3107 : Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2010. A bill to amend title 38 ,

United States Code, to provide for an increase, effective December 1, 2010, in the rates of compensation for

veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the

survivors of certain disabled veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 3/11/2010)

Cosponsors (11) Related Bill: H.R.4667

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/19/2010 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.3118 : Veterans Pensions Protection Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide that

monetary benefits paid to veterans by States and municipalities shall be excluded from consideration as

income for purposes of pension benefits paid by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 3/16/2010) Cosponsors (None) Related Bill: H.R.3485

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/16/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.3162 : VA Minimum Essential Coverage. A bill to clarify the health care provided by the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs that constitutes minimum essential coverage.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 3/24/2010)

Cosponsors (59) Related bills: H.R.5014

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/13/2010 Held at the desk.

——————————————————————————–

S.3171 : Veterans Training Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the approval of

certain programs of education for purposes of the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program.

Sponsor: Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] (introduced 3/25/2010) Cosponsors (10) Related bills: H.R. 3813

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.3192 : Fair Access to Veterans Benefits Act of 2010. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide for the tolling of the timing of review for appeals of final decisions of the Board of Veterans’

Appeals, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Specter, Arlen [PA] (introduced 4/12/2010) Cosponsors (1)

Related bills: H.R.5045,

Page 21

H.R.5064

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/12/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.3201 : TRICARE Dependent Coverage Extension Act. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to

extend TRICARE coverage to certain dependents under the age of 26.

Sponsor: Sen Udall, Mark [CO] (introduced 4/14/2010) Cosponsors (31) Related bills: H.R.4923

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/14/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.3234 : Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010. A bill to improve employment, training, and

placement services furnished to veterans, especially those serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation

Enduring Freedom, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 4/20/2010) Cosponsors (13) Related bills: H.R.5120

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/19/2010 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.3286 : VA Vet Claim Assistance Pilot Program. A bill to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to

carry out a pilot program on the award of grants to State and local government agencies and nonprofit

organizations to provide assistance to veterans with their submittal of claims to the Veterans Benefits

Administration, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Specter, Arlen [PA] (introduced 4/29/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/19/2010 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.3356 : CHAMPVA Children Maximum Age increase. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

increase the maximum age for children eligible for medical care under the CHAMPVA program, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Feingold, Russell D. [WI] (introduced 5/13/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/13/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.3359 : Veterans’ Disability Compensation Automatic COLA Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States

Code, to provide for annual cost-of-living adjustments to be made automatically by law each year in the rates

of disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and

indemnity compensation for survivors of certain service-connected disabled veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Thune, John [SD] (introduced 5/13/2010)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/13/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Page 22

——————————————————————————–

S.3367 : VA Pension Increase for Disabled Couples. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

increase the rate of pension for disabled veterans who are married to one another and both of whom require

regular aid and attendance, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 5/13/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/19/2010 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.3371 : TRICARE Mental Health Care Access Act. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to

improve access to mental health care counselors under the TRICARE program, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen McCaskill, Claire [MO] (introduced 5/13/2010)

Cosponsors (8)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 5/13/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.3378 : Examination of Exposures to Environmental Hazards During Military Service and Health

Care for Camp Lejeune and Atsugi Naval Air Facility Veterans and their Families Act of 2010. An

original bill to authorize health care for individuals exposed to environmental hazards at Camp Lejeune and

the Atsugi Naval Air Facility, to establish an advisory board to examine exposures to environmental hazards

during military service, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 5/17/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Senate Reports: 111-189

Latest Major Action: 5/17/2010 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No.

377.

——————————————————————————–

S.3394 : Strengthening Entrepreneurship for America’s Veterans Act of 2010. A bill to establish the

veterans’ business center program, to improve the programs for veterans of the Small Business

Administration, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] (introduced 5/20/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Latest Major Action: 5/20/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

——————————————————————————–

S.3398 : Veteran Employment Transition Act of 2010. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986

to extend the work opportunity credit to certain recently discharged veterans.

Sponsor: Sen Baucus, Max [MT] (introduced 5/24/2010) Cosponsors (3) Related bills: H.R.5400

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 5/24/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

——————————————————————————–

S.3406 : Reserve Retirement Deployment Credit Correction Act. A bill to amend title 10, United States

Page 23

Code, to eliminate the per-fiscal year calculation of days of certain active duty or active service used to

reduce the minimum age at which a member of a reserve component of the uniformed services may retire for

non-regular service.

Sponsor: Sen Hagan, Kay [NC] (introduced 5/24/2010) Cosponsors (1) Related bills: H.R.4947

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 5/24/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.3447 : Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010. A bill to amend title 38,

United States Code, to improve educational assistance for veterans who served in the Armed Forces after

September 11, 2001, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 5/27/2010)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/21/2010 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.3454 : National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011. An original bill to authorize

appropriations for fiscal year 2011 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military

construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths

for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Levin, Carl [MI] (introduced 6/4/2010) Cosponsors (None) Related bills: H.R.5136, S.3455,

S.3456, S.3457

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Senate Reports: 111-201

Latest Major Action: 6/4/2010 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No.

414.

——————————————————————————–

S.3477 : Blue Star/Gold Star Flag Act of 2010. A bill to ensure that the right of an individual to display the

Service Flag on residential property not be abridged.

Sponsor: Sen Webb, Jim [VA] (introduced 6/10/2010) Cosponsors (11) Related Bill: H.R.2546

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/10/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.3499 : Fiduciary Benefits Oversight Act of 2010. A bill to require fiduciaries of individuals receiving

benefits under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to authorize the Secretary to obtain

financial records with respect to such individuals for purposes of administering such laws, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 6/16/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/16/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.3556 : Hire A Hero Act of 2010. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the work

opportunity credit to small businesses which hire individuals who are members of the Ready Reserve or

Page 24

National Guard

Sponsor: Sen Brownback, Sam [KS] (introduced 6/30/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 6/30/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

——————————————————————————–

S.3609 : VA Contract Physicians. A bill to extend the temporary authority for performance of medical

disability examinations by contract physicians for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 7/19/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/19/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.3615 : Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2011.

Sponsor: Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] (introduced 7/19/2010)

Cosponsors (None) Related bill: S.1407

Committees: Senate Appropriations

Senate Reports: 111-226

Latest Major Action: 7/19/2010 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No.

469.

——————————————————————————–

S.3678 : Sergeant Coleman Bean National Guard and Reserves Mental Health Act. A bill to improve

mental health services for members of the National Guard and Reserve deployed in connection with a

contingency operation, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] (introduced 7/29/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 7/29/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

—————————————————————————

S.3748 : National Guard and Reserve Soft Landing Reintegration Act. A bill to amend title 10, United

States Code, to provide for the retention of members of the reserve components on active duty for a period of

45 days following an extended deployment in contingency operations or homeland defense missions to

support their reintegration into civilian life, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] (introduced 8/5/2010)

Cosponsors (1) Relatyed bill: S.1426

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 8/5/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

[Source: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/LegislativeData.php?n=Browse 12 Sep 2010 ++]

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House VETERAN LEGISLATION 12 September 2010

Of the 6106 House and 3754 Senate pieces of legislation introduced in the 111th Congress to date, the

following House bills are of interest to the non-active duty veteran community. Bill titles in green (if any)

are new additions to this summary, titles in orange have either passed either the House or Senate and been

passed to the other for consideration or been incorporated into another bill, and those highlighted in blue have

become public law. A good indication on the likelihood a bill of being forwarded to the House or Senate for

passage and subsequently being signed into law by the President is the number of cosponsors who have

signed onto the bill. An alternate way for it to become law is if it is added as an addendum to another bill

such as the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and survives the conference committee

assigned to iron out the difference between the House and Senate bills. At http://thomas.loc.gov you can

review a copy of each bill’s text, determine its current status, the committee it has been assigned to, who your

representative is and his/her phone number, mailing address, or email/website to communicate with a

message or letter of your own making, and if your legislator is a sponsor or cosponsor of it. To separately

determine what bills, amendments your representative has sponsored, cosponsored, or dropped sponsorship

on refer to http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/d111/sponlst.html. To review a numerical list of all bills introduced

refer to http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/111search.html. The key to increasing cosponsorship is letting legislators

know of their constituent’s views on issues. Those bills that include a website in red are being pushed by

various veterans groups for passage and by clicking on that website you can forward a preformatted message

to your legislator requesting he/she support the bill.

=============================================================================

H.R.23 : Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2009 to amend title 38,

United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish the Merchant Mariner Equity

Compensation Fund to provide benefits to certain individuals who served in the United States merchant

marine (including the Army Transport Service and the Naval Transport Service) during World War II.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (168)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/13/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/naus/issues/alert/?alertid=12497121

________________________________________

H.R.32 : Veterans Outreach Improvement Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the

outreach activities of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes. Companion Bill S.315

Sponsor: Rep McIntyre, Mike [NC-7] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (41)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/28/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Provisions of measure

Page 2

incorporated into H.R. 3949 .

________________________________________

H.R.33 : Disability Benefit Fairness Act of 2009 to amend title II of the Social Security Act to eliminate the

5-month waiting period for entitlement to disability benefits and to eliminate reconsideration as an

intervening step between initial benefit entitlement decisions and subsequent hearings on the record on such

decisions.

Sponsor: Rep McIntyre, Mike [NC-7] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.43 : Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act of 2009 to amend title XVIII of the Social Security

Act to repeal the Medicare outpatient rehabilitation therapy caps.

Sponsor: Rep Becerra, Xavier [CA-31] (introduced 1/6/2009) Cosponsors (187) Related bill S.46

Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy

and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently

determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of

the committee concerned.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/moaa/issues/alert/?alertid=14486941&type=CO

________________________________________

H.R.82 : Veterans Outreach Improvement Act of 2009 to expand retroactive eligibility of the Army Combat

Action Badge to include members of the Army who participated in combat during which they personally

engaged, or were personally engaged by, the enemy at any time on or after December 7, 1941.

Sponsor: Rep Brown-Waite, Ginny [FL-5] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/30/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.84 : Veterans Timely Access to Health Care Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to establish

standards of access to care for veterans seeking health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Brown-Waite, Ginny [FL-5] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

________________________________________

H.R.108 : Disabled Veterans Commissary and Exchange Store Benefits Act to amend title 10, United States

Code, to extend military commissary and exchange store privileges to veterans with a compensable service-

connected disability and to their dependents.

Sponsor: Rep Fortenberry, Jeff [NE-1] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/30/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.114 : Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition Business Benefit Act to allow veterans to elect to use, with

the approval of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, certain financial educational assistance to establish and

operate certain business, and for other purposes.

Page 3

Sponsor: Rep Fortenberry, Jeff [NE-1] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/10/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee Hearings Held.

________________________________________

H.R.147 : Designate a Portion of Tax Payment for Homeless Vets. To amend the Internal Revenue Code of

1986 to allow taxpayers to designate a portion of their income tax payment to provide assistance to homeless

veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (91)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/4/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12922516&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.161 : Social Security Beneficiary Tax Reduction Act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

repeal the 1993 increase in taxes on Social Security benefits.

Sponsor: Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.162 : Senior Citizens’ Tax Elimination Act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the

inclusion in gross income of Social Security benefits.

Sponsor: Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.174 : Colorado Vet Cemetery. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a national

cemetery for veterans in the southern Colorado region.

Sponsor: Rep Salazar, John T. [CO-3] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 11/3/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.177 : Depleted Uranium Screening and Testing Act to provide for identification of members of the

Armed Forces exposed during military service to depleted uranium, to provide for health testing of such

members, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/30/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.190 : Veterans Health Equity Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to ensure that veterans

in each of the 48 contiguous States are able to receive services in at least one full-service hospital of the

Veterans Health Administration in the State or receive comparable services provided by contract in the State.

Companion Bill S.239.

Sponsor: Rep Shea-Porter, Carol [NH-1] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Page 4

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.198 : Health Care Tax Deduction Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a

deduction for amounts paid for health insurance and prescription drug costs of individuals.

Sponsor: Rep Stearns, Cliff [FL-6] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.208 : National Guardsmen and Reservists Parity for Patriots Act to amend title 10, United States Code,

to ensure that members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces who have served on active duty or

performed active service since September 11, 2001, in support of a contingency operation or in other

emergency situations receive credit for such service in determining eligibility for early receipt of non-regular

service retired pay, and for other purposes. Companion Bill S.644.

Sponsor: Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (166)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/30/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via http://capwiz.com/vfw/dbq/officials

and /or http://capwiz.com/ngaus/mail/compose/?mailid=13672261&azip=92571&bzip=7311

________________________________________

H.R.210 : Vet Cemetery South Carolina Land Acquisition Study. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

to conduct a study on the acquisition of a parcel of land adjacent to Beaufort National Cemetery, Beaufort,

South Carolina.

Sponsor: Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.217 : Vet Cemetery South Carolina Land Acquisition Purchase. To direct the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs to acquire a parcel of land adjacent to Beaufort National Cemetery, Beaufort, South Carolina.

Sponsor: Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Veterans’

Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by

the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee

concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.228 : Visual Impairment VA Scholarship Program to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to

establish a scholarship program for students seeking a degree or certificate in the areas of visual impairment

and orientation and mobility.

Sponsor: Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] (introduced 1/7/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/28/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Provisions of measure

incorporated into H.R. 3949 .

________________________________________

H.R.236 : Social Security Protection Act to amend the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to protect Social

Security beneficiaries against any reduction in benefits.

Sponsor: Rep Brown-Waite, Ginny [FL-5] (introduced 1/7/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Page 5

Committees: House Rules; House Budget

Latest Major Action: 1/7/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Rules,

and in addition to the Committee on the Budget, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker,

in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.237 : Military Retiree Health Care Relief Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

allow a refundable credit to military retirees for premiums paid for coverage under Medicare Part B.

Sponsor: Rep Emerson, Jo Ann [MO-8] (introduced 1/7/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/7/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12921516&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.247 : Protect Our Veterans Memorials Act of 2009 to amend section 1369 of title 18, United States

Code, to extend Federal jurisdiction over destruction of veterans’ memorials on State or local government

property.

Sponsor: Rep Green, Gene [TX-29] (introduced 1/7/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 2/9/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

_______________________________________

H.R.270 : TRICARE Continuity of Coverage for National Guard and Reserve Families Act of 2009 to

amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for continuity of TRICARE Standard coverage for certain

members of the Retired Reserve. Companion Bill S.731.

Sponsor: Rep Latta, Robert E. [OH-5] (introduced 1/7/2009)

Cosponsors (72)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/30/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12923561&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id] or

http://www.ngaus.org/content.asp?bid=1805&False&False

________________________________________

H.R.293 : Homeless Women Veteran and Homeless Veterans with Children Reintegration Grant Program

Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Labor to carry out a grant

program to provide reintegration services through programs and facilities that emphasize services for

homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (15)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/8/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

________________________________________

H.R.294 : Veteran Owned Small Business Promotion Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide for the reauthorization of the Department of Veterans Affairs small business loan program, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 9/24/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

________________________________________

Page 6

H.R.295 : More Jobs for Veterans Act of 2009 to authorize appropriations for the veterans’ workforce

investment programs.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (11)

Committees: House Education and Labor

Latest Major Action: 3/16/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness.

________________________________________

H.R.296 : Armed Forces Disability Retirement Enhancement Act of 2009 to amend title 10, United States

Code, to revise the process by which a member of the Armed Forces is retired for disability and becomes

eligible for retirement pay, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/30/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.297 : Veteran Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Subsistence Allowance Improvement Act of

2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for an increase in the amount of subsistence allowance

payable by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to veterans participating in vocational rehabilitation programs,

and for other purposes. Companion Bill S.514

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (10)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/4/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

________________________________________

H.R.303 : Retired Pay Restoration Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to permit additional retired

members of the Armed Forces who have a service-connected disability to receive both disability

compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for their disability and either retired pay by reason of

their years of military service or Combat-Related Special Compensation and to eliminate the phase-in period

under current law with respect to such concurrent receipt.

Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (134)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/30/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.309 : American Heroes’ Homeownership Assistance Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code

of 1986 to allow certain current and former service members to receive a refundable credit for the purchase of

a principal residence.

Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/8/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.333 : Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to permit retired

members of the Armed Forces who have a service-connected disability rated less than 50 percent to receive

concurrent payment of both retired pay and veterans’ disability compensation, to eliminate the phase-in period

for concurrent receipt, to extend eligibility for concurrent receipt to chapter 61 disability retirees with less

than 20 years of service, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Marshall, Jim [GA-8] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (163)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Page 7

Military Personnel.

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_______________________________________

H.R.341 : Suspend Limitations Period for Tax Refund on VA Retroactive Payments. To amend the Internal

Revenue Code of 1986 to suspend the running of periods of limitation for credit or refund of overpayment of

Federal income tax by veterans while their service-connected compensation determinations are pending with

the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Platts, Todd Russell [PA-19] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/8/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.347 : Congressional Gold Medal Award. To grant the congressional gold medal, collectively, to the

100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, United States Army, in recognition of their

dedicated service during World War II.

Sponsor: Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (297) – Related bill S.1055

Committees: House Financial Services; House Administration

Latest Major Action: 5/18/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.379 : State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Expansion Act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986

to ensure that all taxpayers have the ability to deduct State and local general sales taxes. Companion Bill

S.35.

Sponsor: Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (26)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/9/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.394 : Medal of Honor Pension. To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs to increase the amount of the Medal of Honor special pension provided under that title by up

to $1,000.

Sponsor: Rep Brown, Henry E., Jr. [SC-1] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/9/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.403 : Homes for Heroes Act of 2009 to provide housing assistance for very low-income veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Green, Al [TX-9] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (41)

Committees: House Financial Services; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 6/17/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.423 : Samuel B. Moody Bataan Death March Compensation Act to provide compensation for certain

World War II veterans who survived the Bataan Death March and were held as prisoners of war by the

Japanese.

Sponsor: Rep Mica, John L. [FL-7] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Armed Services

Page 8

Latest Major Action: 2/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.433 : Ready Employers Willing to Assist Reservists’ Deployment (REWARD) Act of 2009 to amend the

Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow employers a credit against income tax equal to 50 percent of the

compensation paid to employees while they are performing active duty service as members of the Ready

Reserve or the National Guard and of the compensation paid to temporary replacement employees.

Sponsor: Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (40)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/9/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.442 : Veterans’ Heritage Firearms Act of 2009 to provide an amnesty period during which veterans and

their family members can register certain firearms in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record,

and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Rehberg, Denny [MT] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (196)

Committees: House Judiciary; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/9/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

________________________________________

H.R.449 : Health Care for America’s Heroes Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand the

availability of health care provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs by adjusting the income level for

certain priority veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Sestak, Joe [PA-7] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/9/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.456 : Disabled Veteran Small Business Eligibility Expansion Act of 2009 to amend the Small Business

Act to make service-disabled veterans eligible under the 8(a) business development program.

Sponsor: Rep Wittman, Robert J. [VA-1] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (5)

Committees: House Small Business

Latest Major Action: 1/9/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Small Business.

________________________________________

H.R.466 : Wounded Veteran Job Security Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to prohibit

discrimination and acts of reprisal against persons who receive treatment for illnesses, injuries, and

disabilities incurred in or aggravated by service in the uniformed services.

Sponsor: Rep Doggett, Lloyd [TX-25] (introduced 1/13/2009)

Cosponsors (8)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/9/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.482 : Frank Buckles World War I Memorial Act to authorize the rededication of the District of

Columbia War Memorial as a National and District of Columbia World War I Memorial to honor the

sacrifices made by American veterans of World War I.

Sponsor: Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/13/2009)

Cosponsors (51)

Committees: House Natural Resources

Latest Major Action: 2/4/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Page 9

National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands.

________________________________________

H.R.484 : Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act to require the Secretary of Defense to

develop and implement a plan to provide chiropractic health care services and benefits for certain new

beneficiaries as part of the TRICARE program.

Sponsor: Rep Rogers, Mike D. [AL-3] (introduced 1/13/2009)

Cosponsors (46)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 2/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.531 : Social Security Number Fraudulent Use Notification Act of 2009 to amend title II of the Social

Security Act to require that the Commissioner of Social Security notify individuals of improper use of their

Social Security account numbers.

Sponsor: Rep Myrick, Sue Wilkins [NC-9] (introduced 1/14/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/14/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.568 : Veterans Health Care Quality Improvement Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve

the quality of care provided to veterans in Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, to encourage

highly qualified doctors to serve in hard-to-fill positions in such medical facilities, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Costello, Jerry F. [IL-12] (introduced 1/15/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Oversight and Government Reform

Latest Major Action: 1/15/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

________________________________________

H.R.593 : CRSC for DoD Disability Severances Pay. To amend title 10, United States Code, to expand the

authorized concurrent receipt of disability severance pay from the Department of Defense and compensation

for the same disability under any law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs to cover all

veterans who have a combat-related disability, as defined under section 1413a of such title.

Sponsor: Rep Smith, Adam [WA-9] (introduced 1/15/2009)

Cosponsors (44)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 2/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

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________________________________________

H.R.612 : Disabled Veterans Insurance Act of 2009 to amend section 1922A of title 38, United States Code,

to increase the amount of supplemental insurance available for totally disabled veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3] (introduced 1/21/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/21/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.613 : Military Retiree Survivor Comfort Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for

forgiveness of certain overpayments of retired pay paid to deceased retired members of the Armed Forces

following their death.

Sponsor: Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3] (introduced 1/21/2009)

Cosponsors (63)

Committees: House Armed Services

Page 10

Latest Major Action: 2/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

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________________________________________

H.R.620 : Jobs for Veterans Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow an increased

work opportunity credit with respect to recent veterans.

Sponsor: Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] (introduced 1/21/2009)

Cosponsors (14) Related Bill: H.R.4443

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/21/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.627 : Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009 to amend the Truth in Lending Act to establish fair

and transparent practices relating to the extension of credit under an open end consumer credit plan, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] (introduced 1/22/2009)

Cosponsors (128) Related Bill S.235

Companion Bill S.414

Committees: House Financial Services

House Reports: 111-88

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-24

________________________________________

H.R.656 : Unemployed Early Retirement Plan Withdrawal without Penalty. To amend the Internal Revenue

Code of 1986 to allow certain individuals who have attained age 50 and who are unemployed to receive

distributions from qualified retirement plans without incurring a 10 percent additional tax.

Sponsor: Rep Platts, Todd Russell [PA-19] (introduced 1/22/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/22/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.667 : Heroes at Home Act of 2009 to improve the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury in

members and former members of the Armed Forces, to review and expand telehealth and telemental health

programs of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Salazar, John T. [CO-3] (introduced 1/23/2009)

Cosponsors (46)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 2/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.668 : Critical Access Hospital Flexibility Act of 2009 to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to

provide flexibility in the manner in which beds are counted for purposes of determining whether a hospital

may be designated as a critical access hospital under the Medicare Program and to exempt from the critical

access hospital inpatient bed limitation the number of beds provided for certain veterans. Companion Bill

S.307

Sponsor: Rep Walden, Greg [OR-2] (introduced 1/23/2009)

Cosponsors (10)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/23/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.671 : In Memory Medal for Forgotten Veterans Act to direct the Secretary of Defense to issue a medal

to certain veterans who died after their service in the Vietnam War as a direct result of that service.

Page 11

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 1/26/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 2/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.731 : Jenny’s Law to amend title 38, United States Code, to exclude individuals who have been

convicted of committing certain sex offenses from receiving certain burial-related benefits and funeral honors

which are otherwise available to certain veterans, members of the Armed Forces, and related individuals, and

for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Shadegg, John B. [AZ-3] (introduced 1/27/2009)

Cosponsors (26)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/27/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.746 : Safeguarding America’s Seniors and Veterans Act of 2009 to provide for economic recovery

payments to recipients of Social Security, railroad retirement, and veterans disability benefits.

Sponsor: Rep Adler, John H. [NJ-3] (introduced 1/28/2009)

Cosponsors (11)

Committees: House Ways and Means; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/28/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Ways

and Means, and in addition to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined

by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the

committee concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.761 : Parental Burial in National Cemeteries (Corey Shea Act). To amend title 38, United States Code,

to provide for the eligibility of parents of certain deceased veterans for interment in national cemeteries.

Sponsor: Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] (introduced 1/28/2009)

Cosponsors (3) Related Bill H.R.3949

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/28/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Provisions of measure

incorporated into H.R.3949 .

________________________________________

H.R.775 : Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act to repeal the requirement for reduction of survivor

annuities under the Survivor Benefit Plan to offset the receipt of veterans dependency and indemnity

compensation.

Sponsor: Rep Ortiz, Solomon P. [TX-27] (introduced 1/28/2009)

Cosponsors (349) Companion Bill S.535

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/15/2010 Motion to Discharge Committee filed by Mr. Jones. Petition No: 111-10.

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________________________________________

H.R.784 : VA Reports to Congress. To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs to submit to Congress quarterly reports on vacancies in mental health professional positions in

Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities.

Sponsor: Rep Tsongas, Niki [MA-5] (introduced 1/28/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/3/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

________________________________________

H.R.785 : VA Outreach Training. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program to

Page 12

provide outreach and training to certain college and university mental health centers relating to the mental

health of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and for other purposes.

Companion Bill S.543

Sponsor: Rep Tsongas, Niki [MA-5] (introduced 1/28/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/3/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

________________________________________

H.R.806 : TRICARE Mail-Order Pharmacy Pilot Program Act to establish a mail-order pharmacy pilot

program for TRICARE beneficiaries.

Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] (introduced 2/3/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 2/24/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.809 : Widow Remarriage Age Decrease for DIC. To amend title 38, United States Code, to reduce from

age 57 to age 55 the age after which the remarriage of the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran shall not

result in termination of dependency and indemnity compensation otherwise payable to that surviving spouse.

Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] (introduced 2/3/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/3/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

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___________________________________

H.R.811 : Retired Pay Restoration Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to permit certain retired

members of the uniformed services who have a service-connected disability to receive both disability

compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for their disability and either retired pay by reason of

their years of military service or Combat-Related Special Compensation. Companion Bill S.546

Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] (introduced 2/3/2009)

Cosponsors (6)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/24/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.816 : Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to prohibit

certain increases in fees for military health care.

Sponsor: Rep Edwards, Chet [TX-17] (introduced 2/3/2009)

Cosponsors (199)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 2/24/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

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________________________________________

H.R.819 : POW DIC Eligibility Date. To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the payment of

dependency and indemnity compensation to the survivors of former prisoners of war who died on or before

September 30, 1999, under the same eligibility conditions as apply to payment of dependency and indemnity

compensation to the survivors of former prisoners of war who die after that date.

Sponsor: Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17] (introduced 2/3/2009)

Cosponsors (17)

Page 13

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/3/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.870 : Medicare Medically Necessary Dental Care Act of 2009 to amend title XVIII of the Social

Security Act to provide for coverage under part B for medically necessary dental procedures.

Sponsor: Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] (introduced 2/4/2009)

Cosponsors (17)

Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/4/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy

and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently

determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of

the committee concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.879 : Affordable Health Care Expansion Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

allow individuals a refundable credit against income tax for the purchase of private health insurance.

Sponsor: Rep Granger, Kay [TX-12] (introduced 2/4/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/4/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.883 : Social Security 1993 Tax Increase Repeal. To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal

the 1993 increase in income taxes on Social Security benefits.

Sponsor: Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] (introduced 2/4/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/4/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.917 : Combat-Related Injury Death Dependent Health Benefits. To increase the health benefits of

dependents of members of the Armed Forces who die because of a combat-related injury.

Sponsor: Rep Guthrie, Brett [KY-2] (introduced 2/9/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.919 : Veterans’ Medical Personnel Recruitment and Retention Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United

States Code, to enhance the capacity of the Department of Veterans Affairs to recruit and retain nurses and

other critical health-care professionals, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] (introduced 2/9/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/9/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.929 : VA Vet Training Program. To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs to carry out a program of training to provide eligible veterans with skills relevant to the job

market, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Welch, Peter [VT] (introduced 2/9/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/15/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee (Amended) by Voice Vote .________________________________________

Page 14

H.R.931 : Veterans Employment Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the work

opportunity credit with respect to certain unemployed veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Nye, Glenn C., III [VA-2] (introduced 2/10/2009) Cosponsors (None) Related bill: H.R.4443

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/10/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.942 : Veterans Self-Employment Act of 2009 to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct a

pilot project on the use of educational assistance under programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs to

defray training costs associated with the purchase of certain franchise enterprises.

Sponsor: Rep Alexander, Rodney [LA-5] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/3/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee (Amended) by Voice Vote .

________________________________________

H.R.944 : Prisoner of War Benefits Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide improved

benefits for veterans who are former prisoners of war.

Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/10/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.950 : Vet Distance Learning Assistance. To amend chapter 33 of title 38, United States Code, to

increase educational assistance for certain veterans pursuing a program of education offered through distance

learning.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (28)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/4/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Ordered to be Reported

(Amended) by Voice Vote.

________________________________________

H.R.952 : Compensation Owed for Mental Health Based on Activities in Theater Post-traumatic Stress

Disorder Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the meaning of “combat with the enemy” for

purposes of service-connection of disabilities.

Sponsor: Rep Hall, John J. [NY-19] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (95)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/10/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Ordered to be Reported

(Amended) by Voice Vote.

________________________________________

H.R.953 : Veterans Travel Tax Relief Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide

for a deduction for travel expenses to medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs in connection

with examinations or treatments relating to service-connected disabilities.

Sponsor: Rep Heller, Dean [NV-2] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (68)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/10/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.954 : Social Security Benefits Fairness Act of 2009 to amend title II of the Social Security Act to

provide that a monthly insurance benefit thereunder shall be paid for the month in which the recipient dies,

Page 15

subject to a reduction of 50 percent if the recipient dies during the first 15 days of such month, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/10/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.972 : Retired Reserve Age for Health Benefits. To amend title 10, United States Code, to eliminate the

requirement that certain former members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces be at least 60 years

of age in order to be eligible to receive health care benefits.

Sponsor: Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/17/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

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________________________________________

H.R.1004 : Veterans Health Care Full Funding Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide an

enhanced funding process to ensure an adequate level of funding for veterans health care programs of the

Department of Veterans Affairs, to establish standards of access to care for veterans seeking health care from

the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Smith, Christopher H. [NJ-4] (introduced 2/11/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/11/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1016 : Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United

States Code, to provide advance appropriations authority for certain medical care accounts of the Department

of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (125)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

House Reports: 111-171

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-81

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12704096

________________________________________

H.R.1017 : Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act to amend the Department of Veterans Affairs

Health Care Programs Enhancement Act of 2001 and title 38, United States Code, to require the provision of

chiropractic care and services to veterans at all Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers and to expand

access to such care and services.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (37)

Related bill S.1204

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/25/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1034 : Honor and Remember Flag. To amend title 36, United States Code, to designate the Honor and

Remember Flag created by Honor and Remember, Inc., as an official symbol to recognize and honor

members of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Forbes, J. Randy [VA-4] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (20)

Page 16

Committees: House Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 3/16/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.

____________________________________

H.R.1036 : Veterans Physical Therapy Services Improvement Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States

Code, to establish the position of Director of Physical Therapy Service within the Veterans Health

Administration and to establish a fellowship program for physical therapists in the areas of geriatrics,

amputee rehabilitation, polytrauma care, and rehabilitation research.

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (29)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/1/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

________________________________________

H.R.1037 : Pilot College Work Study Programs for Veterans Act of 2009 to direct the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs to conduct a five-year pilot project to test the feasibility and advisability of expanding the scope of

certain qualifying work-study activities under title 38, United States Code.

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

House Reports: 111-162

Latest Major 10/7/2009 Passed/agreed to in Senate. Status: Passed Senate with an amendment by

Unanimous Consent.

________________________________________

H.R.1038 : Shingles Prevention Act to amend part B of title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide

coverage for the shingles vaccine under the Medicare Program.

Sponsor: Rep Hirono, Mazie K. [HI-2] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (12)

Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/12/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy

and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently

determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of

the committee concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.1042 : Enemy POW Hospitalization Policy. To prohibit the provision of medical treatment to enemy

combatants detained by the United States at Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the same facility as a

member of the Armed Forces or Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility.

Sponsor: Rep Miller, Jeff [FL-1] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/13/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

________________________________________

H.R.1075 : Restoring Essential Care for Our Veterans for Effective Recovery (RECOVER) Act to amend

title 38, United States Code, to expand access to hospital care for veterans in major disaster areas, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Scalise, Steve [LA-1] (introduced 2/13/2009)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

________________________________________

H.R.1088 : Mandatory Veteran Specialist Training Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide for a one-year period for the training of new disabled veterans’ outreach program specialists and local

Page 17

veterans’ employment representatives by National Veterans’ Employment and Training Services Institute.

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 2/13/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/20/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1089 : Veterans Employment Rights to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the

enforcement through the Office of Special Counsel of the employment and unemployment rights of veterans

and members of the Armed Forces employed by Federal executive agencies, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 2/13/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/20/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1098 : Veterans’ Worker Retraining Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to increase the

amount of educational assistance payable by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to certain individuals pursuing

internships or on-job training.

Sponsor: Rep Perriello, Thomas S.P. [VA-5] (introduced 2/13/2009)

Cosponsors (12)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/10/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Ordered to be Reported

(Amended) by Voice Vote.

________________________________________

H.R.1114 : National Cemetery Availability. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a process

for determining whether a geographic area is sufficiently served by the national cemeteries located in that

geographic area.

Sponsor: Rep Rehberg, Denny [MT] (introduced 2/23/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/23/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1163 : Establish Nebraska National Cemetery. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a

national cemetery in the Sarpy County region to serve veterans in eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, and

northwest Missouri.

Sponsor: Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] (introduced 2/24/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/24/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently

determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of

the committee concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.1168 : Veterans Retraining Act of 2009 to amend chapter 42 of title 38, United States Code, to provide

certain veterans with employment training assistance.

Sponsor: Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (5)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/3/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1169 : VA Adapted Housing/Automobile Assistance. To amend title 38, United States Code, to increase

the amount of assistance provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to disabled veterans for specially

Page 18

adapted housing and automobiles and adapted equipment.

Sponsor: Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (8)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/4/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Ordered to be Reported by

Voice Vote.

________________________________________

H.R.1170 : Adapted Housing Technology Grants. To amend chapter 21 of title 38, United States Code, to

establish a grant program to encourage the development of new assistive technologies for specially adapted

housing.

Sponsor: Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/20/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1171 : Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 to amend title 38,

United States Code, to reauthorize the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program for fiscal years 2010

through 2014.

Sponsor: Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/31/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1172 : VA Website Scholarship Info Addition. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to include on

the Internet website of the Department of Veterans Affairs a list of organizations that provide scholarships to

veterans and their survivors.

Sponsor: Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

House Reports: 111-164

Latest Major Action: 6/24/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1182 : Military Spouses Residency Relief Act to amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to

guarantee the equity of spouses of military personnel with regard to matters of residency, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (208)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/8/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by

Subcommittee to Full Committee by Voice Vote .

________________________________________

H.R.1197 : Medal of Honor Health Care Equity Act of 2009 to assign a higher priority status for hospital

care and medical services provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs to certain veterans who are

recipients of the medal of honor.

Sponsor: Rep Mitchell, Harry E. [AZ-5] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (15)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/9/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee by Voice Vote.

________________________________________

H.R.1203 : Federal and Military Retiree Health Care Equity Act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of

1986 to allow Federal civilian and military retirees to pay health insurance premiums on a pretax basis and to

Page 19

allow a deduction for TRICARE supplemental premiums. Companion Bill S.491

Sponsor: Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (215)

Committees: House Ways and Means; House Oversight and Government Reform; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/26/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Federal Workforce, Post Office, and the District of Columbia.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12787701&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.1211: Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand

and improve health care services available to women veterans, especially those serving in Operation Enduring

Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Companion Bill S.597

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 2/26/2009)

Cosponsors (51)

House Reports: 111-165

Latest Major Action: 6/24/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12833716&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.1232 : Far South Texas Veterans Medical Center Act of 2009 to authorize the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs to construct a full service hospital in Far South Texas.

Sponsor: Rep Ortiz, Solomon P. [TX-27] (introduced 2/26/2009)

Cosponsors (6)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/26/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

________________________________________

H.R.1263 : Federal Retirement Reform Act of 2009 to amend title 5, United States Code, to provide for the

automatic enrollment of new participants in the Thrift Savings Plan, and to clarify the method for computing

certain annuities based on part-time service; to allow certain employees of the District of Columbia to have

certain periods of service credited for purposes relating to retirement eligibility; and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Lynch, Stephen F. [MA-9] (introduced 3/3/2009)

Cosponsors (5)

Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/3/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Oversight

and Government Reform, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be

subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the

jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.1289 : Social Security Fairness for the Terminally Ill Act of 2009 to amend title II of the Social

Security Act to eliminate the five-month waiting period in the disability insurance program, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Wilson, Charles A. [OH-6] (introduced 3/3/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/3/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.1293 : Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009 to

amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for an increase in the amount payable by the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs to veterans for improvements and structural alterations furnished as part of home health

services.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 3/4/2009)

Cosponsors (16)

Page 20

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/29/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1305 : Perpetual Purple Heart Stamp Act to provide for the issuance of a forever stamp to honor the

sacrifices of the brave men and women of the armed forces who have been awarded the Purple Heart.

Companion Bill S.572

Sponsor: Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] (introduced 3/4/2009)

Cosponsors (83)

Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform

Latest Major Action: 3/4/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Oversight and Government Reform.

________________________________________

H.R.1317 : Mortgage Payment Tax Credit. To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a tax

credit to individuals who pay their mortgages on time.

Sponsor: Rep Shuster, Bill [PA-9] (introduced 3/4/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/4/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.1335 : VA Catastrophically Disabled Copay. To amend title 38, United States Code, to prohibit the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs from collecting certain copayments from veterans who are catastrophically

disabled.

Sponsor: Rep Halvorson, Deborah L. [IL-11] (introduced 3/5/2009)

Cosponsors (40)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/9/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee (Amended) by Voice Vote.

________________________________________

H.R.1336 : Veterans Education Improvement Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to make

certain improvements in the basic educational assistance program administered by the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 3/5/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1377 : VA Emergency Treatment Reimbursement to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand

veteran eligibility for reimbursement by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for emergency treatment furnished

in a non-Department facility, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 3/6/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Companion Bill S.404.

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-137

________________________________________

H.R.1388 : Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act to reauthorize and reform

the national service laws. Passed 321-105 and placed on the Senate calendar.

Sponsor: Rep McCarthy, Carolyn [NY-4] (introduced 3/9/2009)

Cosponsors (37) Related Bills:

H.RES.250, H.RES.296, S.277

Committees: House Education and Labor,

House Reports: 111-37

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-13

Page 21

________________________________________

H.R.1401 : VET Corps Act of 2009 to create a service corps of veterans called Veterans Engaged for

Tomorrow (VET) Corps focused on promoting and improving the service opportunities for veterans and

retired members of the military by engaging such veterans and retired members in projects designed to meet

identifiable public needs with a specific emphasis on projects to support veterans, including disabled and

older veterans and retired members of the military.

Sponsor: Rep Sarbanes, John P. [MD-3] (introduced 3/9/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Committees: House Education and Labor

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Healthy Families and Communities.

________________________________________

H.R.1416 : Southern New Jersey Veterans Comprehensive Health Care Act to direct the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs to expand the capability of the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide for the medical-

care needs of veterans in southern New Jersey.

Sponsor: Rep LoBiondo, Frank A. [NJ-2] (introduced 3/10/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/13/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

________________________________________

H.R.1428 : VA Parkinson’s Disease Compensation. To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide wartime disability compensation for certain veterans with

Parkinson’s disease.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 3/11/2009)

Cosponsors (84)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/13/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12986021&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.1474 : Servicemembers Access to Justice Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve

the enforcement of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, and for

other purposes. Companion Bill S.263.

Sponsor: Rep Davis, Artur [AL-7] (introduced 3/12/2009)

Cosponsors (28)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services; House Oversight and Government Reform

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1478 : Carmelo Rodriguez Military Medical Accountability Act of 2009 to amend chapter 171 of title

28, United States Code, to allow members of the Armed Forces to sue the United States for damages for

certain injuries caused by improper medical care, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] (introduced 3/12/2009)

Cosponsors (12)

Committees: House Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 4/26/2010 Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 267.

________________________________________

H.R.1496 : Child Health Care Affordability Act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow

individuals a credit against income tax for medical expenses for dependents.

Sponsor: Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14] (introduced 3/12/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/12/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Page 22

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.1513 : Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009 to increase, effective as of

December 1, 2009, the rates of disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and

the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors of certain service-connected disabled

veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Kirkpatrick, Ann [AZ-1] (introduced 3/16/2009)

Cosponsors (10)

Related bill S.407

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/31/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

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________________________________________

H.R.1519 : Social Security Benefits Tax Relief Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

repeal the 1993 income tax increase on Social Security benefits.

Sponsor: Rep Johnson, Sam [TX-3] (introduced 3/16/2009)

Cosponsors (8)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/16/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.1522 : United States Cadet Nurse Corps Equity Act to provide that service of the members of the

organization known as the United States Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II constituted active military

service for purposes of laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Lowey, Nita M. [NY-18] (introduced 3/16/2009)

Cosponsors (25)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 5/22/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

________________________________________

H.R.1532 : CMOH Statute of Limitations Elimination. To amend title 10, United States Code, to eliminate

the statute of limitations on the award of the congressional medal of honor.

Sponsor: Rep Sestak, Joe [PA-7] (introduced 3/16/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1544 : Veterans Mental Health Accessibility Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for

unlimited eligibility for health care for mental illnesses for veterans of combat service during certain periods

of hostilities and war.

Sponsor: Rep Driehaus, Steve [OH-1] (introduced 3/17/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/17/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1546 : Caring for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States

Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish the Committee on Care of Veterans with

Traumatic Brain Injury.

Sponsor: Rep McNerney, Jerry [CA-11] (introduced 3/17/2009)

Cosponsors (8)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/9/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

Page 23

to Full Committee by Voice Vote .

________________________________________

H.R.1592 : Pay Increase Guarantee. To amend title 37, United States Code, to guarantee a pay increase for

members of the uniformed services for fiscal years 2011 through 2014 of one-half of one percentage point

higher than the Employment Cost Index.

Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] (introduced 3/18/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/moaa/issues/bills/?bill=13002241

________________________________________

H.R.1600 : TRICARE Autism Care. To amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for the treatment of

autism under TRICARE.

Sponsor: Rep Sestak, Joe [PA-7] (introduced 3/18/2009)

Cosponsors (23)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1647 : Veterans’ Employment Transition Support Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of

1986 to allow employers a credit against income tax for hiring veterans.

Sponsor: Rep McCotter, Thaddeus G. [MI-11] (introduced 3/19/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/19/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.1657 : Notification of Exposure to Harmful Material/Contaminants. To direct the Secretary of Defense

to notify members of the Armed Forces and State military departments of exposure to potentially harmful

materials and contaminants.

Sponsor: Rep Schrader, Kurt [OR-5] (introduced 3/19/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1658 : Veterans Healthcare Commitment Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to prohibit

the recovery by the United States of charges from a third party for hospital care or medical services furnished

to a veteran for a service-connected disability.

Sponsor: Rep Tiahrt, Todd [KS-4] (introduced 3/19/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/19/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1681 : Veterans Transitional Assistance Act of 2009 to improve the coordination between the

Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to better provide care to members and the

Armed Forces and veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Boswell, Leonard L. [IA-3] (introduced 3/24/2009)

Cosponsors (17)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

Page 24

________________________________________

H.R.1694 : Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act to authorize the acquisition and

protection of nationally significant battlefields and associated sites of the Revolutionary War and the War of

1812 under the American Battlefield Protection Program.

Sponsor: Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] (introduced 3/24/2009)

Cosponsors (12) Related Bill S.1168

Committees: House Natural Resources; Senate Energy and Natural Resources

Latest Major Action: 3/2/2010 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No.

302.

________________________________________

H.R.1695 : Reserve Retired Pay Age Reduction. To amend title 10, United States Code, to reduce the

minimum age for receipt of military retired pay for non-regular service from 60 to 55.

Sponsor: Rep LoBiondo, Frank A. [NJ-2] (introduced 3/24/2009)

Cosponsors (49)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1701 : PTSD/TBI Guaranteed Review For Heroes Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to direct

the Secretary of Defense to establish a special review board for certain former members of the Armed Forces

with post-traumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3] (introduced 3/25/2009)

Cosponsors (11)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1708 : Ending the Medicare Disability Waiting Period Act of 2009 to amend title II of the Social

Security Act to phase out the 24-month waiting period for disabled individuals to become eligible for

Medicare benefits, to eliminate the waiting period for individuals with life-threatening conditions, and for

other purposes. Companion Bill S.700.

Sponsor: Rep Green, Gene [TX-29] (introduced 3/25/2009)

Cosponsors (111)

Committees: House Ways and Means; House Energy and Commerce; House Transportation and

Infrastructure

Latest Major Action: 3/26/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

________________________________________

H.R.1712 : Savings for Seniors Act of 2009 to amend title II of the Social Security Act to establish a Social

Security Surplus Protection Account in the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund to hold the

Social Security surplus, to provide for suspension of investment of amounts held in the Account until

enactment of legislation providing for investment of the Trust Fund in investment vehicles other than

obligations of the United States, and to establish a Social Security Investment Commission to make

recommendations for alternative forms of investment of the Social Security surplus in the Trust Fund.

Sponsor: Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7] (introduced 3/25/2009)

Cosponsors (22)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.1716 : Property Tax Relief Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the

deduction for real property taxes on the principal residences to all individuals whether or not they itemize

other deductions.

Sponsor: Rep Hill, Baron P. [IN-9] (introduced 3/25/2009)

Cosponsors (12)

Page 25

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.1767 : Fair Housing Tax Credit Extension Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

make the first-time homebuyer credit retroactive to the beginning of 2008 and to permanently extend the

credit.

Sponsor: Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14] (introduced 3/26/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/26/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.1804 : Federal Retirement Reform Act of 2009 to amend title 5, United States Code, to make certain

modifications in the Thrift Savings Plan, the Civil Service Retirement System, and the Federal Employees’

Retirement System, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Towns, Edolphus [NY-10] (introduced 3/31/2009)

Cosponsors (4) Related Bill H.R.108

Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/2/2009 Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 307 , H.R. 1804 is laid on the table.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13048556&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.1809 : TRICARE Prime Geographic Expansion. To amend title 10, United States Code, to expand the

geographical coverage of TRICARE Prime to include Puerto Rico and Guam.

Sponsor: Rep Pierluisi, Pedro R. [PR] (introduced 3/31/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1818 : Disabled Veterans Commissary and Exchange Store Benefits Act to amend title 10, United

States Code, to extend military commissary and exchange store privileges to veterans with a compensable

service-connected disability and to their dependents.

Sponsor: Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5] (introduced 3/31/2009)

Cosponsors (18)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1849 : World War I Memorial and Centennial Act of 2009 to designate the Liberty Memorial at the

National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, as the National World War I Memorial, to establish

the World War I centennial commission to ensure a suitable observance of the centennial of World War I, and

for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Cleaver, Emanuel [MO-5] (introduced 4/1/2009)

Cosponsors (101)

Related Bill

S.760

Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform; House Natural Resources

Latest Major Action: 11/6/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

________________________________________

H.R.1851 : DOL Transitional Services. To amend title 10, United States Code, to require that certain

members of the Armed Forces receive employment assistance, job training assistance, and other transitional

services provided by the Secretary of Labor before separating from active duty service.

Page 26

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 4/1/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1872 : Secure Electronic Military Separation Act to require the Secretary of Defense, in consultation

with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to develop and implement a secure electronic method of forwarding

the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214) to the appropriate office of the

Department of Veterans Affairs for the State or other locality in which a member of the Armed Forces will

first reside after the discharge or release of the member from active duty.

Sponsor: Rep Space, Zachary T. [OH-18] (introduced 4/2/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1879 : National Guard Employment Protection Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide for employment and reemployment rights for certain individuals ordered to full-time National Guard

duty.

Sponsor: Rep Coffman, Mike [CO-6] (introduced 4/2/2009)

Cosponsors (20)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/10/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Ordered to be Reported

(Amended) by Voice Vote.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via www.ngaus.org/content.asp?bid=1805

________________________________________

H.R.1902 : Providing Real Outreach for Veterans Act of 2009 to provide veterans with individualized notice

about available benefits, to streamline application processes for the benefits, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Brown-Waite, Ginny [FL-5] (introduced 4/2/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1919 : Federal Withholding Tax Repeal Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

repeal the withholding of income and social security taxes.

Sponsor: Rep Foxx, Virginia [NC-5] (introduced 4/2/2009)

Cosponsors (12)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 4/2/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.1963 : Military Separation Transitional Services. To amend title 10, United States Code, to ensure that

members of the Armed Forces who are being separated from active duty receive comprehensive employment

assistance, job training assistance, and other transitional services, to require that such members receive a

psychological evaluation in addition to the physical examination they receive as part of their separation from

active duty, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] (introduced 4/2/2009)

Cosponsors (10)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1982 : Veterans Entitlement to Service (VETS) Act of 2009 to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Page 27

to acknowledge the receipt of medical, disability, and pension claims and other communications submitted by

veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] (introduced 4/21/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/22/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

________________________________________

H.R.1994 : Citizen Soldier Equality Act of 2009 to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide equity

between active and reserve component members of the Armed Forces in the computation of disability retired

pay for members wounded in action.

Sponsor: Rep Davis, Geoff [KY-4] (introduced 4/21/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/21/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Armed Services.

________________________________________

H.R.2014 : WASP Gold Medal Award. To award a congressional gold medal to the Women Airforce Service

Pilots (“WASP”).

Sponsor: Rep Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [FL-18] (introduced 4/21/2009)

Cosponsors (337)

Companion

Bill S.614

Committees: House Financial Services; House Administration

Latest Major Action: 4/21/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on

Financial Services, and in addition to the Committee on House Administration, for a period to be

subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the

jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.2017 : MOAA Federal Charter. To amend title 36, United States Code, to grant a Federal charter to the

Military Officers Association of America, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8] (introduced 4/21/2009) Cosponsors (140) Companion Bill S.832

Related Bill S.1449

Committees: House Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 5/26/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law.

________________________________________

H.R.2059 : SBP Disabled Child Trust. To amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for the payment of

monthly annuities under the Survivor Benefit Plan to a supplemental or special needs trust established for the

sole benefit of a disabled dependent child of a participant in the Survivor Benefit Plan.

Sponsor: Rep Foster, Bill [IL-14] (introduced 4/23/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 5/15/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.2127 : Veterans Travel Equity Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to eliminate the

income eligibility and service-connected disability rating requirements for the veterans beneficiary travel

program administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Souder, Mark E. [IN-3] (introduced 4/27/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/1/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

________________________________________

Page 28

H.R.2138 : Services, Education, and Rehabilitation for Veterans Act to provide grants to establish veteran’s

treatment courts.

Sponsor: Rep Kennedy, Patrick J. [RI-1] (introduced 4/28/2009)

Cosponsors (34)

Related Bill S.902

Committees: House Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 5/26/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Courts and Competition Policy.

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H.R.2180 : Disabled Vet Housing Loan Fee Waiver. To amend title 38, United States Code, to waive

housing loan fees for certain veterans with service-connected disabilities called to active service.

Sponsor: Rep Teague, Harry [NM-2] (introduced 4/29/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

House Reports: 111-163

Latest Major Action: 6/18/2009 Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 81.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2243 : Surviving Spouses Benefit Improvement Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide for an increase in the amount of monthly dependency and indemnity compensation payable to

surviving spouses by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 5/5/2009)

Cosponsors (77)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/8/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13303636&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2244 : Single Parent Protection Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow an

individual who is entitled to receive child support a refundable credit equal to the amount of unpaid child

support and to increase the tax liability of the individual required to pay such support by the amount of the

unpaid child support.

Sponsor: Rep Lofgren, Zoe [CA-16] (introduced 5/5/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 5/5/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2254 : The Agent Orange Equity Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify presumptions

relating to the exposure of certain veterans who served in the vicinity of the Republic of Vietnam.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 5/5/2009)

Cosponsors (257)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/8/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13301656&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2257 : Veterans Outreach Improvement Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve

the outreach activities of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Johnson, Eddie B [TX-30] (introduced 5/5/2009) Cosponsors (None) – Related Bill S.315

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/5/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

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Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2263 : Disability Equity Act to amend title II of the Social Security Act to eliminate the waiting periods

for people with disabilities for entitlement to disability benefits and Medicare, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Sutton, Betty [OH-13] (introduced 5/5/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 5/5/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2270 : Benefits for Qualified World War II Veterans Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code,

to provide for the establishment of a compensation fund to make payments to qualified World War II veterans

on the basis of certain qualifying service.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 5/6/2009)

Cosponsors (6)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/3/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee by Voice Vote .

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2302 : Military Retired Pay Fairness Act of 2009 to amend title 10, United States Code, to limit

recoupments of separation pay, special separation benefits, and voluntary separation incentive from members

of the Armed Forces subsequently receiving retired or retainer pay.

Sponsor: Rep Shea-Porter, Carol [NH-1] (introduced 5/7/2009) Cosponsors (5) Companion bill S.1008

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/8/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13682556&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id] or

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13967481&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2342 : Wounded Warrior Project Family Caregiver Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code,

to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a family caregiver program to furnish support services

to family members certified as family caregivers who provide personal care services for certain disabled

veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Michaud, Michael H. [ME-2] (introduced 5/11/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/15/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2365 : Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers Act of 2009 to require the establishment of a

Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers to compute cost-of-living increases for Social Security and

Medicare benefits under titles II and XVIII of the Social Security Act.

Sponsor: Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] (introduced 5/12/2009)

Cosponsors (62)

Committees: House Ways and Means; House Energy and Commerce; House Education and Labor

Latest Major Action: 5/12/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Ways

and Means, and in addition to the Committees on Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor, for a

period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall

within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

Page 30

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2379 : Veterans’ Group Life Insurance Improvement Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States

Code, to provide certain veterans an opportunity to increase the amount of Veterans’ Group Life Insurance.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 5/13/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/9/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee by Voice Vote.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2389 : Veterans’ Group Life Insurance Improvement Act of 2009 to require the Secretary of Defense to

establish registries of members and former members of the Armed Forces exposed in the line of duty to

occupational and environmental health chemical hazards, to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide

health care to veterans exposed to such hazards, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Hill, Baron P. [IN-9] (introduced 5/13/2009)

Cosponsors (11)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/12/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Readiness.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2405 : Richard Helm Veterans’ Access to Local Health Care Options and Resources Act to amend title

38, United States Code, to provide veterans enrolled in the health system of the Department of Veterans

Affairs the option of receiving covered health services through facilities other than those of the Department.

Sponsor: Rep Latham, Tom [IA-4] (introduced 5/14/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/15/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2412 : Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act to exempt children of certain Filipino World War II

veterans from the numerical limitations on immigrant visas.

Sponsor: Rep Hirono, Mazie K. [HI-2] (introduced 5/14/2009)

Cosponsors (11)

Committees: House Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 5/14/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

the Judiciary.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2419 : Military Personnel War Zone Toxic Exposure Prevention Act to require the Secretary of

Defense to establish a medical surveillance system to identify members of the Armed Forces exposed to

chemical hazards resulting from the disposal of waste in Iraq and Afghanistan, to prohibit the disposal of

waste by the Armed Forces in a manner that would produce dangerous levels of toxins, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [NY-1] (introduced 5/14/2009)

Cosponsors (23)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/8/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Readiness.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2429 : Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers Act of 2009 to require the establishment of a

Page 31

Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers to compute cost-of-living increases for Social Security benefits

under title II of the Social Security Act.

Sponsor: Rep Gonzalez, Charles A. [TX-20] (introduced 5/14/2009)

Cosponsors (23)

Committees: House Ways and Means; House Education and Labor

Latest Major Action: 5/14/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Ways

and Means, and in addition to the Committee on Education and Labor, for a period to be subsequently

determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of

the committee concerned.

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H.R.2456 : Veterans Education Tuition Support Act of 2009 to amend section 484B of Higher Education

Act of 1965 to provide for tuition reimbursement and loan forgiveness to students who withdraw from an

institution of higher education to serve in the uniformed services, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Davis, Susan A. [CA-53] (introduced 5/18/2009)

Cosponsors (34)

Related Bills:

H.R.2561, S.1603

Latest Major Action: 10/22/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2474 : Veterans Educational Equity Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide that in the

case of an individual entitled to educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance program

who is enrolled at an institution of higher education in a State in which the public institutions charge only fees

in lieu of tuition, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall allow the individual to use all or any portion of the

amounts payable for the established charges for the program of education to pay any amount of the

individual’s tuition or fees for that program of education.

Sponsor: Rep McKeon, Howard P. “Buck” [CA-25] (introduced 5/19/2009)

Cosponsors (48)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/19/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2486 : Vet Organization Funeral Detail Support. To amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for

support of funeral ceremonies for veterans provided by details that consist solely of members of veterans

organizations and other organizations, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Gohmert, Louie [TX-1] (introduced 5/19/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/8/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2504 : Homeless Vet VA Appropriation Increase. To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for

an increase in the annual amount authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry

out comprehensive service programs for homeless veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Teague, Harry [NM-2] (introduced 5/19/2009)

Cosponsors (6)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/22/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by

Subcommittee to Full Committee by Voice Vote .

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2505 : Reaching Rural Veterans through Telehealth Act to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to

Page 32

carry out a pilot program to utilize tele-health platforms to assist in the treatment of veterans living in rural

areas who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury.

Sponsor: Rep Teague, Harry [NM-2] (introduced 5/19/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/19/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2506 : Veterans Hearing and Assessment Act to direct the Secretary of Defense to ensure the members

of the Armed Forces receive mandatory hearing screenings before and after deployments and to direct the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs to mandate that tinnitus be listed as a mandatory condition for treatment by the

Department of Veterans Affairs Auditory Centers of Excellence and that research on the preventing, treating,

and curing of tinnitus be conducted.

Sponsor: Rep Teague, Harry [NM-2] (introduced 5/19/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/8/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2546 : Right to Display Service Flag. To ensure that the right of an individual to display the Service flag

on residential property not be abridged.

Sponsor: Rep Boccieri, John A. [OH-16] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (56) Related bill: S.3477

Committees: House Financial Services

Latest Major Action: 5/20/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2553 : Atomic Veterans Service Medal Act to authorize the award of a military service medal to

members of the Armed Forces who were exposed to ionizing radiation as a result of participation in the

testing of nuclear weapons or under other circumstances.

Sponsor: Rep Tiahrt, Todd [KS-4] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (17)

Related bill S.1128

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/8/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2559 : Help Our Homeless Veterans Act to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a

national media campaign directed at homeless veterans and veterans at risk for becoming homeless.

Sponsor: Rep Hare, Phil [IL-17] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (13)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/22/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by

Subcommittee to Full Committee by Voice Vote .

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2561 : Help Student Soldiers Act to amend section 484B of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to forgive

certain loans for servicemembers who withdraw from an institution of higher education as a result of service

in the uniformed services, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Kind, Ron [WI-3] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (21)

Related Bills: H.R.2456,

S.1603

Latest Major Action: 10/22/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness.

Page 33

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2573 : Atomic Veterans Relief Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to revise the eligibility criteria

for presumption of service-connection of certain diseases and disabilities for veterans exposed to ionizing

radiation during military service, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Abercrombie, Neil [HI-1] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (23)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/21/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2583 : Women Veterans Access to Care Act to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to improve health

care for women veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Boswell, Leonard L. [IA-3] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/21/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2585 : Protecting the Retirement of Our Troops by Ensuring Compensation is Timely Act to delay any

presumption of death in connection with the kidnapping in Iraq or Afghanistan of a retired member of the

Armed Forces to ensure the continued payment of the member’s retired pay.

Sponsor: Rep Broun, Paul C. [GA-10] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/8/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2586 : Honor Guard 13-fold Flag Recitation Option. To prohibit the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

from authorizing honor guards to participate in funerals of veterans interred in national cemeteries unless the

honor guards may offer veterans’ families the option of having the honor guard perform a 13-fold flag

recitation, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Broun, Paul C. [GA-10] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (46)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/21/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2594 : Dependent State Plot VA Allowance. To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide a plot allowance for spouses and children of certain veterans who are

buried in State cemeteries.

Sponsor: Rep Garrett, Scott [NJ-5] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (49)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/21/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2598 : Bataan/Corregidor/Luzon Gold Medal. To grant a congressional gold medal to American

military personnel who fought in defense of Bataan/Corregidor/Luzon between December 7, 1941 and May 6,

1942.

Sponsor: Rep Heinrich, Martin [NM-1] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (62)

Page 34

Committees: House Financial Services; House Administration

Latest Major Action: 5/21/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on

Financial Services, and in addition to the Committee on House Administration, for a period to be

subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the

jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2621 : Travel Expense Reimbursement Time Requirement. To amend title 10, United States Code, to

use a time requirement for determining eligibility for the reimbursement of certain travel expenses.

Sponsor: Rep McCarthy, Kevin [CA-22] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/8/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2638 : Veterans Stamp to Honor American Veterans Act to provide for the issuance of a veterans health

care stamp.

Sponsor: Rep Shuler, Heath [NC-11] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/21/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on

Oversight and Government Reform, and in addition to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, for a period to be

subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the

jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2642 : Veterans Missing in America Act of 2009 to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to assist in

the identification of unclaimed and abandoned human remains to determine if any such remains are eligible

for burial in a national cemetery, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Tiberi, Patrick J. [OH-12] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (10)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/21/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2647 : National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 to authorize appropriations for fiscal

year 2010 for military activities of the Department of Defense, to prescribe military personnel strengths for

fiscal year 2010, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Skelton, Ike [MO-4] (by request) (introduced 6/2/2009) Cosponsors (1) Related Bill H.R.2990

Committees: House Armed Services

House Reports: 111-166, 111-166 Part 2

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-84

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2672 : Help Veterans Own Franchises Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

allow credits for the establishment of franchises with veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Schock, Aaron [IL-18] (introduced 6/3/2009)

Cosponsors (35)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 6/3/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

——————————————————————————–

Page 35

H.R.2673 : Surviving Spouse Pension Upgrade. To amend title 38, United States Code, to match the pension

amount paid to surviving spouses of veterans who served during a period of war to the pension amount paid

to such veterans.

Sponsor: Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] (introduced 6/3/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/5/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2683 : To establish the American Veterans Congressional Internship Program.

Sponsor: Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] (introduced 6/3/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Administration

Latest Major Action: 6/3/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

House Administration.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2689 : D-Day Memorial. To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility

of designating the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, as a unit of the National Park System.

Sponsor: Rep Perriello, Thomas S.P. [VA-5] (introduced 6/3/2009)

Cosponsors (7) Related bill S.1207

Committees: House Natural Resources

Latest Major Action: 10/1/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2696 : Servicemembers’ Rights Protection Act to amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to

provide for the enforcement of rights afforded under that Act.

Sponsor: Rep Miller, Brad [NC-13] (introduced 6/4/2009)

Cosponsors (5)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/28/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Provisions of measure

incorporated into H.R. 3949 .

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2698 : Veterans’ and Survivors’ Behavioral Health Awareness Act to improve and enhance the mental

health care benefits available to veterans, to enhance counseling and other benefits available to survivors of

veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Giffords, Gabrielle [AZ-8] (introduced 6/4/2009)

Cosponsors (48)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2699 : Armed Forces Behavioral Health Awareness Act to improve the mental health care benefits

available to members of the Armed Forces, to enhance counseling available to family members of members

of the Armed Forces, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Giffords, Gabrielle [AZ-8] (introduced 6/4/2009)

Cosponsors (37)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

Page 36

H.R.2713 : Disabled Veterans Life Insurance Enhancement Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to

make certain improvements in the service disabled veterans’ insurance program of the Department of

Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Donnelly, Joe [IN-2] (introduced 6/4/2009)

Cosponsors (13)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/24/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2734 : Health Care for Family Caregivers Act of 2009 to amend section 1781 of title 38, United States

Code, to provide medical care to family members of disabled veterans who serve as caregivers to such

veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Perriello, Thomas S.P. [VA-5] (introduced 6/4/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/18/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2735 : Homeless Vet Service Program Improvements. To amend title 38, United States Code, to make

certain improvements to the comprehensive service programs for homeless veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Rodriguez, Ciro D. [TX-23] (introduced 6/4/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/22/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by

Subcommittee to Full Committee (Amended) by Voice Vote .

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2738 : Family Caregiver Travel Expense Compensation. To amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide travel expenses for family caregivers accompanying veterans to medical treatment facilities.

Sponsor: Rep Teague, Harry [NM-2] (introduced 6/4/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/18/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2756 : Veterans Home Loan Refinance Opportunity Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code

of 1986 to allow eligible veterans to use qualified veterans mortgage bonds to refinance home loans, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Davis, Susan A. [CA-53] (introduced 6/8/2009)

Cosponsors (16)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 6/8/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2771 : Military Overpayment Fairness Act of 2009 to amend titles 10 and 37, United States Code, to

provide a more equitable process by which the military departments may recover overpayments of military

pay and allowances erroneously paid to a member of the Armed Forces when the overpayment is due to no

fault of the member, to expand Department discretion regarding remission or cancellation of indebtedness,

and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Shea-Porter, Carol [NH-1] (introduced 6/9/2009)

Cosponsors (6)

Committees: House Armed Services

Page 37

Latest Major Action: 6/24/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2774 : Families of Veterans Financial Security Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to make

permanent the extension of the duration of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance coverage for totally

disabled veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Halvorson, Deborah L. [IL-11] (introduced 6/9/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/9/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee by Voice Vote.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2788 : Distinguished Flying Cross National Memorial Act to designate a Distinguished Flying Cross

National Memorial at the March Field Air Museum in Riverside, California.

Sponsor: Rep Calvert, Ken [CA-44] (introduced 6/10/2009)

Cosponsors (48)

Committees: House Natural Resources

Latest Major Action: 3/22/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2830 : Providing Access to Healthcare (PATH) for Veterans Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United

States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to give priority to unemployed veterans in furnishing

hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care to certain veterans assigned to priority level 8.

Sponsor: Rep Courtney, Joe [CT-2] (introduced 6/11/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/12/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2836 : National Guard and Reservist Suicide Prevention and Community Response Act to amend the

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 to improve and expand suicide prevention and

community healing and response training under the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.

Sponsor: Rep Hodes, Paul W. [NH-2] (introduced 6/11/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Latest Major Action: 6/24/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2879 : Rural Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to

improve health care for veterans who live in rural areas, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Kirkpatrick, Ann [AZ-1] (introduced 6/15/2009)

Cosponsors (8)

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2898 : Wounded Warrior Caregiver Assistance Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide

support services for family caregivers of disabled veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Halvorson, Deborah L. [IL-11] (introduced 6/16/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Latest Major Action: 6/19/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

Page 38

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2926 : VA Special Care for Vietnam-era & Persian Gulf War Vets Exposed to Herbicides. To amend

title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide, without expiration,

hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care for certain Vietnam-era veterans exposed to herbicide

and veterans of the Persian Gulf War.

Sponsor: Rep Nye, Glenn C., III [VA-2] (introduced 6/17/2009)

Cosponsors (5)

Latest Major Action: 7/9/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee (Amended) by Voice Vote.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2928: Post-9/11 GI Bill Apprenticeship/OJT Program. To amend title 38, United State Code, to

provide for an apprenticeship and on-job training program under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational

Assistance Program.

Sponsor: Rep Perriello, Thomas S.P. [VA-5] (introduced 6/17/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Latest Major Action: 9/24/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2965 : Enhancing Small Business Research and Innovation Act of 2009 to amend the Small Business

Act with respect to the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology

Transfer Program, and for other purposes.: Amended with H.AMDT.291 by Rep. David Reichert, D-WA to

give preference to organizations that are located in under represented states and regions, or are women-

owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, or minority-owned when awarding grants for Small Business

Administration (SBA) outreach efforts authorized under Title III (rural development and outreach).

Sponsor: Rep Altmire, Jason [PA-4] (introduced 6/19/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Committees: House Small Business; House Science and Technology

House Reports: 111-190 Part 1, 111-190 Part 2

Latest Major Action: 7/13/2009 Passed/agreed to in Senate. Status: Passed Senate in lieu of S. 1233 with an

amendment by Unanimous Consent.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2968 : SGLI/VGLI Accelerated Death Benefit. To amend title 38, United States Code, to eliminate the

required reduction in the amount of the accelerated death benefit payable to certain terminally-ill persons

insured under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance or Veterans’ Group Life Insurance.

Sponsor: Rep Kirkpatrick, Ann [AZ-1] (introduced 6/19/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Latest Major Action: 7/9/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee by Voice Vote .

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2970 : Federal Law Enforcement Officer Vet Age Limit. To amend title 5, United States Code, to

increase the maximum age limit for an original appointment to a position as a Federal law enforcement

officer in the case of any individual who has been discharged or released from active duty in the Armed

Forces under honorable conditions, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Bishop, Rob [UT-1] (introduced 6/19/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Latest Major Action: 6/19/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Oversight and Government Reform.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2974 : Disabled Vet Health Savings Account Eligibility. To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986

to allow individuals eligible for veterans health benefits to contribute to health savings accounts.

Page 39

Sponsor: Rep Campbell, John [CA-48] (introduced 6/19/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Latest Major Action: 6/19/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2980 : Survivor Benefit Time Limit for 100% Disabled Vets. To amend title 38, United States Code, to

reduce the period of time for which a veteran must be totally disabled before the veteran’s survivors are

eligible for the benefits provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for survivors of certain veterans rated

totally disabled at time of death.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 6/19/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Latest Major Action: 6/26/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.2990 : Disabled Military Retiree Relief Act of 2009 to provide special pays and allowances to certain

members of the Armed Forces, expand concurrent receipt of military retirement and VA disability benefits to

disabled military retirees, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Skelton, Ike [MO-4] (introduced 6/23/2009)

Cosponsors (25)

Related Bill H.R.2647

Committees: House Armed Services; House Oversight and Government Reform; House Natural Resources;

House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/25/2009 Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 572 , H.R. 2990 is laid on the table.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3067 : Health Security for All Americans Act of 2009 to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to

reform Medicare payments to physicians and certain other providers and improve Medicare benefits, to

encourage the offering of health coverage by small businesses, to provide tax incentives for the purchase of

health insurance by individuals, to increase access to health care for veterans, to address the nursing shortage,

and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Latham, Tom [IA-4] (introduced 6/26/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Education and Labor; House Ways and Means; House

Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 8/3/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3073 : Pending Vet Homeless Grant Program. To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs establish a grant program to provide assistance to veterans who are at risk of

becoming homeless.

Sponsor: Rep Nye, Glenn C., III [VA-2] (introduced 6/26/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/1/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3087 : Establish VA Claim Decision Deadlines. To amend title 38, United States Code, to establish a

deadline for decisions with respect to claims for benefits under laws administered by the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Butterfield, G. K. [NC-1] (introduced 6/26/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/10/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

Page 40

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3155 : Caregiver Assistance and Resource Enhancement Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide certain caregivers of veterans with training, support, and medical care, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Michaud, Michael H. [ME-2] (introduced 7/9/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/28/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3199 : Emergency Medic Transition (EMT) Act of 2009 to amend the Public Health Service Act to

provide grants to State emergency medical service departments to provide for the expedited training and

licensing of veterans with prior medical training, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Harman, Jane [CA-36] (introduced 7/14/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Energy and Commerce

Latest Major Action: 7/28/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Ordered to be Reported

(Amended) by Voice Vote.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3200 : America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 to provide affordable, quality health care for

all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Dingell, John D. [MI-15] (introduced 7/14/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means; House Education and Labor; House

Oversight and Government Reform; House Budget

Latest Major Action: 10/14/2009 Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 168.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3223 : Vet Owned Businesses VA Contracts. To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the

Department of Veterans Affairs contracting goals and preferences for small business concerns owned and

controlled by veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 7/15/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 9/24/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3266 : Veteran Assistance Dog Grant Program. To establish a grant program to encourage the use of

assistance dogs by certain members of the Armed Forces and veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Klein, Ron [FL-22] (introduced 7/20/2009)

Cosponsors (22)

Related Bill S.1485

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/24/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Economic Opportunity.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3280 : Rural Vet Transportation Grant Program. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to

establish a grant program to assist veterans in highly rural areas by providing transportation to medical

centers.

Sponsor: Rep Rodriguez, Ciro D. [TX-23] (introduced 7/21/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/24/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

——————————————————————————–

Page 41

H.R.3281 : Vet Care Rural Area Demonstration Project. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry

out demonstration projects related to providing care for veterans in rural areas.

Sponsor: Rep Rodriguez, Ciro D. [TX-23] (introduced 7/21/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/24/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3282 : Vet Readjustment and Mental Health Care Services. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

to provide certain veterans with readjustment and mental health care services, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Rodriguez, Ciro D. [TX-23] (introduced 7/21/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/24/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3283 : VA Travel Reimbursement for Veterans Annual Review. To amend title 38, United States Code,

to allow for reimbursement of certain travel at a set rate, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Rodriguez, Ciro D. [TX-23] (introduced 7/21/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/24/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3324 : Stable Future for Veterans’ Children Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for

the payment of monthly annuities under the Survivor Benefit Plan to a supplemental or special needs trust

established for the sole benefit of a disabled dependent child of a participant in the Survivor Benefit Plan.

Sponsor: Rep Cantor, Eric [VA-7] (introduced 7/24/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 7/24/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3337 : Post-9/11 Veterans’ Job Training Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide

for the use of entitlement under Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Program for the pursuit of

apprenticeships and on-job training.

Sponsor: Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. [CT-3] (introduced 7/24/2009)

Cosponsors (16)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/31/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Economic Opportunity.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3349 : NAIV Charter. To grant a Federal charter to the National American Indian Veterans,

Incorporated.

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 7/27/2009)

Cosponsors (8) Related Bill

S.1520

Committees: House Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 8/19/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law.

Page 42

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3365 : Medicare VA Reimbursement Act of 2009 to provide Medicare payments to Department of

Veterans Affairs medical facilities for items and services provided to Medicare-eligible veterans for non-

service-connected conditions.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 7/28/2009)

Cosponsors (31)

Committees: House Ways and Means; House Energy and Commerce; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/31/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3366 : Illegal Garnishment Prevention Act to prohibit the use of funds to promote the direct deposit of

Veterans and Social Security benefits until adequate safeguards are established to prevent the attachment and

garnishment of such benefits.

Sponsor: Rep Gordon, Bart [TN-6] (introduced 7/28/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Ways and Means; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/31/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3368 : Honor Act of 2009 to enhance benefits for survivors of certain former members of the Armed

Forces with a history of post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, to enhance availability and

access to mental health counseling for members of the Armed Forces and veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Markey, Betsy [CO-4] (introduced 7/28/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 10/28/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3403 : Supporting Military Families Act of 2009 to amend the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

and title 5, United States Code, to provide leave for family members of members of regular components of

the Armed Forces, and leave to care for covered veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] (introduced 7/30/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Education and Labor; House Oversight and Government Reform; House Administration

Latest Major Action: 10/22/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Workforce Protections

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3407 : Severely Injured Veterans Benefit Improvement Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States

Code, to make certain improvements to laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs relating to

benefits for severely injured veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 7/30/2009)

Cosponsors (27)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/31/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3441 : Combat Vet VA Enrollment. To provide for automatic enrollment of veterans returning from

combat zones into the VA medical system, and for other purposes.

Page 43

Sponsor: Rep Arcuri, Michael A. [NY-24] (introduced 7/31/2009)

Cosponsors (23)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/1/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3467 : Veterans Education Enhancement and Fairness Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States

Code, to provide for a monthly housing stipend under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program of the

Department of Veterans Affairs for individuals pursuing programs of education offered through distance

learning, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Carney, Christopher P. [PA-10] (introduced 7/31/2009)

Cosponsors (13)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 9/11/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Economic Opportunity.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3484 : VA Work Study Authority. To amend title 38, United States Code, to extend the authority for

certain qualifying work-study activities for purposes of the educational assistance programs of the

Department of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 7/31/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/4/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Ordered to be Reported

(Amended) by Voice Vote.

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H.R.3485 : Veterans Pensions Protection Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide that monetary

benefits paid to veterans by States and municipalities shall be excluded from consideration as income for

purposes of pension benefits paid by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Higgins, Brian [NY-27] (introduced 7/31/2009)

Cosponsors (14) Related Bill: S.3118

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by

Subcommittee to Full Committee by Voice Vote .

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H.R.3491 : Thomas G. Schubert Agent Orange Fairness Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to

establish a presumption of service connection for certain cancers occurring in veterans who served in the

Republic of Vietnam and were exposed to certain herbicide agents, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Kagen, Steve [WI-8] (introduced 7/31/2009)

Cosponsors (10)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 9/11/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

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H.R.3507 : VA Survivor Education Rate Increase. To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for an

increase in the rates of survivors’ and dependents’ educational assistance payable by the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Paulsen, Erik [MN-3] (introduced 7/31/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 9/11/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

Page 44

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H.R.3522 : Veterans Hardship Outreach for Priority Eights (HOPE) Act to direct the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs to provide grants and assistance to States to conduct outreach to veterans regarding hardship and

priority under the Department of Veterans Affairs patient enrollment system.

Sponsor: Rep Space, Zachary T. [OH-18] (introduced 7/31/2009)

Cosponsors (6)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 9/11/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

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H.R.3544 : National Cemeteries Expansion Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide

guidelines for the establishment of new national cemeteries by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 9/9/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/8/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/ngaus/mail/compose/?mailid=14779496&azip=92571

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H.R.3554 : National Guard Education Equality Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the

inclusion of certain active duty service in the reserve components as qualifying service for purposes of Post-

9/11 Educational Assistance Program, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Loebsack, David [IA-2] (introduced 9/10/2009)

Cosponsors (102)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 9/24/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

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H.R.3573 : Call to Service Homebuyer Credit Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

prevent a change in residency as a result of extended official duty in the uniformed services, Foreign Service,

or intelligence community from triggering the repayment provisions of the first time homebuyer credit, and

for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Blumenauer, Earl [OR-3] (introduced 9/15/2009) Cosponsors (None) Related bills: H.R.2562

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 9/15/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.3575 : Vet Mortgage Life Insurance Increase. To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for an

increase in the maximum amount of veterans’ mortgage life insurance available under laws administered by

the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Perriello, Thomas S.P. [VA-5] (introduced 9/15/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 9/15/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.3577 : Education Assistance to Realign New Eligibilities for Dependents (EARNED) Act of 2009 to

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amend title 38, United State Code, to provide authority for certain members of the Armed Forces who have

served 20 years on active duty to transfer entitlement to Post-9/11 Educational Assistance to their dependents.

Sponsor: Rep Rodriguez, Ciro D. [TX-23] (introduced 9/15/2009)

Cosponsors (24)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/4/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Ordered to be Reported by

Voice Vote.

________________________________________

H.R.3620 : Hiring Heroes Tax Incentive Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow

employers a credit against income tax for employing members of the Ready Reserve and National Guard and

veterans recently separated from the Armed Forces.

Sponsor: Rep Alexander, Rodney [LA-5] (introduced 9/22/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 9/22/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.3657 : USPHS & NOAA GI Bill Benefit Transfer. To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide

for members of the United States Public Health Service and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric

Administration Corps to transfer unused benefits under Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program to family

members, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Rodriguez, Ciro D. [TX-23] (introduced 9/25/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/2/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Economic Opportunity.

________________________________________

H.R.3661 : GI Bill Housing Stipend. To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for a monthly

housing stipend under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program for individuals pursuing programs of

education offered through distance learning, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Rehberg, Denny [MT] (introduced 9/29/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/2/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Economic Opportunity.

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H.R.3672 : Social Security COLA Fix for 2010 Act to provide for an increase of $150 in Social Security

benefits for one month in 2010 to compensate for the lack of a cost-of-living adjustment for that year, and to

amend title II of the Social Security Act to eliminate the requirement that there be a Social Security cost-of-

living adjustment for an adjustment in the contribution and benefit base to occur.

Sponsor: Rep McCarthy, Carolyn [NY-4] (introduced 9/29/2009)

Cosponsors (16)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 9/29/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3677: Save Our Seniors’ Social Security Act of 2009 to provide $280 relief payments to recipients of

Social Security and railroad retirement benefits, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Granger, Kay [TX-12] (introduced 9/30/2009)

Cosponsors (11)

Committees: House Ways and Means; House Transportation and Infrastructure; House Appropriations

Latest Major Action: 10/1/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

Page 46

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H.R.3685 : Inclusion of VetSuccess on VA Website. To require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to include

on the main page of the Internet website of the Department of Veterans Affairs a hyperlink to the VetSuccess

Internet website and to publicize such Internet website.

Sponsor: Rep Stearns, Cliff [FL-6] (introduced 9/30/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/15/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee by the Yeas and Nays: 4 – 1.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3719 : Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States

Code, to establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration,

and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 10/6/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/9/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Economic Opportunity.

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H.R.3787 : Treat Certain Reserve Time as Active Duty Time. To amend title 38, United States Code, to

deem certain service in the reserve components as active service for purposes of laws administered by the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Walz, Timothy J. [MN-1] (introduced 10/8/2009)

Cosponsors (42)

Related bill: S.1780

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/27/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee (Amended) by Voice Vote.

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H.R.3796 : Homeless Vet Assistor’s Per Diem Grants. To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve

per diem grant payments for organizations assisting homeless veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 10/13/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/16/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

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H.R.3813 : Veterans Training Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the approval of

certain programs of education for purposes of the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program.

Sponsor: Rep Sestak, Joe [PA-7] (introduced 10/14/2009) Cosponsors (18) Related bills: S.3171

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/25/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

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H.R.3843 : Transparency for America’s Heroes Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs to publish redacted medical quality-assurance records of the Department of

Veterans Affairs on the Internet website of the Department.

Sponsor: Rep Sestak, Joe [PA-7] (introduced 10/15/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Page 47

Latest Major Action: 10/16/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3885 : Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a

pilot program on dog training therapy.

Sponsor: Rep Brown, Henry E., Jr. [SC-1] (introduced 10/21/2009)

Cosponsors (12)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/26/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3886 : Providing Military Honors for our Nation’s Heroes Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to

authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to reimburse certain volunteers who provide funeral honors details

at the funerals of veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 10/21/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/23/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3906 : Low Income Vet Family Permanent Housing. To amend title 38, United States Code, to

authorize appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs program to provide financial assistance for

supportive services for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing.

Sponsor: Rep Teague, Harry [NM-2] (introduced 10/22/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/23/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3908 : Families of Disabled Veterans Work Opportunity Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue

Code of 1986 to provide the work opportunity tax credit with respect to a designated family member of a

veteran with a service-connected disability if the veteran is unable to work.

Sponsor: Rep Halvorson, Deborah L. [IL-11] (introduced 10/22/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 10/22/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3926 : Armed Forces Breast Cancer Research Act to direct the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary

of Veterans Affairs to jointly conduct a study on the incidence of breast cancer among members of the Armed

Forces and veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Boswell, Leonard L. [IA-3] (introduced 10/26/2009)

Cosponsors (45)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3943 : Post 9/11 Troops to Teachers Enhancement Act to amend the Elementary and Secondary

Page 48

Education Act of 1965 to allow members of the Armed Forces who served on active duty on or after

September 11, 2001, to be eligible to participate in the Troops-to-Teachers Program, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Courtney, Joe [CT-2] (introduced 10/27/2009)

Cosponsors (170) Related Bill S.

Committees: House Education and Labor; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 12/8/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3948 : Test Prep for Heroes Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for entitlement under

the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program to payment for test preparatory courses, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Putnam, Adam H. [FL-12] (introduced 10/28/2009)

Cosponsors (30)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/10/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Ordered to be Reported

(Amended) by Voice Vote.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3949 : Veterans’ Small Business Assistance and Servicemembers Protection Act of 2009 to amend title

38, United States Code, and the Servicemember Civil Relief Act, to make certain improvements in the laws

relating to benefits administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 10/28/2009) Cosponsors (22) Related Bill: H.R.761

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/4/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.3998 : Compensation for Combat Veterans Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the

service treatable as service engaged in combat with the enemy for utilization of non-official evidence for

proof of service-connection in a combat-related disease or injury.

Sponsor: Rep Braley, Bruce L. [IA-1] (introduced 11/3/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4006 : Rural, American Indian Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2009 to amend title 38,

United States Code, to provide for Indian veterans health care coordinators, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Kirkpatrick, Ann [AZ-1] (introduced 11/3/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4028 : Rural Veterans Services Outreach and Training Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to

improve services for veterans residing in rural areas.

Sponsor: Rep Wu, David [OR-1] (introduced 11/5/2009)

Cosponsors (21)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Water Resources and Environment.

Page 49

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H.R.4043 : Military Spouse Pin Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to recognize the spouses of

members of the Armed Forces who are serving in combat or have served in combat through the presentation

of an official lapel button.

Sponsor: Rep Shea-Porter, Carol [NH-1] (introduced 11/6/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 11/18/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4044 : Vet Plot & Headstone/Marker Allowance. To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs to restore plot allowance eligibility for veterans of any war and to restore the

headstone or marker allowance for eligible persons.

Sponsor: Rep Berkley, Shelley [NV-1] (introduced 11/6/2009)

Cosponsors (37)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4045 : Veterans Burial Benefits Improvement Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to

increase burial benefits for veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Berkley, Shelley [NV-1] (introduced 11/6/2009)

Cosponsors (42)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4048 : Rural Area TBI Pilot Program. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot

program on the provision of traumatic brain injury care in rural areas.

Sponsor: Rep Capito, Shelley Moore [WV-2] (introduced 11/6/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4051 : Cold War Service Medal Act of 2009 to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for the

award of a military service medal to members of the Armed Forces who served honorably during the Cold

War, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] (introduced 11/6/2009)

Cosponsors (45) Related bill: S.2743

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 11/18/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4054 : Benefit Rating Acceleration for Veteran Entitlements Act of 2009. To amend titles II and XVI of

the Social Security Act to provide for treatment of disability rated and certified as total by the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs as disability for purposes of such titles.

Sponsor: Rep Sarbanes, John P. [MD-3] (introduced 11/6/2009)

Cosponsors (72) Related Bill: S.2759

Committees: House Ways and Means

Page 50

Latest Major Action: 11/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4058 : Veterans to Work Pilot Program Act of 2009 to amend title 10, United States Code, to establish

the Veterans to Work Program providing for the employment of individuals, especially veterans, who

participate in apprenticeship programs on designated military construction projects, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Smith, Adam [WA-9] (introduced 11/6/2009)

Cosponsors (5)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 11/18/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Readiness.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4063 : WWII Messman/Steward Congressional Gold Medal. To grant the Congressional Gold Medal to

the members of the messman and steward branches of United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard

that served during World War II.

Sponsor: Rep Edwards, Donna F. [MD-4] (introduced 11/7/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Financial Services; House Administration

Latest Major Action: 11/7/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on

Financial Services, and in addition to the Committee on House Administration, for a period to be

subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the

jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4064 : Post-9/11 EAP Improvements. To make certain improvements in the Post-9/11 Educational

Assistance Program.

Sponsor: Rep Giffords, Gabrielle [AZ-8] (introduced 11/7/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/7/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4073 : Rural Veterans Reimbursement Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to increase the

payments to certain veterans for certain travel expenses.

Sponsor: Rep Minnick, Walter [ID-1] (introduced 11/16/2009)

Cosponsors (11)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/16/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4121 : Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States

Code, to improve the appeals process of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to establish a commission to

study judicial review of the determination of veterans’ benefits, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Hall, John J. [NY-19] (introduced 11/19/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/19/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

Page 51

H.R.4156 : Increasing Housing Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2009 to provide for certain improvements

in the laws relating to housing for veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Sires, Albio [NJ-13] (introduced 11/19/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Financial Services

Latest Major Action: 11/19/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Financial Services.

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H.R.4203 : Direct Deposit of Vet Education Payments. To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide veterans certain educational assistance payments through direct

deposit.

Sponsor: Rep Hall, John J. [NY-19] (introduced 12/3/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/25/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4220 : Promoting Jobs for Veterans Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to make certain

improvements in the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs relating to small business

concerns and employment assistance, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 12/8/2009)

Cosponsors (15)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Education and Labor; House Small Business

Latest Major Action: 1/4/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4221 : Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Improvement Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United

States Code, to provide for improved acquisition practices by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 12/8/2009)

Cosponsors (5)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Oversight and Government Reform

Latest Major Action: 12/8/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be

subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the

jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4241 : State Veteran Home Payments. To amend chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code, to allow for

increased flexibility in payments for State veterans homes.

Sponsor: Rep Michaud, Michael H. [ME-2] (introduced 12/8/2009)

Cosponsors (45)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/3/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4279 : Vet Accelerated Educational Assistance Payments. To amend titles 38 and 10, United States

Code, to authorize accelerated payments of educational assistance to certain veterans and members of the

reserve components of the Armed Forces.

Sponsor: Rep Quigley, Mike [IL-5] (introduced 12/10/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/12/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Page 52

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4319 : Specially Adapted Housing Assistance Enhancement Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United

States Code, to provide for certain improvements in the laws relating to specially adapted housing assistance

provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Moran, Jerry [KS-1] (introduced 12/15/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Latest Major Action: 6/10/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee Hearings Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4320 : Post-9/11 GI Education Fairness Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand

the types of approved programs of education for purposes of Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program of the

Department of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Murphy, Scott [NY-20] (introduced 12/15/2009)

Cosponsors (20)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 12/15/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4350 : Fallen Heroes Family Act of 2009 to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for

nonimmigrant status for an alien who is the parent or legal guardian of a United States citizen child if the

child was born abroad and is the child of a deceased member of the Armed Forces of the United States.

Sponsor: Rep Issa, Darrell E. [CA-49] (introduced 12/16/2009)

Cosponsors (11)

Committees: House Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 3/1/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4359 : WARMER Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs to guarantee housing loans for the construction energy efficient dwellings, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] (introduced 12/16/2009)

Cosponsors (6)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/25/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4403 : SPACE-A Travel Act of 2009 to amend title 10, United States Code, to authorize space-available

travel on military aircraft for unremarried surviving spouses of retired members of the uniformed services and

the unremarried surviving spouses of veterans who died from a service-connected or compensable disability,

and for the dependents of such spouses.

Sponsor: Rep Walz, Timothy J. [MN-1] (introduced 12/16/2009)

Cosponsors (28)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/21/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Readiness.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4429 : Restoring the Social Security COLA Act to provide for an increase of $250 in benefits under

certain Federal cash benefit programs for one month in 2010 to compensate for the lack of a cost-of-living

adjustment for that year.

Page 53

Sponsor: Rep Adler, John H. [NJ-3] (introduced 1/13/2010)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: House Ways and Means; House Appropriations; House Veterans’ Affairs; House Oversight and

Government Reform; House Transportation and Infrastructure

Latest Major Action: 1/13/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Ways

and Means, and in addition to the Committees on Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, Oversight and

Government Reform, and Transportation and Infrastructure, for a period to be subsequently determined by the

Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee

concerned.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4443 : Veterans Employment Today Act of 2010 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

increase the work opportunity tax credit for hiring veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Halvorson, Deborah L. [IL-11] (introduced 1/13/2010)

Cosponsors (13) Related Bills:

H.R.620, H.R.931, S.274

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/13/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4465 : Vet Financial Status for Hospital Care. To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs to take into account each child a veteran has when determining the veteran’s

financial status when receiving hospital care or medical services.

Sponsor: Rep Kissell, Larry [NC-8] (introduced 1/19/2010)

Cosponsors (10)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/27/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4505 : KIA Parental State Home Care. To enable State homes to furnish nursing home care to parents

any of whose children died while serving in the Armed Forces.

Sponsor: Rep Thornberry, Mac [TX-13] (introduced 1/26/2010)

Cosponsors (30)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/12/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4525 : Chapter 61 Concurrent Receipt Entitlement. To amend title 10, United States Code, to expand

the eligibility for concurrent receipt of military retired pay and veterans’ disability compensation to include all

members of the uniformed services who are retired under chapter 61 of such title for disability, regardless of

the members’ disability rating percentage.

Sponsor: Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] (introduced 1/26/2010)

Cosponsors (12)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Budget; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/18/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=15039641&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4551 : Keep Our Promise to America’s Military Retirees Act to restore health care coverage to retired

members of the uniformed services, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8] (introduced 1/27/2010)

Cosponsors (32)

Page 54

Committees: House Armed Services; House Oversight and Government Reform

Latest Major Action: 2/25/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4555 : Janey Ensminger Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs to furnish hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care to veterans who were stationed at

Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, while the water was contaminated at Camp Lejeune, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Miller, Brad [NC-13] (introduced 2/2/2010)

Cosponsors (66)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/2/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

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H.R.4559 : State Disabled Vet Benefits Review. To establish a commission to review benefits provided by

each State to disabled veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Kissell, Larry [NC-8] (introduced 2/2/2010)

Cosponsors (11)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/2/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4568 : TBI Treatment Act to direct the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to

carry out a pilot program under which the Secretaries make payments for certain treatments of traumatic brain

injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sponsor: Rep Sessions, Pete [TX-32] (introduced 2/2/2010)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/25/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

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H.R.4569 : Expanded Housing for America’s Veterans Act to amend the United States Housing Act of 1937

relating to the amount of rental assistance available under the veterans affairs supported housing program.

Sponsor: Rep Sestak, Joe [PA-7] (introduced 2/2/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Financial Services

Latest Major Action: 2/2/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Financial Services.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4592 : Vet Energy Related Jobs Pilot Program. To provide for the establishment of a pilot program to

encourage the employment of veterans in energy-related positions.

Sponsor: Rep Teague, Harry [NM-2] (introduced 2/3/2010)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/24/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4593 : Keeping Faith With the Greatest Generation Military Retirees Act of 2010 to amend part B of

title XVIII of the Social Security Act to waive Medicare part B premiums for certain military retirees (i.e.

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those who entered the service prior to December 7, 1956).

Sponsor: Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8] (introduced 2/3/2010)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/3/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy

and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently

determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of

the committee concerned.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4632 : Renovate and Enhance Veterans’ Meeting Halls and Posts Act of 2010 to amend the Housing

and Community Development Act of 1974 to set-aside community development block grant amounts in each

fiscal year for grants to local chapters of veterans service organizations for rehabilitation of their facilities.

Sponsor: Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [NY-1] (introduced 2/22/2010)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: House Financial Services

Latest Major Action: 2/22/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Financial Services.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4639 : Corporal Dustin Lee Memorial Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to authorize the

adoption of a military working dog by the family of a deceased or seriously wounded member of the Armed

Forces who was the handler of the dog.

Sponsor: Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3] (introduced 2/22/2010)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/5/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Readiness.

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H.R.4656 : VA Child Care Center. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program

establishing a child-care center for children of veterans receiving treatment and other individuals.

Sponsor: Rep Buchanan, Vern [FL-13] (introduced 2/23/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/23/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4664 : OIF/OEF Survivor Mortgage Foreclosure Moratorium. To amend the Servicemembers Civil

Relief Act to provide for a one-year moratorium on the sale or foreclosure of property owned by surviving

spouses of servicemembers killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sponsor: Rep Kratovil, Frank, Jr. [MD-1] (introduced 2/23/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/10/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee Hearings Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4667 : Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2010 to increase, effective as of

December 1, 2010, the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of

dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Perriello, Thomas S.P. [VA-5] (introduced 2/23/2010) Cosponsors (8) Related bills: H.R.1513

& S.407 & S.3107

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/23/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

Page 56

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4765 : VA Work Study Allowances. To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize individuals

who are pursuing programs of rehabilitation, education, or training under laws administered by the Secretary

of Veterans Affairs to receive work-study allowances for certain outreach services provided through

congressional offices, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] (introduced 3/4/2010) Cosponsors (12) Related bill: S.3082

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/10/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee Hearings Held.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4810 : End Veteran Homelessness Act of 2010. To amend title 38, United States Code, to make certain

improvements in the services provided for homeless veterans under the laws administered by the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 3/10/2010)

Cosponsors (14)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/23/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4845 : VA Children Housing Loan Benefits. To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide housing loan benefits for children of members of the Armed Forces

and veterans who die from service-connected disabilities.

Sponsor: Rep Crowley, Joseph [NY-7] (introduced 3/15/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/15/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4887 : Tricare Affirmation Act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to ensure that health

coverage provided by the Department of Defense is treated as minimal essential coverage.

Sponsor: Rep Skelton, Ike [MO-4] (introduced 3/19/2010)

Cosponsors (20)

Committees: House Ways and Means; Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 4/26/2010 Signed by President.

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H.R.4912 : CRSC Payments to Chap 61 Vets. To amend title 10, United States Code, to eliminate the

required reduction in the amount of combat-related special compensation paid to disabled combat-related

uniformed services retirees retired under chapter 61 of such title whose disability is attributable to an injury

for which the members were awarded the Purple Heart.

Sponsor: Rep Halvorson, Deborah L. [IL-11] (introduced 3/22/2010)

Cosponsors (5)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/8/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4923 : TRICARE Dependent Coverage Extension Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to extend

Page 57

TRICARE coverage to certain dependents under the age of 26.

Sponsor: Rep Heinrich, Martin [NM-1] (introduced 3/24/2010) Cosponsors (99) Related bills: S.3201

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/23/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.4947 : Reserve Retirement Deployment Credit Correction Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to

eliminate the per-fiscal year calculation of days of certain active duty or active service used to reduce the

minimum age at which a member of a reserve component of the uniformed services may retire for non-

regular service.

Sponsor: Rep Latham, Tom [IA-4] (introduced 3/25/2010) Cosponsors (48) Related bills: S.3406

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/23/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/moaa/issues/bills/?bill=14876641

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5014 : VA Minimal Essential Coverage. To clarify the health care provided by the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs that constitutes minimum essential coverage.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 4/14/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-173 [GPO: Text, PDF]

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5045 : Fair Access to Veterans Benefits Act of 2010 to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide

for the tolling of the timing of review for appeals of final decisions of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Adler, John H. [NJ-3] (introduced 4/15/2010) Cosponsors (None) Related bills: S.3192,

H.R.5064

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/15/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5120 : Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010 to improve employment, training, and placement

services furnished to veterans, especially those serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring

Freedom, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Smith, Adam [WA-9] (introduced 4/22/2010) Cosponsors (20) Related bills: S.3234

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Education and Labor; House Small Business; House Energy and

Commerce; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 5/27/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5136 : National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011

Sponsor: Rep Skelton, Ike [MO-4] (by request) (introduced 4/26/2010) Cosponsors (1) Related bills:

H.RES.1404, H.RES.1467, H.R.1467, H.R.5013, S.3454

Latest Major Action: 6/28/2010 Received in the Senate. Read twice. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar

Page 58

under General Orders. Calendar No. 447. House Reports: 111-491, 111-491 Part 2

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5185 : Fair Health Care for Military Families Act to amend titles 10 and 38, United States Code, to

increase the maximum age for children eligible for medical care under the TRICARE program and the

CHAMPVA program.

Sponsor: Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] (introduced 4/29/2010)

Cosponsors (2) Related Bill H.R.5206

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/6/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5225 : Improving Veterans’ Electronic Transition Services Act to direct the Secretary of Defense and

the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to jointly develop and implement an electronic personnel file system, and to

jointly conduct a study on improving the access of veterans to files related to military service and veterans

benefits, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Tsongas, Niki [MA-5] (introduced 5/5/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/5/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Armed

Services, and in addition to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined

by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the

committee concerned.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5226 : Appalachian Veterans Outreach Improvement Act to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

and the Appalachian Regional Commission to carry out a program of outreach for veterans who reside in

Appalachia, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Wilson, Charles A. [OH-6] (introduced 5/5/2010)

Cosponsors (23) Related bill: S.3314

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Transportation and Infrastructure

Latest Major Action: 5/6/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5259 : Equal Access to Preseparation Counseling Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to require

preseparation counseling for members of the reserve components upon their retirement or separation from

service.

Sponsor: Rep Pingree, Chellie [ME-1] (introduced 5/11/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/18/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5303 : VA Post-9/11 EAP Housing Stipends. To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve housing

stipends for veterans receiving educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance

Program.

Sponsor: Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [NY-1] (introduced 5/13/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/13/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

Page 59

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5360 : Blinded Veterans Adaptive Housing Improvement Act of 2010 to amend title 38, United States

Code, to modify the standard of visual acuity required for eligibility for specially adapted housing assistance

provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 5/20/2010)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/15/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee (Amended) by Voice Vote .

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5371 : William Shemin Jewish World War I Veterans Act to direct the Secretary of the Army and the

Secretary of the Navy to conduct a review of military service records of Jewish American veterans of World

War I, including those previously awarded a military decoration, to determine whether any of the veterans

should be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Luetkemeyer, Blaine [MO-9] (introduced 5/24/2010)

Cosponsors (15)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/28/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5403 : Alaska Tricare Reimbursement Rates. To direct the Secretary of Defense to temporarily adjust

the reimbursement rates for TRICARE claims in Alaska.

Sponsor: Rep Young, Don [AK] (introduced 5/26/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/28/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5404 : Reserve Space A Travel. To amend title 10, United States Code, to authorize space-available

travel on military aircraft for a member or former member of a reserve component who is eligible for retired

pay but for age and for dependents of the member who accompany the retiree.

Sponsor: Rep Young, Don [AK] (introduced 5/26/2010)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/28/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5428 : Disseminate Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights Info. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

to educate certain staff of the Department of Veterans Affairs and to inform veterans about the Injured and

Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 5/27/2010)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/28/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5449 : Retroactive Stop-Loss Special Pay Extension. To amend section 310 of the Supplemental

Appropriations Act, 2009 to extend the period of time during which claims for retroactive stop-loss special

pay may be submitted.

Page 60

Sponsor: Rep Sutton, Betty [OH-13] (introduced 5/27/2010)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/28/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5484 : VetStar Veteran-Friendly Business Act of 2010 to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to

establish an annual award program to recognize businesses for their contributions to veterans’ employment,

and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Teague, Harry [NM-2] (introduced 6/8/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/15/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee by Voice Vote .

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5516 : Access to Appropriate Immunizations for Veterans Act of 2010 to amend title 38, United States

Code, to provide for certain requirements relating to the immunization of veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Stearns, Cliff [FL-6] (introduced 6/10/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/10/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5517 : Every Veteran Counts Act to amend title 13, United States Code, to require that the questionnaire

used in a decennial census of population shall include an inquiry regarding an individual’s status as a veteran,

a spouse of a veteran, or a dependent of a veteran, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Stearns, Cliff [FL-6] (introduced 6/10/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/10/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on

Oversight and Government Reform, and in addition to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, for a period to be

subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the

jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5550 : Loss of Use Definition. To amend title 38, United States Code, to include a definition of “loss of

use” for purposes of evaluating disabilities and providing adapted housing and automobiles under the laws

administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Kirkpatrick, Ann [AZ-1] (introduced 6/17/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/18/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Economic Opportunity.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5555 : Disabled Veterans’ Surviving Spouses Home Loans Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide for eligibility for housing loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the surviving

spouses of certain totally-disabled veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Foxx, Virginia [NC-5] (introduced 6/17/2010)

Cosponsors (34)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/18/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Economic Opportunity.

Page 61

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5641 : Heroes at Home Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts for the transfer of veterans to non-Department adult foster homes for

veterans who are unable to live independently.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 6/30/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/2/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5642 : Pension Increase Codification. To codify increases in the rates of pension for disabled veterans

and surviving spouses and children that were effective as of December 1, 2009.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 6/30/2010)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/2/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5648 : Vet Unauthorized Fees Criminal Penalties. To amend title 38, United States Code, to reinstate

criminal penalties for persons charging veterans unauthorized fees.

Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] (introduced 6/30/2010)

Cosponsors (6)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 7/2/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5719 : Veterans’ Information Act. To amend title 10, United States Code, to require the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs to develop, and the Secretary of Defense to distribute to members of the Armed Forces upon

their discharge or release from active duty, information in a compact disk read-only memory format or other

appropriate digital format that lists and explains the health, education, and other benefits for which veterans

are eligible under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Cardoza, Dennis A. [CA-18] (introduced 7/13/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/23/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5731 : Veterans Mental Health Professionals Oversight Act of 2010. To amend title 38, United States

Code, to provide for annual reviews of mental health professionals treating veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Kirkpatrick, Ann [AZ-1] (introduced 7/14/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/14/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5739 : AMRA Charter. To amend title 36, United States Code, to grant a Federal charter to the

American Military Retirees Association, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Rooney, Thomas J. [FL-16] (introduced 7/14/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Page 62

Committees: House Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 7/14/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

the Judiciary.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5826 : Guard Active Duty Definition. To amend title 38, United States Code, to expand the definition

of active duty for purposes of the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program of the Department of Veterans

Affairs to include certain service in the National Guard.

Sponsor: Rep Altmire, Jason [PA-4] (introduced 7/22/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/22/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5829 : World War II Merchant Mariner Service Act. To direct the Secretary of Defense to accept

additional documentation when considering the application for veterans status of an individual who

performed service in the merchant marines during World War II, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Butterfield, G. K. [NC-1] (introduced 7/22/2010)

Cosponsors (22)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 7/22/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently

determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of

the committee concerned.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5838 : Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing Act of 2010. To amend title 38, United States Code,

to improve the multifamily transitional housing loan program of the Department of Veterans Affairs by

requiring the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to issue loans for the construction of, rehabilitation of, or

acquisition of land for multifamily transitional housing projects instead of guaranteeing loans for such

purposes, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Halvorson, Deborah L. [IL-11] (introduced 7/22/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/22/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5841 : VA PTSD Treatment Public-Private Partnerships. To authorize the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs to establish public-private partnerships for the treatment and research of post-traumatic stress

disorder.

Sponsor: Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] (introduced 7/22/2010)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/22/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5862 : Veterans FAA Employment Fairness Act of 2010. To amend title 49, United States Code, with

respect to the eligibility of veterans for employment with the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Marchant, Kenny [TX-24] (introduced 7/26/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Transportation and Infrastructure

Page 63

Latest Major Action: 7/27/2010 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Aviation.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5879 : Hmong Burial in VA Cemeteries. To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs to inter in national cemeteries individuals who supported the United States in

Laos during the Vietnam War era.

Sponsor: Rep Costa, Jim [CA-20] (introduced 7/27/2010)

Cosponsors (22)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/27/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5928 : Veterans’ Disability Claims Efficiency Act of 2010. To improve the efficiency of processing

certain claims for disability compensation by veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Walz, Timothy J. [MN-1] (introduced 7/29/2010)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/29/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5933 : Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010.

Sponsor: Rep Minnick, Walter [ID-1] (introduced 7/29/2010)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/29/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5953 : Posting Women Veterans Bill of Rights. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to display

in each facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs a Women Veterans Bill of Rights.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 7/29/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/29/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.5996 : VA Care of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. To direct the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of veterans with chronic obstructive pulmonary

disease.

Sponsor: Rep Stearns, Cliff [FL-6] (introduced 7/30/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/30/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.6022 : Veteran-Owned Small Business Contracting Fairness Act of 2010. To improve the Federal

contracting process with respect to veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Courtney, Joe [CT-2] (introduced 7/30/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

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Committees: House Small Business; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/30/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Small

Business, and in addition to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined

by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the

committee concerned.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.6042 : Dignity for our Nation’s Heroes Act. To expand burial benefits for certain homeless veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Klein, Ron [FL-22] (introduced 7/30/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/30/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.6058 : Wounded Warrior and Military Survivor Housing Assistance Act of 2010. To ensure that the

housing assistance programs of HUD and DVA are available to veterans and members of the Armed Forces

who have service-connected injuries and to survivors and dependents of veterans and members of the Armed

Forces.

Sponsor: Rep Paulsen, Erik [MN-3] (introduced 7/30/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Financial Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/30/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on

Financial Services, and in addition to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, for a period to be subsequently

determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of

the committee concerned.

——————————————————————————–

H.R.6104 : POA Hand Salute Authorization. To amend title 4, United States Code, to authorize members

of the Armed Forces not in uniform and veterans to render a military salute during the recitation of the pledge

of allegiance.

Sponsor: Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] (introduced 8/10/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 8/10/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

the Judiciary.

——————————————————————————–

[Source: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/LegislativeData.php?n=Browse 12 Sep 2010 ++]

Share

RAO BULLETIN 15 September 2010

THIS BULLETIN CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES

== Vet Insurance Life [07] —————- (VA Unpublicized Deal)

== Veterans’ Court [06] ————————— (L.A. Pilot Program)

== US Misery Index] ———————————- (10 Worst Cities)

== Social Security Reset Option ———— (Major Change Coming)

== Alcohol Abuse [01] ————– (Moderate Drinkers Live longer)

== Alcohol Abuse [02] ————————— (Brain Damage Risk)

== COLA 2011 [05] ————————————- (CPI-E Option)

== VA Presumptive VN Vet Diseases [12] — (Retroactive Benefits)

== Military Funeral Disorderly Conduct [14] —— (Flag Trampling)

== Pat Tillman Documentary ———————- (DoD Bans Movie)

== PTSD [54] ————————————— (Seroquel Concerns)

== PTSD [55] ——————- (Lawsuit Joining Deadline Extended)

== Prescription Drug Disposal [02] —— (National Take-Back Day)

== DoD Benefit Cuts [04] ————– (Fringe Benefits Denounced)

== Military Stolen Valor [23] ———- (Community Service Protest)

== Veteran College Tips ———————— (Locating & Enrolling)

== Mobilized Reserve 7 SEP 2010 ——————— (983 Decrease)

== Federal Tax Law Changes [03] ———— (Email Scare Message)

== Vet Toxic Exposure El Toro ————– (VA Claim Honored)

== Vet Cemetery California [08] ——- (Miramar Opening Delayed)

== GI Bill [83] ————————— (VA Ready for Fall Semester)

== GI Bill [84] —————————————— (Fall 2010 Caps)

== VA Diabetes Mellitus Care [06] ———- (AO Links Questioned)

== Flu Prevention [03] —————————– (Flu Season is Here)

== Tricare Preventive Health Program [03] —- (Flu Shot Coverage)

== VA Employment Ranking —————————— (Steep Drop)

== Cell Phones for Soldiers ———————- (Support the Troops)

== VA Vet Centers [07] —————————— (What they Offer)

== Tricare Retired Reserve [03] ———————————- (Costs)

== Debt Reduction Commission [02] ——————– (Controversy)

== Health Care Reform [37] —————————– (Claim Denials)

== Health Care Reform [38] ————————— (Fewer Choices)

== Tricare User Fee [53] ——————– (SECDEF Wants Change)

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== Tricare User Fee [54] ———– (MOAA on SECDEF Comments)

== Outward Bound [01] ——————– (Vet No Cost Expeditions)

== DoD Benefit Cuts [03] ——– (Former Sen. Simpson Comments)

== Vet Insurance Life [06] ———————————— (Lawsuit)

== Tricare Overseas Program [01] ——— (Tricare4U Site Replaced)

== TSP [16] ———————————— (AUG 2010 Results Poor)

== Hip/Knee Replacement] —————————– (Considerations)

== VA Prostate Cancer Program [10] ———- (Prescribing Practices)

== VA Facility Maintenance [01– (Run-down/Abandoned Buildings)

== Saving Money ——————————————– (Health Tips)

== Medicare Fraud [48] ——————————- (1-14 Sep 2010)

== Medicad Fraud [21] ——————————– (1-14 Sep 2010)

== State Veteran’s Benefits ——————————– (Connecticut)

== Military History —————————————- (Code Talkers)

== Military History Anniversaries ————- (Sep 16-30 Summary)

== Military Trivia 12—————————————– (Number 12)

== Tax Burden for Oklahoma Retirees ————————— (2009)

== Congressional Alphalist ——————————– (Index J-K-L)

== Veteran Legislation Status 12 SEP 2010 ——- (Where we stand)

== Have You Heard? ——————————————– (Tommy)

Attachment – House Veteran Legislation

Attachment – Senate Veteran Legislation

Attachment – Connecticut State Veteran’s Benefits

Ant

===============================

Vet Insurance Life Update 07:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs failed to inform 6

million soldiers and their families of an agreement enabling Prudential Financial Inc. to withhold lump-sum

payments of life insurance benefits for survivors of fallen service members, according to records made public

through a Freedom of Information request. The amendment to Prudential‘s contract is the first document to show

how VA officials sanctioned a payment practice that has spurred investigations by lawmakers and regulators. Since

1999, Prudential has used so-called retained-asset accounts, which allow the company to withhold lump sum

payments due to survivors and earn investment income on the money for itself. The 1 SEP 09, amendment to

Prudential‘s contract with the VA ratified another that had been struck between the insurer and the government 10

years earlier — one that was never put into writing, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its November issue.

This verbal agreement in 1999 provoked concern among top insurance officials of the agency, the documents

released in the FOIA request show.

For a decade, until the contract was formally changed, Prudential wasn‘t fulfilling its obligations to survivors of

fallen service members, says Brendan Bridgeland, an insurance lawyer who runs the non-profit Center for Insurance

Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ―It‘s very clear they violated the original terms of the contract,‖ says

Bridgeland, who is retained by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to represent consumers.

―Every veteran I‘ve spoken with is appalled at the brazen war profiteering by Prudential,‖ says Paul Sullivan, who

served in the 1991 Gulf War as an Army cavalry scout and is now executive director of Veterans for Common

Sense, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Washington. ―Now vets are upset at the VA‘s inability to stop

Prudential‘s bad behavior.‖ That the VA allowed Prudential to issue retained-asset accounts for 10 years while the

contract required lump-sum payouts is ―more evidence that the VA was asleep at the wheel for a decade,‖ says

Sullivan, who was a project manager and analyst at the VA from 2000 to 2006. ―When grieving families check the

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box that they want a lump sum, they should get it. We remain disappointed and irate at the VA‘s failure to provide

advocacy for veterans,‖ he says.

The language of both the 1965 contract and the 2009 amendment make clear that Newark, New Jersey-based

Prudential was required to adhere to the original terms until 2009, regardless of any handshake agreements in 1999,

insurance lawyer Bridgeland says. The 1965 contract says any alterations must be made in writing. ―No change in

the Group Policy shall be valid unless evidenced by an amendment thereto,‖ it says. ―No Agent is authorized to alter

or amend the Group Policy.‖ The VA and Prudential signed a revised contract in 2007, saying it was ―amended in its

entirety.‖ That contract, with the exact same words as the 1965 agreement, required that Prudential pay survivors

with lump sums. The 2007 revision included the same procedures in the 1965 agreement requiring any changes be

made in writing. It contained no mention of the retained-asset system, or of the verbal agreement struck in 1999.

It wasn‘t until 24 SEP 09, that the changes agreed to by VA official Lastowka and Prudential in 1999 were put

into writing. The 2009 amendment allowing Prudential to hold onto death benefit payouts was made retroactive to 1

SEP 09, not back to 1999. By putting in writing a change that was verbally adopted 10 years earlier, the VA is

effectively trying to backdate the amendment, says Jeffrey Stempel, an insurance law professor at the William S.

Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who wrote ‗Stempel on Insurance Contracts‘ (Aspen

Publishers, 2009). ―They‘re trying to reinvent history,‖ Stempel says. ―You really can‘t do that. This is a blatant

giveaway by the VA with nothing for the agency or the people in uniform.‖ Nine of every 10 survivors ask

Prudential for lump-sum payments, the VA says. Prudential sends those families ―checkbooks‖ instead of checks.

Documents released in the FOIA request show some signs of concern within the VA after Prudential proposed the

retained- asset accounts in 1998. Lastowka, the official who allowed Prudential to introduce the Alliance Accounts,

said that the insurer‘s ―checkbook‖ system wasn‘t protected by the FDIC. [Source: Bloomberg David Evans article

14 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Veterans’ Court Update 06:

On 13 SEP, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge will start hearing

criminal cases against military veterans charged with nonviolent felonies. The pilot program is meant to give a

second chance to veterans who may have gotten into trouble in part due to conditions related to their service, such as

post-traumatic stress syndrome, brain injuries and other mental conditions. Orange County has a similar program,

which mirrors other veteran courts that have sprung up across the nation. “This is long overdue,” Los Angeles

Superior Court Judge Michael Tynan (who will preside over the court) said. “Everybody’s concentrating on soldiers

right now returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, but I’m not sure that these guys are getting the kind of care they

ought to get.” The veterans‘ court will start with a maximum of 50 cases at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal

Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles. All military personnel will be eligible. Many of the cases are expected to

be drug and alcohol-related. Research suggests that veterans often self-medicate to numb the pain of war

experiences. Tynan now oversees the county’s drug court, also a specialty unit intended for those whose crimes are

primarily a result of addiction. The idea is get the defendant into treatment, as opposed to a jail cell.

Some defendants may be referred to Veterans Affairs, which runs outpatient and clinical care facilities in Long

Beach, Lancaster and West Los Angeles. Veterans will be supervised for a set period. If they violate conditions of

the court, the severity of penalties will increase. The first court of the kind was started in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2008, and

so far none of the veterans who completed the program committed new crimes, officials said. Federal lawmakers are

looking to pass legislation that would provide funding for treatment and court costs. The VA estimates that 131,000

veterans are homeless on any given night, a situation caused largely by mental illness and substance abuse.

Torrance-based Deputy District Attorney John Lonergan, a colonel in the Army reserves, helped set up the local

pilot program for veterans. He said, “These men and women are pulled away from their families for a year or more.

They are under constant stress, under the microscope, and they come back and face broken marriages and other

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difficulties. … People are finally recognizing the need to treat these individuals. We don’t want to relive these issues

from Vietnam.” [Source: myFoxla.com article 13 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

US Misery Index:

The misery index was initiated by economist Arthur Okun, an adviser to President

Lyndon Johnson in the 1960’s. It is simply the unemployment rate added to the inflation rate. It is assumed that both

a higher rate of unemployment and a worsening of inflation both create economic and social costs for a country. A

combination of rising inflation and more people out of work implies a deterioration in economic performance and a

rise in the misery index. You don’t need the U.S. Misery Index to tell you that things are bad in the U.S.

Unemployment is near or at all-time highs in many parts of the country, foreclosures continue to happen at

unprecedented rates and there are some very real indicators that we are heading toward a double-dip recession.

Some of us should count our lucky stars, however. In certain U.S. cities, life is much worse for residents than in

other areas of the country. Using a variety of criteria, including unemployment rates, health data, the number of

foreclosures, crime statistics, climate and other measures of misery, WalletPop came up with its unofficial list of the

10 worst cities to live in. This list is far from comprehensive, but there are some significant reasons why these cities

made the cut:

1. El Centro CA. Lose your job in El Centro and it may be quite some time before you find another one. One in

four people here are out of work and the city holds the not-so distinguished honor of having the highest

unemployment rate (27.5%) in the country (close behind is Yuma AZ at 27.2%). The desert city, which is located

in Imperial County just across the border from Mexicali, has a jobless rate triple the national average of 9.5% thanks

to the seasonal fluctuations of field laborers. Field work is the county’s third-largest employment sector after

government, transportation and utilities, according to AOL News. Even with the ebb and flow of its working

population, things are still pretty bleak in El Centro. Last year, the city’s cemetery went into foreclosure.

2. Cleveland OH: The U.S. Census estimated that 2,658 people left the city in 2009, the largest numerical drop

among America ‘s major cities. Forbes also put it atop its list of most miserable U.S. cities, factoring in its high

unemployment (although at 9.1% it’s below the national average), high taxes, lousy weather, political corruption and

lousy sports teams. Weather is a big factor, according to Forbes. Located on the south shore of Lake Erie, it gets hit

by lake-effect snow, averaging almost 60 inches every winter. Its frigid winters help produce an average annual

temperature of only 50 degrees, 10 degrees below the average of the 50 cities measured by Forbes. Nicknamed the

“Mistake by the Lake,” Cleveland ranked near the bottom when looking at corruption on the Forbes list. “Northern

Ohio has seen 309 public officials convicted of crimes over the past 10 years,” according to the Forbes story, which

cites data from the Justice Department. “A current FBI investigation of public officials in Cuyahoga County (where

Cleveland is located) has ensnared more than two dozen government employees and businessmen on charges

including bribery, fraud and tax evasion.” Cleveland also ranks in the top third of all metro areas for foreclosure

rates. The city has thousands of abandoned homes, in part because it provided down payments through the federally-

funded Afford-a-Home program to many people who could not afford their mortgage payments.

3. Detroit MI: America ‘s most dangerous city, with 1,220 violent crimes per 100,000 people, according to violent

crime statistics from the FBI’s latest uniform crime report, issued in 2008. It’s heavy reliance on the stumbling auto

industry hasn’t helped matters much. Motown also boasts high foreclosure and unemployment rates. As a result

home prices have nosedived. Just last year you could buy a home in Detroit for $10,000. Foreclosures in metro

Detroit were up 35% in the first six months of this year, compared to the same time in 2009. Vacant homes and

blight are so bad that the city recently imposed a new ordinance requiring banks and homeowners to register their

property with the city for a $25 annual fee. Even the city’s office vacancy rate is high, with a 30% rate that leads the

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nation. While Forbes names the Detroit metro area — which has a 13.7% unemployment rate — as one of the worst

spots to find employment, job growth is expected to rebound as the auto industry starts to recover.

4. Las Vegas NV: Las Vegas was one of the hardest hit cities when the housing bubble burst. In fact, the metro area

was at the epicenter of the mess, with the highest foreclosure rate in the country in 2009, according to a report on by

RealtyTrac. So many homes are empty that some neighborhoods either have no one around or one lone resident.

Nationwide, 2.21% of housing units received a foreclosure filing in 2009, compared to 12% in Las Vegas. Those

who have hung onto their homes are likely underwater on their mortgages — meaning their mortgages are worth

more than their homes. During the first quarter of 2010, home prices in Las Vegas continued to fall. Prices in the

metro area have fallen more than 50% from their peak in AUG 06, the Associated Press reports.

5. Oklahoma City OK: The unhealthiest city in the country, as measured by the American College of Sports

Medicine’s annual fitness index. The index looks at 30 fitness indicators, including obesity and exercise rates, death

rate from cardiovascular disease, acres of park land, number of primary care physicians per capita and percentage of

residents who bicycle or walk to work. The index compares the 50 largest metro areas on a 100-point scale;

Oklahoma City received a score of 24.3, making it the most sluggish city in the U.S. The obesity rate is 30.2%, four

points above average. It has an exercise rate of 71% and has half as many baseball diamonds, recreation centers and

dog parks as most cities. Detroit and Las Vegas also performed poorly on the fitness index.

6. Los Angeles CA: The metro area that stretches from Long Beach to Riverside has the worst ozone pollution in

the country, according to the American Lung Association’s State of the Air report for 2010. It is ranked third in year-

round particle pollution, and fourth in short-term particle pollution. Ozone is the byproduct of pollutants released by

cars, chemical plants, refineries, and other sources. It exists naturally in the upper atmosphere of the Earth, but when

emitted at ground level, it’s considered a harmful outdoor pollutant. Inhaling ozone can cause wheezing, coughing,

chest pain, throat irritation, congestion, and can make people more susceptible to respiratory illnesses such as

bronchitis and pneumonia, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Think about that next time you

drive in Los Angeles, which also lays claim the worst traffic in the country.

7. Phoenix AZ: Beyond the controversial immigration measure, Arizona ‘s housing market still remains a mess.

According to RealtyTrac’s latest foreclosure report, Phoenix and its surrounding area remains among the top 10

worst metro markets when it comes to foreclosures. However, in May, foreclosure activity in the city was down 9%

from May 09, offering a tiny sliver of hope. Phoenix also ranks poorly among metro areas in per capita income

growth. Between 2007 and 2008, the city’s income growth shrank 1.4%, the nation’s worst one-year loss. For year-

round particle pollution from freeways, power plants and other sources, Phoenix is the worst city in the country.

8. Newark NJ: Newark has been likened to Detroit, but with its own political and social dysfunction. More than a

quarter of its population lives below the poverty line, the state has the most Superfund toxic-waste sites in the

nation, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker is trying to close a $70 million budget deficit by cutting items like toilet

paper. Non-uniformed city workers will soon start working four-day workweeks. Booker has said he won’t raise

taxes. While crime in the city has been reduced, it still remains a major issue.

9. Miami FL: Detroit is listed by Children’s Health magazine as being the worst place to raise a family, but right

behind it is Miami . If a city isn’t a good place to raise a family, that likely means its also a terrible place to live.

Factors the magazine used to come to its conclusions, included crime and safety, education, economics, housing,

cultural attractions, and health. According to RealtyTrac, Miami has seen close to 40,000 foreclosures, making it one

of the most active markets when it comes to people abandoning their homes. Crime is also a problem. Neighborhood

Scout reports that Miami has one of the highest crime rates in the country, with a one in twelve chance that a

resident will become a victim of a property or violent crime. Making things even worse, the city not only has some

of the worst drivers in the country, but it also has some of the worst commuting times.

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10. Memphis TN: Memphis has one of the worst violent crime rates in the country, and FBI, the city had the

second-worst rate of violent crime. NeighborhoodScout, which tracks crime and other factors in various cities and

neighborhoods said ,”One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 10. Within

Tennessee more than 90% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Memphis.” As for political corruption,

reportedly nearly one public official per month over the last decade has been charged with public corruption.

[Source: www.miseryindex.us & WalletPop http://srph.it/cUWyYi Aaron Crowe article 5 Aug 2010 ++]

===============================

Social Security Reset Option:

A relatively unknown Social Security loophole may soon be

eliminated by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This loophole, known as the Social Security “do-over” or

“reset” option, allows Social Security recipients to withdraw their original application for benefits and to refile for

benefits at later age. The logic behind the “do-over” or “reset” option is that it allows a Social Security recipient who

at an earlier age (as early as age 62) started receiving monthly benefits to pay back to the SSA all previously

received benefits (with no interest and penalties) in order to refile for benefits at a later age. By re-filing at a later

age, the recipient will receive a larger monthly check for life. Current Social Security recipients who are considering

the payback option should decide as soon as possible as to whether or not they want to take advantage of this

opportunity. This is because the SSA is considering terminating the “do-over” option. If the SSA is successful, the

“do-over” option could be eliminated within a few months. Under SSA’s proposed rules to modify the “do-over”

option, Social Security recipients would be permitted to withdraw their application for benefits only once during

their lifetime and only within 12 months of when they first began receiving benefits. If they change their mind

within the first year, they could stop their benefits, pay back what they had received, and then restart their benefits at

a later date and at a higher level based on their age at that time. But once the 12 month deadline has passed, they

would no longer be eligible to repay benefits in order to receive a higher benefit at a later age.

Not every Social Security recipient will benefit from the “do-over” option, however. Those recipients who are

considering it will likely need a large amount of available cash in order to repay their previously received Social

Security benefits. To fully understand the issues involved with a “do-over” strategy, it is important to review the

rules with respect to individual eligibility requirements and filing options for Social Security retirement benefits.

Any individual with at least 40 credits of Social Security is eligible to collect Social Security retirement benefit

starting as early as age 62. But claiming monthly benefits at age 62 will reduce one’s benefits by as much as 20 to

30% compared to what the monthly benefit would be if benefits were claimed at full retirement age (FRA) Those

individuals deciding to wait past their FRA to start receiving benefits can boost their benefits by as much as 8% for

every year they delay the start of benefits until they reach age 70, potentially increasing annual benefits to as much

as 132% their base amount. Before deciding to pay back past Social Security monthly retirement benefits, there are

some issues that recipients need to consider regarding the consequences of the payback decision, including:

The recipient must pay back all previously-received benefits received — this includes benefits received by

the recipient, the recipient’s spouse, children or any other individual who received benefits based on the

recipient’s original decision to receive benefits. Also, anyone who received benefits based on the recipient’s

original decision must also consent in writing to the request for withdrawal of benefits.

In addition to the monthly Social Security benefit having to be repaid in full, the following items that were

possibly withheld from Social Security monthly benefit checks will also have to be repaid: Medicare Part B

and Part D premiums; voluntary tax withholding of federal income taxes for all years prior to the current

year; garnishments including child support or alimony obligations, IRS levies to collect unpaid federal

income taxes, other federal agency collections of money to pay a non-tax debt owed to that agency

according to the Debt Collection Act of 1996; and under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act, certain

civil penalties that provide the right to garnish benefits under 18 USC 3613.

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A recipient who previously received Social Security benefits and who paid federal income taxes (and in

some states, state income taxes) on these benefits will not have to amend previously filed income tax

returns upon paying these benefits. Instead, for federal income tax purposes the individual would claim an

“other miscellaneous itemized deduction” on Schedule A for the year(s) the benefits were refunded or

submit a claim a tax credit for the tax paid on Social Security benefits received in previous years. The latter

calculation involves complex calculations. IRS Publication 915 (Social Security and Railroad Retirement

Benefits), available for download at http://www.irs.gov, should be obtained for more information and

guidance. In particular, the section titled “repayments more than gross benefits” discusses what needs to be

done when there is payback of benefits received in previously years. In case of state income taxes that were

paid on previously received benefits, the recipient should contact his or her state department of revenue for

Those recipients who are already enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B could terminate their Medicare

coverage but they do not have to. But in withdrawing from Medicare Part B, recipients need to note that

unless they are employed and their employer offers health insurance, they will be penalized when they re-

enroll in Medicare Part B during a future Medicare Part B “open season” (each year from January 1 through

March 31) – in particular, their premiums will increase by 10 percent for every year they delay their Part B

enrollment. Recipients who keep their Medicare Parts A and B will be billed by the Centers for Medicare

and Medicaid Services (CMS) for future Part B premiums.

Needless to say, a recipient who wants to repay his or her past benefits will likely need to have access to a hefty

sum of cash in order to pay all previously-received benefits. This includes all benefits SSA has previously paid to

the recipient and if applicable, to the recipient’s spouse and to other family members. Actuarial research shows that

in order to make the Social Security repayment “pay for itself,” a recipient would have to live for at least 12 to 16

years after the higher monthly payments start. Those individuals with a terminal illness and whose life expectancy is

short generally will therefore not benefit from the “do-over” option. This is because they will not likely recoup in

added monthly benefits the cost of having to repay benefits already received. Also – and perhaps most important –

those recipients who want to leave a substantial legacy to heirs should probably avoid the “do-over” option. The

reason: the added Social Security monthly benefits cease at the recipient’s or the recipient’s spouse’s death. Adult

children will not receive any Social Security survivor benefits at the recipient’s death. On the other hand, any cash

remaining at the recipient’s death that would have been used to perform a “do-over” could be left in the form of a

legacy to surviving children.

In order to perform a “do-over” and to repay past benefits, Form SSA-521, downloadable from the SSA website

http://www.ssa.gov, must be filled out and submitted to the SSA. Note that included on Form SSA-521 is a question

in which the SSA asks the recipient of benefits for a reason why he or she is withdrawing his or her application. A

response such as that “I need higher monthly income” is usually acceptable to the SSA as a valid reason. Once the

form is completed and submitted to the SSA, the SSA will notify the recipient when monthly benefits will cease and

the amount of benefits to be repaid. [Source: My Federal Retirement Edward A. Zurndorfer article 10 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Alcohol Abuse Update 01:

Drinking two or three glasses of wine, beer or cocktails daily helped older

adults live longer than teetotalers in a study. Research on 1,824 adults ages 55 to 65 found that moderate and heavy

drinkers were less likely to die than abstainers over 20 years, said scientists at the University of Texas in Austin and

Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Moderate drinkers were defined as having one to two a day while

heavy drinkers had three or more daily, according to the study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental

Research. The results refuted a common criticism of previous findings that results were skewed when researchers

included former problem drinkers with poor health in the abstainers group. The results held up even after excluding

results from past problem drinkers those with poor health status such as obesity, the authors said. ―Importantly, any

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health-protective effects of alcohol appear to be limited to regular moderate drinking,‖ wrote the study authors, led

by Charles Holahan, a psychology professor at the University of Texas. ―Heavy episodic drinking — even when

average consumption remains moderate — is associated with increased cardiovascular risk.‖

Overall, older adults who didn‘t drink at all had a 49% greater risk of dying during the 20 years of the study than

those who drank moderately, the researchers found. Heavy drinkers had a 42% increased risk of dying compared

with moderate drinkers, the study found. The results also showed that moderate drinkers lived longer than light

drinkers, defined as those drinking an average of less than one drink per day. One or two drinks may be beneficial,

though ―older persons drinking alcohol should remember that consuming more than two drinks a day exceeds

recommended alcohol consumption guidelines,‖ and may lead to more falls, a greater risk of alcohol abuse and side

effects from medications, Holahan said in a statement. The study is published online and will be in the print edition

of the journal‘s November issue. The research was funded by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. [Source: Bloomberg David Olmos article 30 Aug 2010 ++]

===============================

Alcohol Abuse Update 02:

A new study says obesity caused by heavy drinking can add to brain

damage caused by drinking itself. Researchers examined the findings of different types of brain scans conducted on

54 men in an alcohol treatment program and compared them with each man’s body mass index (BMI). BMI is a

measurement that takes into account a person’s height and weight. The study findings appear online and in the

December print issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. “It is commonly believed that it is the large

amount of consumed alcohol by itself that leads to brain injury in alcoholics,” principal investigator Dieter J.

Meyerhoff, a professor of radiology at the University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco VA Medical

Center, said in a journal news release. “This is only partly correct. In previous studies, we have shown that

alcoholics who smoke cigarettes have greater brain injury than nonsmoking alcoholics. This new study suggests that

a high BMI, independent of drinking and smoking, is also associated with brain injury,” Meyerhoff said. “In other

words, weight also is related to brain health among those with alcoholism,” Susan F. Tapert, a professor of

psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and director of substance abuse/mental illness in the VA San

Diego Healthcare System, said in the news release. “BMI may be a very important factor to consider when

examining other potential consequences of alcohol use. Since individuals who consume substantial amounts of

alcohol are at risk for obesity, it is important to understand the influence of body fat deposition on the measures we

are examining. It could be that metabolic changes resulting from or causing obesity cause harm to the brain, at least

among alcoholics,” Tapert said. [Source: Bloomberg Business Week HealthDay News article 9 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

COLA 2011 Update 05:

Amid a shaky economy and high jobless rates, military retirees are growing

worried about the possibility of a second straight year with no cost-of-living adjustment in retired pay. Calculating

the annual retiree COLA is complicated, even under ―normal‖ conditions — and the fact that retirees saw no adjust-

ment this year for the first time in a generation complicates the situation further. The COLA is a cumulative cal-

culation based on a year-to-year comparison of the average inflation rate over the final quarter of each fiscal year,

July through September. This comparison is done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics using what‘s called the

Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CPI-W. The reason there was no COLA

increase this year is because the CPI-W did not increase from the final quarter of fiscal 2008 to the final quarter of

fiscal 2009. In such situations, the law says the starting point for calculating a possible 2011 COLA remains the last

quarter of fiscal 2008. The Military Officers Association of America notes that after the deflation of 2009, the July

2010 value of the CPI-W is still down 0.7% from the fiscal 2008 final-quarter index. In other words, we‘re still in a

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COLA ―hole.‖ For retirees to see even a small adjustment in 2011, inflation would have to rise about 1 percentage

point in both August and September, MOAA says — an unlikely prospect.

Regardless of what the overall inflation trends indicate, retirees are noticing that living costs continue to increase,

particularly health care costs. Perhaps it‘s time for a discussion about using a different index for calculating the

retiree COLA, such as the Experimental Price Index for the Elderly. The CPI-E is geared to people ages 62 and

older, and studies have shown that because it measures a different mix of goods and services, it tends to slightly

outpace both the CPI-W and the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. Obviously, many military retirees

are younger than 62. But maybe there‘s an argument to be made that it‘s worth basing the annual COLA on the CPI-

E to help retirees who need it most — those no longer working and living on fixed incomes. If inflation continues to

run flat and the possibility of a second year of no COLA edges closer to reality, it will be interesting to see what

happens over the next few months as lawmakers campaigning for re-election face hard questions from angry Social

Security recipients and military retirees. [Source: [NavyTimes Alex Keenan article 13 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

VA Presumptive VN Vet Diseases Update 12:

Sweeping new presumptions about what

medical conditions in Vietnam veterans are the result of exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange could lead to

benefits for up to 250,000 more veterans. But the $42.2 billion expansion of disability compensation and medical

treatment is raising questions about just how generous the federal government should be. About 90,000 veterans or

survivors could receive retroactive benefits by the end of October, covering an average of almost 12 years of back

pay, under the new policy announced 31 AUG in a Federal Register notice implementing a decision made last fall

by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. Another 150,000 veterans are expected to apply for benefits that, if

approved, would take effect the day of their application. The new rules add Parkinson‘s disease, hairy cell and

chronic B cell leukemia, and ischemic heart disease to the list of illnesses presumed to be service-connected in

Vietnam veterans.

VA officials expect the average disability ratings to be 100% for Vietnam veterans with Parkinson‘s disease or

the two forms of leukemia, and 60% for those with ischemic heart disease. Disability benefits will not be paid for 60

days — not before 30 OCT— because the new presumptions represent a major change in policy that requires giving

Congress time to react. The national commander of AmVets, a major veterans service organization, said he hopes

Congress goes along. ―AmVets now urges Congress to approve VA‘s guidelines so that veterans can start to receive

the care and benefits they deserve,‖ Jerry Hotop said. While VA officials consider it unlikely Congress would block

the change, the Senate Veterans‘ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing 23 SEP to discuss the expanded benefits,

with two particular concerns being raised: the overall costs of the policy change and the inclusion of ischemic heart

disease — a condition faced by many older Americans who never served in Vietnam. VA officials acknowledge the

heart ailment is common among older Americas as a result of high cholesterol, smoking and other factors, raising

the possibility that some Vietnam veterans may have this ailment because of post-service factors that have nothing

to do with Agent Orange. But VA defended including the benefit, noting that five separate studies have shown a link

between exposure to the herbicide and the heart disease. Because it is impossible to determine the origin of the

disease, VA policy errs on the side of veterans, said Bradley Mayes, director of VA‘s Boston Regional Office and

the former compensation and pension service director who worked on the new Agent Orange rules.

The end result, Mayes said, is that veterans must show only that they have qualifying service and that they have a

medical condition associated with exposure to Agent Orange. Rick Weidman of Vietnam Veterans of America, a

group that has been pushing for expanded Agent Orange benefits, says the cost of providing disability compensation

and health care for veterans exposed to the herbicide should be considered a cost of war. Cost is an issue for some

people, especially after former Wyoming Republican Sen. Alan Simpson, cochair of the Commission on Fiscal

Responsibility and Reform that is studying ways to reduce federal spending and the national debt, focused on an

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Associated Press report that shows diabetes is the chief disability claimed by Vietnam veterans, accounting for about

$850 million a year in compensation. Simpson, an Army veteran and former chairman of the Senate Veterans‘

Affairs Committee, called it an ―irony‖ that ―veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to

save the country in this fiscal mess.‖ Those remarks sparked angry reactions from some Vietnam veterans. There is

no indication that Simpson is urging the so-called Debt Commission to include any Agent Orange-related

recommendations in its report, expected in December, but the panel has been looking at the overall cost of military

and veterans‘ benefits. [NavyTimes Rick Maze article 13 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Military Funeral Disorderly Conduct Update 14:

A federal judge overturned Nebraska‘s

ban on flag mutilation 2 SEP, clearing the way for Kansas church protesters to continue trampling on the U.S. flag

when they protest at military funerals. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf said the law can‘t be

applied as long as Megan Phelps-Roper and fellow members of the Westboro Baptist Church ―otherwise act

peacefully while desecrating the American or Nebraska flag during their religiously motivated protests.‖ It was

unclear whether the ruling applied only to the church members or to everyone in Nebraska. An earlier temporary

block of the law applied only to Phelps-Roper. Attorney General Jon Bruning indicated he would not fight to save

the law, which closes the case. [NavyTimes article 13 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Pat Tillman Documentary:

The organization that runs the movie theaters on Navy and Marine Corps

installations is following the decision by Army and Air Force installations in declining to show ―The Tillman Story‖

in their movie theaters. The Navy Motion Picture Service, which provides movies to theaters on Navy and Marine

Corps bases, ―do not support and show documentaries at the military theaters,‖ said Rachelle Logan, a

spokeswoman for Navy Installation Command. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) operate the

theaters on Army and Air Force bases. AAFES officials said 2 SEP that at least for the time being, they will not

show the movie. ―The Tillman Story‖ does not portray the Army and Defense Department in a positive light. It is

the story of Pat Tillman, who left a million-dollar career as a safety for the NFL‘s Arizona Cardinals to join the

Army in 2002. Tillman was killed in Afghanistan in 2004. The Army initially said Tillman was gunned down while

fighting the enemy and awarded him a Silver Star. For more than a month, officials withheld from his family and the

public the fact that he was shot by friendly fire. Investigators still have not uncovered exactly who killed Tillman.

The ―The Tillman Story‖ was released 20 AUG in just four movie theaters across the whole country, a fact cited by

AAFES in justifying their decision. Since that time, ―The Tillman Story‖ has opened in additional theaters in New

York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and nine other cities. On 10 SEP it was shown in 14 cities and

it will open in an additional five cities by 17 SEP. [Source: TREA Washington Update 10 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

PTSD Update 54:

Thousands of troops suffering from PTSD have received Seroque (a potent anti-

psychotic drug) over the past nine years, helping make Seroquel one of Veteran Affairs top drug expenditures and

the No. 5 best-selling drug in the nation. But several soldiers and veterans have died while taking the pills, raising

concerns among some military families that the government is not being upfront about the drug’s risks. They want

Congress to investigate. Iraq veteran Andrew White, whose doctors recommended progressively larger doses of

Seroquel, was at one point prescribed more than 1,600 milligrams per day — more than double the maximum dose

recommended for schizophrenia patients. According to his father Stan White, “He was told if he had trouble

sleeping he could take another [Seroquel] pill.” A short time later, White died in his sleep. A VA investigation

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concluded that White died of a rare drug interaction. He was also taking an antidepressant and an anti-anxiety pill, as

well as a painkiller for which he did not have a prescription. Inspectors concluded he received the ‘standard of care’

for his condition. It’s unclear how many soldiers have died while taking Seroquel, or if the drug definitely

contributed to the deaths. At least a half-dozen deaths among soldiers on Seroquel have been confirmed and it is

possible there are many others. Spending for Seroquel by the government’s military medical systems has increased

more than sevenfold since the start of the war in Afghanistan in 2001, according to documents obtained by the

Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act. That by far outpaces the 34% growth in personnel who

have gone through the system in that time.

Seroquel is approved to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, but it has not been endorsed by the

Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for insomnia. However, psychiatrists are permitted to prescribe

approved drugs for other uses in a common practice known as “off-label” prescribing. But the drug’s potential side

effects, including diabetes, weight gain and uncontrollable muscle spasms, have resulted in thousands of lawsuits.

While taking Seroquel, White gained 40 pounds and experienced slurred speech, disorientation and tremors – all

known side effects. Last year, researchers at Vanderbilt University published a study suggesting a new risk: sudden

heart failure. The study in the JAN 09 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine found that there were three

cardiac deaths per year for every 1,000 patients taking anti-psychotic drugs such as Seroquel. Seroquel’s unique

sedative effect sets it apart from others in its class as the top choice for treating insomnia and anxiety. AstraZeneca

PLC, maker of the drug, said it is reviewing the study. The FDA is conducting its own review, citing the limited

scope of the Vanderbilt study. The drug, approved in 1997, is their second-best-selling product, with U.S. sales of

$4.2 billion last year. But that success has been marred by allegations that the company illegally marketed the drug

and minimized its risks. AstraZeneca agreed to pay $520 million in April to settle federal allegations that its

salespeople pitched Seroquel for numerous off-label uses, including insomnia. Off-label use is the practice of

prescribing pharmaceuticals for an unapproved indication. Pharmaceutical companies are prohibited from marketing

drugs for unapproved uses. AstraZeneca also faces an estimated 10,000 product liability lawsuits, most alleging that

Seroquel caused diabetes

Seroquel has been VA’s second-biggest prescription drug expenditure since 2007, behind the blood thinner

Plavix. The agency spent $125.4 million last fiscal year on Seroquel, up from $14.4 million in 2001. Spending on

Seroquel by the Defense Department had increased to $8.6 million last year, according to purchase records.

According to VA, Seroquel is only prescribed as a third or fourth option for patients with difficult-to-treat insomnia

stemming from PTSD. The Defense Department’s deputy director for force health protection, Michael Kilpatrick,

said the government has not seen any increase in dangerous side effects from Seroquel and other drugs. Physicians

interviewed by the AP said they began prescribing Seroquel because it was the only drug that offered relief from the

nightmares and anxiety of PTSD. “By accident, some people were giving them Seroquel for anxiety or depression,

and the veterans said, ‘This is the first time I have slept six or seven hours straight all night. Please give me more of

that.’ And the word spread,” said Henry Nasrallah of the University of Cincinnati, who has treated PTSD patients for

more than 25 years. Most of the soldiers and veterans seeking treatment for PTSD do so at hospitals run by VA or

the Defense Department. [Source: Washington Post Matthew Perrone article 5 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

PTSD Update 55:

Recently a judge extended the deadline for a class action lawsuit that hopes to get

monetary compensation for veterans who suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from their service in the

wars in the Middle East. The extension would allow more veterans to sign on to the pending litigation. The lawsuit

was brought on behalf of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans by the National

Veterans Legal Services Program and pro-bono counsel. Military veterans who were discharged between 17 DEC

02 and 14 OCT 08, may be eligible to join the class-action lawsuit Sabo, et. al. vs. U.S. The deadline to sign-up is 10

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NOV 2010. For more information on how to sign-up, refer to the ptsdlawsuit.com website. [Source: NAUS Weekly

Update 10 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Prescription Drug Disposal Update 02:

On 25 SEP 2010, DEA will coordinate a collaborative

effort with state and local law enforcement agencies to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from our

nation‘s medicine cabinets. Collection activities will take place from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. at sites

established throughout the country. The National Take-Back Day provides an opportunity for the public to

surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications for destruction.

These drugs are a potential source of supply for illegal use and an unacceptable risk to public health and safety. This

one-day effort is intended to bring national focus to the issue of increasing pharmaceutical controlled substance

abuse. To locate a collection center near you go to www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/takeback and click on “Find

collection site(s) near you”. Then either enter you zip code or your city & state. Guidelines for the turn-in are;

The program is anonymous.

Prescription and over the counter solid dosage medications, i.e. tablets and capsules accepted.

Intra-venous solutions, injectables, and needles will not be accepted.

Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative.

[Source: DEA Office of diversion Control notice Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

DoD Benefit Cuts Update 04:

Earlier this year, retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold Punaro

chaired a panel that helped pave the way for a series of cost-cutting measures at the Pentagon, including efforts to

cut overhead and dependence on outside contractors. Now he‘s taking aim at something more sacrosanct:

Compensation for service members, military retirees and their families. In a speech 3 SEP at the Center for Strategic

and International Studies, Punaro said the DoD had become wedded to ―GM-style fringe benefits‖ such as taxpayer-

subsidized grocery chains and low out-of-pocket healthcare costs, but added there was a longstanding reluctance to

tackle the issue head-on. ―There‘s been a real reluctance not only to debate these trends, but to even talk about them

publicly,‖ Punaro said. ―So there needs to first be recognition of just how much these costs are – and then the

nation‘s leaders in the Pentagon and Congress need to determine if they are going to put their hands on the helm, or

if they are just going to put it on autopilot.‖ While Punaro said he was speaking in a personal capacity, his remarks

are likely to resonate through the Washington and the military community. One audience member joked before

asking a question that he ―felt a couple of lightning bolts hit the room.‖

Punaro described long-term personnel costs as part of a ―ticking time bomb‖ for national security that included

rising deficits and ballooning overhead costs in the Department of Defense. According to Punaro, the ―fully loaded‖

annual cost for a mid-career service member on active duty, including benefits and other costs, has more than tripled

over the past decade, from around $80,000 at the beginning of the administration of George W. Bush to nearly

$250,000 a year today. If current trends continue, Punaro said, ―The Obama administration will spend more on

defense in a single four-year term than since World War II.‖ Punaro is a member of the Defense Business Board, an

independent federal advisory body, and was appointed by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to lead a task force

charged with reducing overhead spending in the Pentagon. The board recently issued a report that recommended the

Pentagon trim bloated staffs, eliminate redundant layers of management and get a grip on contractor headcounts.

One of its chief recommendations — elimination of Joint Forces Command, a headquarters organization based in

Norfolk, Va. – was backed by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. And Punaro, who is also chief executive of a

strategy firm, ended with a provocative soundbite. ―The Defense Department should be about putting bayonets in

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the heart of a terrorist, or in the heart of a North Korean,‖ he said. ―It shouldn‘t be about waving a commissary card.

That‘s why we have a Department of Defense.‖ [Source: Wall Street Journal Nathan Hodge article 3 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Military Stolen Valor Update 23:

The American Combat Veterans of War (ACVOW) protested a

decision by the Veterans Affairs hospital in La Jolla California to allow a former Marine sergeant to act as a

volunteer as part of his community service after pleading guilty to wearing a general’s uniform and medals that he

did not earn. ACVOW co-founders William Rider and Michael Sloan said the presence of David Weber at the

hospital as a volunteer was disrespectful to veterans. “Veterans, particularly combat veterans, have very strong

feelings about how ribbons and rank are worn and consider his actions extremely disrespectful,” the two wrote in a

letter delivered this week to Lorelei Winn, director of volunteer services at La Jolla VA Medical Center. “We are

very proud of those in our ranks who have earned their stripes.” Weber, 69, pleaded guilty in January in San Diego

federal court to a misdemeanor violation under the Stolen Valor Act, which makes it a crime to wear unearned

military ribbons or rank. He served in the Marine Corps from 1958 to 1967 and left as a staff sergeant. In recent

years, however, he had embellished his service record by bragging about being on clandestine intelligence missions

and being promoted to general. His unmasking came when he attended — wearing the rank of a two-star general —

an event last fall in Ramona celebrating the anniversary of the Marine Corps’ founding. Weber was sentenced to

three years’ probation and 240 hours of community service. He told the North County Times that he was a greeter at

the hospital and had not told any tall tales about his military service. “I haven’t been telling anyone anything,” he

told the newspaper. “The only thing I did is to say good morning or good afternoon.” Weber may prove to be one of

the last people charged under the Stolen Valor Act. Two courts, in separate cases, have ruled it an unconstitutional

infringement on free speech. On 10 SEP as a result of the concerns of the ACVOW, it was reported that the Veterans

Administration in La Jolla terminated the services of David Weber. [Source: San Diego North County Times Tony

Perry article 8 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Veteran College Tips:

Dorothy Gillman, vice president of the National Association of Veterans’

Programs Administrators (NAVPA) and veteran‘s administrator at Ramapo College of New Jersey, has provided

following tips to returning veterans embarking on a college career:

1. Start by applying. Whether you are a first time college student or a transfer student, you must fill out an

application. Go to the school’s website to find the requirements and deadlines. Provide transcripts and test scores as

needed and your DD-214 for credits you might have earned while in the service. Take a tour of the campus—either

on the web or in person. If you don’t know where you want to go, one of the places to help you decide what college

or university best suits your needs is www.military.com. For a list of questions to ask on College Campus Tours

refer to www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2010/04/02/questions-to-ask-on-college-campus-

tours.html .

2. Meet the Veterans Administrator. You are entitled to GI Bill Education Benefits. You want to use them … now

what? Find the Veterans Office on campus and introduce yourself. Staff at this office will explain and guide you

through the give-and-take process to receive your benefits. You will be asked to provide various documents and

complete different forms so your enrollment can be certified to the VA.

3. Get your GI benefits. There is a wide a variety of education benefits offered by the Veterans Administration,

including the new Post 9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill, the Yellow Ribbon Program, Transfer of Benefits, and

Veterans Vocational Rehab, to name a few. Additionally, individual states offer varying opportunities to National

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Guardsmen (some of the benefits come with different levels of eligibility). Whether you are a reservist, in the

National Guard, or on active duty, you should check the VA website or discuss your benefits with the school’s

Veteran’s Administrator. You can find a wealth of information as well as the application for benefits at the GI Bill

website www.gibill.va.gov.

4. Apply for financial aid. All students can apply for financial aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal

Student Aid (FAFSA) by going to www.fafsa.gov . This aid can be for grants, loans and/or work-study. While you

are eligible for GI Benefits, some colleges and universities look to have bills “resolved” or “covered” while waiting

for the VA to send the school the tuition and fees if you are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. To view a video tape

on filling out the FAFSA go to www.usnews.com/education/paying-for-college/videos.

5. Apply for scholarships. There are many types of scholarships available, including based on merit, academics,

athletic, private, and general by area of interest. Some schools offer scholarships specifically for veterans. You have

to look. Check the school’s website and always remember: Do not pay for any scholarship application. For

information on how to build your own personal scholarship go to www.usnews.com/articles/education/paying-for-

college/2010/08/02/8-tips-to-building-your-own-scholarship.html.

6. Find a place to live. The key to being placed in housing is making sure you indicate you are a veteran on all

forms. By doing so you may be able to select a roommate from the onset. Otherwise you might be assigned to a

room with traditional students (just out of high school), which could be awkward with your recent military

experience. Many colleges have housing set aside for veterans; make use of it.

7. Get an adviser. Every student is assigned to an adviser. Some schools have advisers specifically for veterans;

smaller schools may not, but curriculum is standard for majors at each school. Interaction with the adviser will assist

you to develop a suitable educational plan, make your course selections, and determine your major. This person will

get to know you and empower you in decision-making skills in education, career, and life choices.

8. Take the CLEP. The College Level Examination Program is a series of exams you can take to test your college-

level knowledge on what you have learned through on-the-job training, professional development, etc. There are a

wide range of exams both general and subjective, worth up to six credits. The cost of a CLEP exam is fractional

compared to the cost of tuition and fees. It could assist in skipping general introductory courses, general education

classes or could even demonstrate your ability in a foreign language.

9. Connect with other veterans on campus. Veterans Centers are popping up on many campuses. They are the

place to meet other veterans, to do peer-to-peer networking, to connect student veterans with resources, and to help

you to get involved—or simply hang out. If there is no center on campus, start one. Student Veterans of America

www.studentveterans.org can assist you in forming a chapter at your school.

10. Get career training and develop skills. Career services and job placement are available for you while getting

your education. Résumé writing and mock interviews are offered. You can be placed in an internship or co-op

related to your career goal and earn college credits as well as a stipend or small paycheck.

[Source: US News & World Report | Education article 8 Sep 2010 +]

===============================

Mobilized Reserve 7 SEP 2010:

The Department of Defense announced the current number of

reservists on active duty as of 7 SEP 2010. The net collective result is 983 fewer reservists mobilized than last

reported in the 1 SEP 2010 RAO Bulletin. At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while

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deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease. The total number currently on

active duty from the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 74,490; Navy Reserve, 6,931; Air National Guard

and Air Force Reserve, 15,502; Marine Corps Reserve, 4,333`; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 771. This brings the

total National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been activated to 102,025 including both units and individual

augmentees. A cumulative roster of all National Guard and Reserve personnel who are currently activated may be

found at http://www.defense.gov/news/d20100907ngr.pdf. [Source: DoD News Release No. 911-10 dtd 8 SEP 2010

++]

===============================

Federal Tax Law Changes Update 03:

Probably the most distributed email for the past month

has been a scare message (Subject: Tax Hikes in 2011) that talks about what would be in three waves the largest tax

hike in history starting in January 2011. While the intent of the email is to tie in the increases in taxes and changes in

law directly to President Obama‘s ‗redistribution of income‘ scheme and some of the items in the email are directly

related to the President’s health care bill, there are several items that should be of concern to citizens. The partisan

language at the conclusion of the email is not warranted, and the assertion that this is an attempt to force America to

‗Soviet style Socialism and then Communism‘ is simply a scare tactic. So let‘s drop the partisanship and examine

the particular items. MOAA sat down with their resident financial expert, Phil Dyer, CFP, and went over the list

item by item. Their thoughts in brackets follow corresponding items:

First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief. In 2001 and 2003, the Congress enacted several tax cuts for

investors, small business owners, and families which are all scheduled to expire on 1 JAN 2011. [These changes

would become the regulations and terms only if Congress did not act to extend the cuts]:

Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the

rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent.

All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out,

which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is:

The 10%, 28%, 33%, and 35% brackets rises to an expanded 15%, 28%, 31%, 36%, and 39.6%

respectively. [It is extremely unlikely that the tax brackets will not be extended, especially for anyone

making under less than $200k annually or $250k for families filing jointly.]

Higher taxes on marriage and family. The ―marriage penalty‖ (narrower tax brackets for married couples)

will return from the first dollar of income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per

child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level. The

dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut. [This would be something that would hit the most

American families directly and, by MOAA’s estimations, has about as much chance of expiring as the Rams

have of winning the Super Bowl this year.]

The return of the Death Tax. There is a 55% top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving

behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.

[This has a high probability of coming back in some incarnation, but it is extremely unlikely that the rate

will be for estates worth over $1 million.]

Higher tax rates on savers and investors. The capital gains tax will rise from to 20% and the dividends tax

will rise to 39.%. These rates will rise another 3.8% in 2013. [Will most likely increase in 2013 vice 2011.].

Second Wave: Obamacare. [Can hardly be considered a historic wave of new taxes and affects a much smaller

portion of the populace than the email implies.]

Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or

health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines

except insulin.

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A cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500. [For most people, the $2500 cap won’t be noticed.]

Additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA increases to 20%,

Third Wave: The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and Employer Tax Hikes. [Would only be an issue if Congress

failed to enact an extension to the yearly fix that ensures that the number of families affected remains low.]

Without indexing families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level.

Small business expensing will be slashed to $25,000 maximum and 50% expensing for larger businesses

will disappear.

Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses. [The fate of any increases are, at worst, still up in the air,

and at best, an almost sure-to-pass group of extensions. Especially in a hot mid term election year, MOAA

expects Congress to ensure that these changes don’t come into effect.]

The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available. Tax credits for education will be limited. Teachers

will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts will be cut.

Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed. The student loan interest deduction will be

disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed. [Expired at the end of 2009.]

The W-2/1099R/1042S tax forms sent by a private concern or governmental body gross income figure will

be increased to show the value of whatever health insurance you are given. [The amount is not taxable and

does not factor into your tax brackets.]

[Source: MOAA News Exchange 8 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Vet Toxic Exposure El Toro:

A Marine veteran’s widow has been awarded compensation (DIC)

for the death of her husband from progressive small lymphocytic lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia

(CLL) caused by exposure to burnings at four landfills on the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California.

Her husband had been stationed at El Toro from AUG 68 to APR 70 during which time he worked as an air freight

man and drove a truck. He wore a gas mask and protective shoes during this time. After his death in APR 08 a JUL

08 rating decision issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs VARO in Waco, Texas denied entitlement to

service connection for the cause of the Marine‘s death. However, the VA Board of Veterans‘ Appeal on 10 MAY

2010 ruled in favor of the veteran. The Marine served on active duty service from OCT 66 to OCT 70. He did not

serve in Vietnam. The immediate cause of death was respiratory insufficiency, progressive small lymphocytic

lymphoma and CLL. Other significant conditions which contributed to the his death included chronic kidney

disease, chronic anemia, diabetes, Agent Orange exposure, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), hemiparesis and

arthritis aneurysm by history.

In 1990, El Toro was included on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Priorities

list of hazardous waste sites requiring cleanup. The base was on the 1993 BRAC hit list, closed in 1999, and most

of the property sold at a public auction in 2005. Trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE) were two

organic solvents used on the base as degreasers for aircraft parts for decades. These chemicals and other

contaminants were found in the base‘s soil and groundwater. Activities at the base generated harmful waste and

pain residues, hydraulic fluids, batteries and other waste into the soil and grounds from several past operations.

There were four landfills located on the base which burned solid waste, oil, paint residues, flammable fluids, jet

fluid, industrial solvents, aviation gasoline and other liquids into the air. The VA found that the El Toro Marine was

exposed to benzene, alkalating agents, aromatic amines, solvents used in chemicals, plastic, rubber, exposure to

petroleum products, paint, agricultural chemicals and chemical exposures while on the base. All are known causes

of leukemia. According to the VA, ‖it was more likely than not that the Veteran‘s leukemia and lymphoma were

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caused from this in-service chemical exposure at El Toro MCAS during his transport of hazardous materials and his

exposure to pollution from landfill burnings.‖

The Marine served at El Toro for more than one year and worked in Air Freight Operations. His death certificate

indicated that his causes of death included CLL and small lymphocytic lymphoma. The OCT 09 opinion from the

Veteran‘s treating VA physician, the only competent medical opinion of record, established a nexus between the

Veteran‘s cause of death and his service. This opinion was buttressed by the APR 99 CDC report which confirmed

the burning of hazardous materials at base landfills during the Veteran‘s service at El Toro. The VA noted that all

the elements for the ―grant of service connection for the Veteran‘s cause of death had been demonstrated.‖ The

organic solvent contamination of soil and groundwater at El Toro is shared by many military bases. Millions of

dollars were spent in remediation by the Navy. However, like other veterans, no El Toro veteran was notified of the

health effects of exposure to organic solvents, toxic medals, and radionuclide. A number of El Toro veterans

reported serious illnesses linked to exposure on the former base

The EPA reported that TCE was discontinued at MCAS El Toro in the mid-1970s. Many Marine veterans dispute

this story. Reports from Marines on the base in the 1980s and 1990s indicate usage of TCE, even though the official

word is that it was not used. TCE is a carcinogen and was widely used by the military and industry for decades

without regard for sound environmental practices. A TCE plume now spreads from El Toro into Orange County for

miles. Veterans can access useful information about the base‘s contamination at 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, MCAS

El Toro. Their website www.mwsg37.com provides information to Marines and their dependents who lived and

worked at MCAS El Toro of the contaminants in the soil and groundwater and the health effects of exposure to these

contaminants. [Source: Salem News Robert O’Dowd article 6 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Vet Cemetery California Update 08:

The opening of the Miramar National Cemetery, much

anticipated by veterans because it will allow military casket burials in the county for the first time in 44 years, has

been delayed. The new cemetery, next to the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, originally was planned to open

this month, but work was pushed back because of challenges by some construction bidders. Casket burials won‘t

begin until February. ―We‘re kind of disappointed about Miramar, but that‘s the way the ball bounces,‖ said Joe

Brunner, United Veterans Council of San Diego County chairman. ―We will have our cemetery at Miramar one way

or another.‖ If there’s a bright spot for veterans at Miramar, it’s this: The fledgling cemetery will open for burial of

ashes in November. And, in a new policy, cremated remains can be laid to rest in a four-by-four-foot plot with an

upright marble headstone, mirroring the regimented look of the nation’s most revered veterans cemeteries. But, as

Brunner points out, “The big thing at Miramar is in-ground casket burials.” The good news for San Diego‘s veterans

is that the 100 yr. old Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma plans to add 27,000 niches for interment of

ashes, virtually guaranteeing the iconic site will have openings for another decade.

San Diego County veterans haven‘t had a place for traditional burials since the 1966, when Rosecrans filled up.

Since then, the only caskets laid to rest on the windswept Point Loma peninsula have been a small number of troops

killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan and relatives of service members already in a plot. That situation won‘t

change at Rosecrans, but the more than 100-year-old cemetery stands poised for a new era of construction. The

National Cemetery Administration will spend roughly $20 million there to add more columbarium walls for

cremated remains. The first phase, about 6,400 niches in a former maintenance yard on the edge of bay-facing slope,

is slated to be ready in December. That‘s just in time. A 6,200-niche wall built in 2008 is almost full, as World War

II veterans die at the rate of 1,000 a day and Vietnam War veterans get older. ―When I first got here in November of

2007, we were about out of space, as far as the columbarium went,‖ said Kirk Leopard, cemetery director. ―After

speaking with veterans organizations in the area and being familiar with the San Diego area, I knew we couldn‘t

close Fort Rosecrans.‖ Leopard, a retired Navy corpsman, negotiated with the Navy to get more land for the

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cemetery, clearing a path for two additional sections of columbarium walls. One, with 6,200 niches, will tentatively

be complete in 2012 and the next, with 15,000 spaces, will follow as funding comes available.

That‘s not the only work happening at Rosecrans. Officials are poised to sign a $2.3 million contract for the third

phase of work to realign and shore up rows and rows of marble headstones that became wobbly over time. Leopard

pointed down a line of white markers. Some lean forward, looking like loose teeth. Others are noticeably shorter

than their neighbors. They are victims of shifting soil underneath. This is what happens when 240-pound rectangles

are planted in raw earth, without additional support. Fort Rosecrans is employing what‘s now the Department of

Veterans Affairs standard technique for shoring up older headstones. Workers remove the marble markers, putting

them aside for safekeeping. Digging down three feet, they pour a trench of concrete. Next, a concrete box goes in

the trench where the marker will sit. The headstone is placed in the box. Gravel gets filled around it, and, finally,

soil and sod are placed on top. Phase one is complete and phase two is almost done. Eight to 10 phases will be

required to cover the whole cemetery, he said. The recent scandal at Arlington National Cemetery outside

Washington, D.C., has thrown a spotlight on the issue of grave identification. As Rosecrans removes its headstones

for realignment, Leopard said workers use two systems to keep track of who‘s who. Each marble marker has a

number etched on the back, and it corresponds to a master map of the cemetery. In addition, the contractor marks

each stone with a number, using a black grease pencil. Those numbers are charted on a separate map, giving the VA

a backup system for identification.

Aside from the ongoing work, the difference between Arlington and Rosecrans, or any of the VA-run cemeteries,

is computerization. The VA‘s burial grounds embraced computerized records in 1994. The Virginia cemetery was

still using paper cards to house its information. The VA‘s nationwide gravesite location database is online at

gravelocator.cem.va.gov. A regional spokesman for the National Cemeteries Administration said he‘s not aware of

any problems with marker mix-ups due to realignment projects going on an VA cemeteries, such as Los Angeles

National Cemetery. Construction crews have been hard at work since late July at Miramar, where they hope to finish

the $23 million first phase in a year. The project was delayed because of legal protests by three contractors who bid

on the job. About half of the 10,000 casket sites planned for the first phase will be available in February, Leopard

said. About 2,600 in-ground cremated remains burial plots will be ready to go in November. Bulldozers and other

heavy equipment will still be running for those first burials, but cemetery officials say they will work to screen

visitors from the bustle and noise. Brunner, the veterans‘ council chairman, said there will always be noise at

Miramar anyway. It will be the sound of Marine jets taking off from the nearby Marine air station, a sight that some

people request for veterans funerals. ―At Miramar, you‘ll get a fly-over every day,‖ he said. [Source: Union-Tribune

Jeanette Steele article 6 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

GI Bill Update 83:

The Veterans Affairs Department has deployed a fully automated system to process

benefits for veterans attending college under the 2008 GI bill just in time to manage the enrollment for the 2010 fall

semester, top VA officials said during a press briefing on 2 SEP. Roger Baker, chief information officer at VA, said

the new system, developed in partnership with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, went live on

23 AUG and relies on rules engine software to increase the number of claims an examiner can process from 2,000 a

day to 10,000. The new GI bill, formerly the 2008 Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act, greatly expands

the benefits the government gives veterans for college education from the previous version. The benefits are more

complex than the previous GI bill, which essentially paid veterans a flat rate to cover tuition. The new bill calculates

tuition benefits based on the veteran’s length of service and the highest tuition charged by a public college in the

veteran’s home state. Separate housing allocations are based on cost-of-living allowances for 300 ZIP codes. The

rules engine software automatically works through the complex set of permutations to determine the tuition aid a

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veteran is entitled to, whether the school is a public or private university, and a housing allowance to determine

rates, Baker said.

In the fall of 2009, the first year Afghanistan and Iraq veterans were able to apply for education benefits under

the new GI bill, VA was unable to process claims because it mostly relied on a manual system. By the end of SEP

09, well into the beginning of the school year, it had processed only half the pending claims. To ensure students

would have funds to take care of daily living expenses, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki ordered emergency

payments up to $3,000 each to students who had not received a check in early October. Keith Wilson, director of the

education service at VA, said the new system allows VA to handle an increase in claims more smoothly compared to

last year. The department has so far received 206,000 claims this year, up 14% from 157,000 in the 2009 fall

semester. VA has approved payment for 130,000 of those claims, he said. VA still needs to automate the processes

for colleges and universities to input the required data on veteran students and the payment information sent to the

Treasury Department, Wilson said. Data from schools will be entered automatically into the system later this fall,

and the department will install by December software to automatically manage output of payment data. [Source:

GovExec.com Bob Brewin article 3 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

GI Bill Update 84:

Tuition and fee caps under the Post-9/11 GI Bill are increasing in most states for the

fall 2010 school term, which is good news for students who are affected by the caps set for every state. For example,

the maximum charge per credit hour is increasing by 71% in South Carolina, 39% in Missouri, 34% in the District

of Columbia and 30% in Mississippi under state tuition and fee limits set30 AUG by the Veterans Affairs

Department. But the news is not all good — some veterans attending private schools or graduate programs could be

in for a shock this fall when their Post-9/11 GI Bill payments dramatically drop. Student veterans in Minnesota

attending private colleges where tuition and fees exceed the state caps, for example, are seeing maximum credit hour

charges that are 40% below the fall 2009 term, a decline that could reduce VA payments by as much as $7,000 for

full-time students. Big drops in maximum fee charges per term are also being seen in Florida, New Mexico,

Washington and the District of Columbia, which could leave students with more out-of-pocket costs if they aren‘t

public-school undergraduates paying in-state tuition. The biggest percentage drop (50%) comes in the District of

Columbia. Tuition and fees under the new GI Bill are based on charges for instate undergraduates at the most

expensive public college or university in each state.

For many veterans, the newly published rates will create confusion because of big increases in the maximum fees

that result largely from expenses related to flight training at public colleges. As a result, the new fee cap is $85,255

in Utah, $50,752 in Kansas and $45,774 in Colorado. The Kansas limit represents a 1,234% increase over last year‘s

$3,804 limit. Big jumps in fee caps do not necessarily mean huge increases for most student veterans, because VA

pays the actual fees charged to students. VA and major military and veterans groups are working with Congress on a

new benefit structure that would create a single, nationwide cap on tuition and fees to replace the current individual

state limits. Under the proposal, already approved by the Senate Veterans‘ Affairs Committee and expected to be

considered soon by the House Veterans‘ Affairs Committee, VA would continue to fully pay in-state tuition and fees

for undergraduates, and would pay up to $20,000 in tuition and fees for all other students. That cap would be

adjusted each year to keep pace with the overall rise in tuition and fees. VA has no say over increases or decreases in

state tuition and fee caps; the limits are based on tuition and fees reported to VA by state approving agencies.

[Source: NavyTimes Rick Maze article 13 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

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VA Diabetes Mellitus Care Update 06:

Because of worries about Agent Orange, about 270,000

Vietnam veterans (more than one-quarter of the 1 million receiving disability checks) are getting compensation for

diabetes, according to Department of Veterans Affairs records. More Vietnam veterans are being compensated for

diabetes than for any other malady, including post-traumatic stress disorder, hearing loss or general wounds. Tens of

thousands of other claims for common ailments of age (erectile dysfunction among them) are getting paid as well

because of a possible link, direct or indirect, to Agent Orange. And the taxpayers may soon be responsible for even

more. The VA said 30 AUG that it will add heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and certain types of leukemia to the

list of conditions that might be connected to Agent Orange. The agency estimates that the new rules, which will go

into effect in two months unless Congress intervenes, will cost $42 billion over the next 10 years. Lawmakers and

federal officials who have reservations about the spending are loath to criticize a program that helps servicemen.

They have largely ignored a 2008 report in which a group of scientists said the decision to grant benefits to so many

on such little evidence was quite extreme. “There needs to be a discussion about the costs, about how to avoid false

positives while also trying to be sure the system bends over backwards to be fair to the veterans,” said Jonathan M.

Samet, a public health expert who led that study and now serves as director of the Institute for Global Health at the

University of Southern California.

The VA uses a complex formula when awarding benefits and does not track how much is spent for a specific

ailment, but AP calculations based on the records suggest that Vietnam veterans with diabetes should receive at least

$850 million each year. That does not include the hefty costs of retroactive payments or additional costs for health

care. The agency spends $34 billion a year on disability benefits for all wars. Dr. Victoria Anne Cassano, director of

radiation and physical exposures at the Veterans Health Administration, part of the VA, pointed to the wording of

the 1991 federal law on Agent Orange that said officials should find a positive link to diseases “if the credible

evidence for the association is equal to or outweighs the credible evidence against the association.” It’s a low bar.

But Cassano said the law requires the VA to act without consideration of cost. She also said it is the best way to

ensure that deserving veterans don’t get lost in the shuffle. “Does it make you take a deep breath? Does it give you

pause? Yes,” she said. “But you still do what you think is the right thing to do.”

The VA interpreting that 1991 law and studies that indicated potential associations has over time added ailments

that have no strong scientific link to Agent Orange. The nonprofit Institute of Medicine’s biennial scientific analysis

of available research, to which the VA looks for guidance, has repeatedly found only the possibility of a link

between Agent Orange and diabetes, and that even a chance of a correlation is outweighed by factors such as family

history, physical inactivity and obesity. “Whatever the relationship between dioxin or Agent Orange and diabetes,

it’s a very small piece of the puzzle,” said Dr. David Tollerud, an environmental health professor at the University of

Louisville. He led an Institute of Medicine committee that first reported in 2000 on a possible link between diabetes

and Agent Orange. Tollerud’s committee concluded that evidence was limited and that chance or other factors could

not be ruled out. Yet the VA in 2001 put diabetes on the list of ailments that get automatic approval for benefits.

One large study released since then, costing $143 million and published in 2005 after 25 years of research,

surveyed the airmen responsible for loading and dumping Agent Orange during Operation Ranch Hand, as the

spraying missions were called. The final round of testing actually showed the prevalence of diabetes among those

participants was slightly lower than among pilots who did not take part — 18.2% versus 19.3%. Some 23% of

Americans 60 and older have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some members

of Congress are pushing to include those veterans who served off the coast of Vietnam — which would add an

estimated 800,000 people to the 2.6 million who served there on land. Cassano, the VA official, said the agency is

looking at it. The government’s benefit-of-the-doubt policy contrasts with its stand toward Vietnam. The U.S. has

approved several million dollars in recent years to help Vietnam clean up Agent Orange. But it has declined to

provide health and financial support to Vietnamese people affected by the herbicide, with the American ambassador

in Hanoi saying there is insufficient evidence that it causes health problems.

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Disability benefits are a lot like workers’ compensation, providing income to veterans who incurred ailments from

their active-duty service. The benefits can last a lifetime even if the veteran holds a full-time job. They often transfer

to surviving family members when a veteran dies of the disability. They are paid in addition to any medical,

education and pension coverage that veterans receive. Many veterans have a combination of ailments that are

crunched in a formula to determine their benefits. This makes it difficult to determine how much is being spent

solely on diabetes. Most veterans get a 20% disability rating for diabetes, which amounts to about $3,000 per year if

it is their only ailment. If each of the 270,000 Vietnam veterans got the minimum compensation for their diabetes, it

would add up to $850 million every year. Congress gave the VA the ability to deem ailments presumptive

(automatically awarded) because of exposure to Agent Orange. The VA did that for five illnesses for which the

Institute of Medicine found sufficient evidence of an association, such as leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and

soft-tissue cancers. The list of presumptive medical problems has grown to include seven ailments with only a

limited or suggestive link to Agent Orange. A link that scientists said could be influenced by other factors, such as

chance or bias in scientific studies. Those include diabetes along with prostate cancer and lung cancer.

Compensation can also be awarded for ailments secondary to the covered condition. Type 2 diabetes, for example,

can bring a host of complications, such as high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction or cataracts. Erectile dysfunction

is now the seventh-most-compensated disability for Vietnam veterans, with more than 80,000 getting benefits for it

last year, and an AP review of hundreds of case summaries found that many of the claims stemmed from veterans

with diabetes linked to Agent Orange.

Anthony Principi, a Vietnam veteran and former VA secretary who added diabetes to the list, said he struggled

with the decision. “I did the best I could with the information that was given to me. I wish there was more

information that I could have had,” he said. Principi said he expected a surge of diabetes claims but is still surprised

by the numbers. The evidence of a link between Agent Orange and heart disease or Parkinson’s is inconclusive,

according to the Institute of Medicine. But the VA is moving ahead with plans to add both illnesses to the list of

presumptive conditions. The VA estimated earlier this year that heart disease compensation alone will cost taxpayers

more than $30 billion over the next decade. About 17% of Americans ages 65 to 74 have heart disease, according to

the CDC. Vietnam combat veteran Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) questioned the decision to spend billions for heart

disease coverage. In a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki this year, the lawmaker said Congress intended that

benefits would be automatically granted “for relatively rare conditions.” “Over time, however, presumptions have

expanded to include common diseases of aging,” Webb wrote. [Source: AP Mike Baker article 30 Aug 2010 ++]

===============================

Flu Prevention Update 03:

It’s flu-shot season already, and for the first time health authorities are

urging nearly everyone to get vaccinated. There is even a new high-dose version for people 65 or older. Crowds

lined up for hours for scarce shots during last fall’s swine flu pandemic, when infections peaked well before enough

vaccine could be produced. This year, a record vaccine supply is expected — an all-in-one inoculation that now

promises protection against that swine flu strain plus two other kinds of influenza. Shipments began so early that

drugstores are offering vaccinations amid their back-to-school sales. But without last year’s scare factor, the question

is how many people will heed the new policy for near-universal vaccination. No more stopping to check if you’re on

a high-risk list: A yearly dose is recommended for virtually everyone except babies younger than 6 months — the

shot isn’t approved for tots that young — and people with severe allergies to the eggs used to brew it. ”Influenza is

serious, and anyone, including healthy people, can get the flu and spread the flu,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ”Flu vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and those around

you.”

The CDC was moving toward that policy even before last year’s pandemic brought home an inescapable fact: The

flu virus doesn’t just kill grandparents and babies and people with weak lungs or hearts, although they’re particularly

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vulnerable. It also can kill healthy pregnant women and 30-somethings. And 5-year-olds. ”We were discussing how

we were going to go get his Star Wars Halloween costume after he got out of the hospital … and all of a sudden his

eyes lost their focus,” said Serese Marotta of Dayton, Ohio, describing for reporters how her son Joseph, 5, died of

swine flu last October before vaccine was available in her community. She urged families to make vaccination a

priority. Here are some questions and answers about flu:

Q: I got vaccinated against both seasonal and that so-called H1N1 flu last year, so why do I need vaccine this

year?

A: It protects against a different strain of the H3N2 influenza family that has cropped up, as well as last year’s swine

flu, part of the H1N1 family, and a Type B strain. Every year a different flu vaccine is brewed to match the

constantly changing flu strains that circle the globe.

Q: Why is there a new high-dose version for seniors?

A: Your immune system weakens with age, so it doesn’t respond as actively to a flu shot. Sanofi Pasteur’s Fluzone

High-Dose quadruples the standard dose for people 65 and older. This winter, scientists will track if that translates

into less illness. Until that proof’s in, the CDC says it’s OK to choose either option. Dr. Marvin Bittner of the

Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Omaha estimates the new shot might benefit one in four seniors and said his

center has ordered enough for that population, while other VA clinics aren’t ordering as much.

Q: Will I need just one shot?

A: Most people will, but any children under 9 getting their first-ever flu vaccine will need two, a month apart, to

prime their immune systems.

Q: What if my child’s first-ever vaccine was last year and she got one dose of seasonal and one dose of swine

flu vaccine?

A: She wasn’t primed enough and needs her two doses this year, said Dr. Michael Brady of Nationwide Children’s

Hospital, who co-authored the American Academy of Pediatrics flu vaccination guidelines out Monday.

Q: Will there be enough vaccine?

A: Manufacturers project 170 million doses. Obviously that won’t cover the entire population, but the CDC knows

its near-universal vaccination policy won’t spark a stampede for shots. Before last year, flu vaccine was

recommended for 85% of Americans but only about a third got vaccinated. Last year nearly all 114 million doses of

seasonal vaccine were used, but as the swine flu outbreak slowed, just 90 million doses of the special vaccine were

used out of nearly 162 million eventually produced for the general public.

Q: Who’s at high risk from flu?

A: Young children, anyone 50 or older, anyone with chronic medical conditions such as asthma or heart disease,

pregnant women. Also, health workers and caregivers of infants can infect the vulnerable unless vaccinated.

Q: Who can use the nasal spray vaccine?

A: FluMist is for healthy people 2 to 49, no pregnancy or underlying health conditions.

Q: When should vaccination start?

A: Chain pharmacies already have started vaccinating; protection will last all winter. It takes about two weeks to

kick in, and flu typically starts circulating around November.

Q: How do I know it’s safe?

A: Unprecedented safety monitoring last year turned up no rare side effects from the special swine flu-only vaccine

sold in the United States. ”We’re hoping a lot of the myths people had about the influenza vaccine may be a little bit

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less of a concern,” said pediatrics specialist Brady. Abroad, a few reports of narcolepsy after a European swine flu

vaccine are being probed; that vaccine didn’t sell here. An Australian seasonal vaccine dosed for young children

won’t be sold here after being linked to some fever-related seizures in that country.

Q: Why should I bother since fewer people than usual died last year?

A: Last year’s U.S. toll: about 12,000 deaths, 60 million illnesses and 265,000 hospitalizations. New CDC statistics

last week suggest flu strain mortality varies widely, from 3,000 in an exceptionally mild year to 49,000 in a recent

really bad one — and it’s impossible to predict how bad each year will be.

[Source: The New York Times | Health article 30 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Tricare Preventive Health Program Update 03:

Immunization is a key weapon in the fight

against disease. Preventing disease is an important part of readiness for military members, and a cornerstone of

health for Tricare families and retirees. Since we are heading into the flu season this is a great time for Tricare

beneficiaries to inventory their family‘s shot records. ―It doesn‘t matter how old a beneficiary is, everyone needs

protection against dangerous viruses like influenza and tetanus,‖ said Rear Adm. Christine Hunter, deputy director

of the Tricare Management Activity. ―Immunizations for children also prevent measles, whooping cough,

pneumonia and meningitis, while vaccines for adults also protect against hepatitis and shingles.‖ H1N1 influenza is

no longer in the headlines, but the World Health Organization reports the virus is still a global problem. There could

be danger in believing the risk is gone, especially for Tricare beneficiaries traveling internationally or going on

cruises. Family members whose active duty sponsors are assigned to overseas locations also are at risk.

Tricare covers the seasonal and H1N1 flu and age-appropriate doses of vaccines recommended by the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Beneficiaries can visit participating Tricare retail network pharmacies

to receive seasonal flu, H1N1 flu and pneumonia vaccines at no cost. This expanded coverage is available to all

Tricare beneficiaries eligible to use the Tricare retail pharmacy benefit. To find a participating pharmacy go to

www.express-scripts.com/Tricare/ or call Express Scripts at 1-877-363-1303. Tricare regularly adds coverage for

new vaccinations based on CDC recommendations. For more information about the vaccines recommended by

CDC, go to www.cdc.gov/vaccines. To visit the Military Health System Immunization Awareness page, go to

www.health.mil/Themes/Immunization.aspx. [Source: TMA News Release 26 Aug 2010 ++]

===============================

Tricare Retired Reserve Update 03:

Tricare Retired Reserve (TRR) is a premium-based,

worldwide health plan that qualified Retired Reserve members and qualified survivors may purchase to begin in any

month of the year. Qualification extends to those who may lose coverage under another Tricare health care plan

under their sponsor’s account no break in coverage. Once enrolled:

If the composition of a sponsor‘s immediate family changes (e.g., marriage, birth, adoption, death), you

may purchase TRR coverage.

If TRR coverage is in effect when the sponsor passes away, qualified survivors may purchase or continue

TRR coverage until the day the sponsor would have turned 60.

If TRR member-and-family coverage is in effect at the time of death the Defense Enrollment Eligibility

Reporting System (DEERS) will automatically convert TRR member-and-family coverage to TRR survivor

coverage.

If TRR member-only coverage is in effect at the time of death eligible survivors may qualify to purchase

TRR survivor coverage.

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In addition to access to network and non-network Tricare providers, enrollment provides access to care at

military treatment facilities (MTFs) on a space-available basis

The 2011 member only monthly premium is $408.01 and the member plus family monthly premium is $1,020.05.

The premium payment is due no later than the last day of the month for the next month‘s coverage. Failure to pay

total premium amounts due will result in a termination of coverage due to nonpayment. A 12-month TRR purchase

lockout will go into effect. Members must meet the outpatient deductible each federal fiscal year (i.e. 1 OCT thru

30 SEP) before Tricare outpatient cost-sharing begins. The annual deductible is currently $150 a year for individuals

and $300 a year for families. The amounts of member payments for outpatient services after their annual deductible

is met are 20% of the negotiated rate for Tricare Network providers and 25% of the Tricare-allowable charge, plus

fees up to 15% above the Tricare-allowable charge for Tricare-Authorized Non-Network providers. The TRR

catastrophic cap is $3,000. The catastrophic cap is the maximum amount you will pay for health care each federal

fiscal year. The cap applies to all Tricare-covered services inclusive of annual deductibles, outpatient and inpatient

cost-shares, and pharmacy copayments based on Tricare-allowable charges. Monthly premiums, payments above the

Tricare-allowable charge, and payments for non-covered services are not credited toward the TRR catastrophic cap.

The Tricare Retired Reserve Brochure is now available for download at

http://www.Tricare.mil/Tricaresmart/product.aspx?id=790&CID=88&RID=3. [Source: Tricare TRR Brochure Aug

2010 ++]

===============================

Debt Reduction Commission Update 02:

By executive order President Obama on 18 FEB

2010 created the National Commission on Debt Reduction after a proposed U.S. Senate commission, sponsored by

Republican Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad, was rejected by the Senate. The commission was tasked with

making recommendations for reducing the federal deficit to three percent of gross domestic product and balancing

the federal budget by 2015. The administration predicted that the U.S. government will rack up $1.56 trillion debt

for fiscal year 2010. The national debt is $14.3 trillion. The commission’s job is to help bring down the federal

budget deficit to 3% of gross domestic product by 2015, compared with nearly 10% today, and to propose ways to

hold down the surging costs of government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The

president asked the panel to look at the U.S. tax code and has not ruled out tax increases for the middle class should

the commission deem them necessary.

The President selected Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson to head the commission, the National Commission on

Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Bowles is a Democrat and former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton where

he brokered the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 with Republicans in Congress. He ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in

2002 and 2004. Simpson is a Republican and former senator from Wyoming. Although Obama’s commission will

lack any requirement for Congress to act on its advice, however, Democratic leaders in Congress have pledged to

call floor votes on any proposal reported out of the commission. The 18-member commission includes 12 members

of Congress, six each from the House and Senate, equally split between the parties. Mr. Obama named six other

members, including the chairmen; none are current public officeholders and two are Republicans. While

Republicans complain that Democrats have a 10 to 8 majority, Mr. Obama in his executive order required that at

least 14 members must approve any recommendations sent to Congress. That gives Republicans a veto. The

commission plans to meet monthly. Three smaller groups will meet each Wednesday on specific areas – taxes,

spending on entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security, and all other spending.

President Obama told his bipartisan debt commission on 27 APR that ―everything has to be on the table,‖ while

the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, suggested overhauling the nation‘s tax code to raise more revenue.

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The comments of the two men, one a Democratic president and the other a Republican appointee, reflected a

growing consensus that the nation‘s debt is growing too large to control by spending cuts or tax increases alone. Yet

even as the commission opened its first meeting, both liberals and conservatives were mobilizing to oppose one

approach or the other. Simpson warned the panel, ―The extreme right and the extreme left will savage our final

product.‖ That assumes, however, that the commission will agree to one before its 1 DEC deadline. Expectations are

low given the party polarization, especially in an election year.

Simpson has survived calls for his ouster from President Obama’s fiscal commission, but critics of the panel are

using the former senator’s recent controversial remarks to try to torpedo the commission itself. A leading liberal

group who pressed for his dismissal over his blunt remarks he made on Social Security and veterans benefits now

says it‘s time to scrap the commission, too. ―I don‘t think there‘s any way it could come up with something for the

benefit of the nation,‖ said Alex Lawson, spokesman for Social Security Works, a group backed by unions and other

organizations on the left. The White House has stood by Simpson even as liberals have criticized him for his sharp

rhetoric.. He used colorful language to describe Social Security, calling it a “milk cow with 310 million tits” in an e-

mail to the author of a Huffington Post column questioning the deficit panel’s focus. Simpson also said that the

author, the head of the Older Women’s League, should call him back when she finds “honest work.” Simpson and

the commission’s Democratic co-chairman, Erskine Bowles, have said they hope the fiscal panel comes up with

proposals to extend the solvency of Social Security, which has enough money to pay out full benefits until 2037.

One reason Obama chose Simpson to lead his panel was for his bluntness. White House Press Secretary Robert

Gibbs said the administration doesn’t condone Simpson’s comments but insisted he would continue to serve on the

commission. The calls for Simpson’s firing have grown in number since the White House stood by him, in part

because of a comment he made about veterans benefits. In an Associated Press story on an expected increase in the

cost of Agent Orange disability payments to Vietnam veterans, Simpson said “the irony [is] that the veterans who

saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess.” Simpson has said he’s

used to the criticism and expects more of it as head of the debt panel. During public appearances on the Hill, he

often tells his commission colleagues to “watch out when they’re using emotion, fear, guilt and racism on you in this

game, because that’s how you pass or kill anything in this joint.” The nature of the task that Simpson faces doesn‘t

make it easier for him, said former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN), the co-chairman of the most successful bipartisan

panel in recent memory: the 9/11 Commission. ―I think the [fiscal] commission has a very important and very

formidable task, so it is not surprising that you have differences of opinion on a commission with such a scope. I

hope of course that they come up with a unanimous report, which is very, very hard to do.‖ [Source: Various 14 Sep

2010 ++]

===============================

Health Care Reform Update 37:

Fighting back when your insurance company denies a claim just

got a little easier thanks to federal rules recently issued under the health care overhaul law. The new regulations

expand consumer‘s rights to appeal denials, including the right to an independent, external review board. Consumers

can also use the appeals process when their coverage is cancelled. Previously, rules regarding a patient‘s right to

appeal varied by insurer and state. The changes create consistency in the appeals process and for the first time,

extend the external review guarantee to employees of companies that offer their own health plans without

contracting with an insurance provider. The regulations will apply to new health insurance plans starting 23 SEP

2010. ―Until the health care law reform, only a select number of states honored external review,‖ said Erin Moratty,

a spokesman with the Hampton Va. nonprofit Patient Advocate Foundation, which helps patients navigate the

appeals process. ―Now every state is required to have a process for external appeals.‖ To date, external review

boards have reversed about 45% of appealed denials, according to the Kaiser Family foundation. [Source: AARP

Candy Sagon article Sep 2010 ++]

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===============================

Health Care Reform Update 38:

The new federal health care law is bringing additional demands

by insurance companies that doctors and hospitals be held to higher quality standards. While this push by insurers on

quality implies that consumers will get better care because doctors and hospitals will be measured against the best

performers, there may be an unintended consequence: It could leave patients with fewer choices of medical care

providers, depending on which health plans they purchase. Meanwhile, controversy is emerging as to how these

doctors and hospitals will be selected to be on an insurer’s list of preferred choices. While insurance companies say

quality is what gets the name of a doctor or hospital on its preferred choices list, cost is also a major factor. A doctor

who manages his patient’s medical care better and keeps costs low, for example, would be more apt to make the list.

Insurers argue that higher-quality medical care at a lower cost is attainable. “Network participation will largely be

based on quality outcomes, and it’s not now,” said Steve Hamman, vice president of networks at Blue Cross and

Blue Shield of Illinois. “It’s well documented that quality care reduces costs.”

Consumers typically get medical care at a lower cost or discount through their insurance networks. A doctor who

is selected or hospital procedure that is done out of network generally comes with a higher out-of-pocket price tag,

which can eat into a deductible or result in the patient picking up the entire bill. “The doorway to these (insurance

company) networks is a quality doorway,” said Dr. Scott Sarran, chief medical officer at Illinois Blue Cross, the

state’s largest health insurance company. “There will be winners and losers” in which doctors and hospitals make

these lists. The trend toward quality measurements and standards has been in the works for several years, but

implementation of the new health law is adding to the urgency. Among measures to ensure quality, the law requires

state-regulated health plans, largely those selling policies to individuals and small to medium-size businesses, to

spend at least 80% of premium dollars on medical care. That’s squeezing insurers’ profits. As a result, health plans

are using the quality measures as a way to scale back choices of doctors and hospitals in certain networks.

“Insurance companies are going to have to be more efficient with the money they collect,” Illinois Insurance

Director Michael McRaith said. “They are going to expect more from the providers that they contract with.”

In the past, HMOs have been one way insurers controlled costs because these plans restrict provider choices to

their networks. Illinois Blue Cross has two HMOs, HMO Illinois and BlueAdvantage, and is considering a third

health plan with a smaller network. This third option would be designed to provide coverage on the coming state-

regulated insurance exchanges, which will be created by 2014 under the health care law intended to expand

coverage to 32 million Americans who don’t have health benefits. Already, most health plans regularly provide

doctors and hospitals information on how they perform against their peers as a nudge for them to improve. For

example, insurers send profiles to gynecologists comparing how many of their patients get mammograms each year

with the average within respective health plan networks. And insurers are beginning to respond to consumers’

hunger for information on medical care providers. Illinois Blue Cross will make quality measures of doctors and

physician groups publicly available on its Web site beginning in 2011.

Medical care providers and hospitals have some concerns about the methodologies and criteria that will be used

to make insurers’ preferred choices list. The American Medical Association is worried doctors could be penalized if

they tend to provide services for populations that need more medical care, such as elderly consumers who are more

apt to suffer from chronic conditions. That could skew the rating for a medical provider because those repeat visits

may make it appear the doctor isn’t doing an adequate job when the reality is the patient has a chronic condition that

requires more care. Dr. Sam Ho, UnitedHealth Group’s chief medical officer, said, “Insurers increasingly will

provide doctors and hospitals enhanced payments if they meet certain quality measures. Medical care providers “will

be paid less and less on volume and more on value.” Doctors and hospitals are finding ways to embrace the

changing landscape. At NorthShore University HealthSystem in Chicago’s suburbs, Dr. Kenneth Anderson is setting

goals for its hospitals’ doctors and nurses to use fewer urinary catheters, which often are unnecessarily and account

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for about two in five hospital infections nationally. That has helped NorthShore remain in most health plan networks

in Chicago and helps to ensure it will continue to do so. [Source: Chicago Tribune Bruce Japsen article 4 Sep 2010

++]

===============================

Tricare User Fee Update 53:

On 1 SEP Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke with troops from the

4th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division during a visit to Camp Ramadi in Iraq. He launched into a brutal

assessment of the military‘s Tricare health care system calling it a constant source of complaints from troops and

badly in need of financial reform in the face of rapidly increasing cost estimates to the federal government. Gates for

months has called on Congress and the Defense Department to head off the potentially explosive costs facing

military health care in coming decades for millions of young servicemembers who have served in Iraq and

Afghanistan. Health care cost the department $19 billion in 2000, but is estimated to reach $50 billion in fiscal 2011

and $65 billion by 2015, according to Gates. ―We simply can‘t sustain that,‖ he said.

One of the reasons behind the deficit is that Tricare has not increased premiums in nearly 15 years since its

creation in 1996. Active-duty personnel and their families should not have to pay higher health care premiums to

finance those reforms, Gates told the troops. Rather, he suggested possibly charging higher premiums and co-pay

fees to those retired personnel using the system who have access to private health care plans through their

employers. Pentagon planners have pushed for those premium increases for years, but veterans groups and many

members of Congress — both Republican and Democratic — have strongly opposed such a move. Congressional

budget planners have removed the idea from the Pentagon‘s annual budget proposal multiple times over the last

decade. The Defense Department did not include the rate hikes in their fiscal 2011 plan. Where civilians using other

federal care systems today pay an average annual out-of-pocket cost of about $3,400, Tricare enrollees pay just

$1,200, Gates said. ―In terms of people on active duty, I would be surprised to see any significant changes in their

costs at all,‖ he said.

Complaints and concerns about the Tricare system are frequently raised in troop meetings with top military

leaders and it was a young soldier who asked Gates about the state of military health care reform in the question-

and-answer session. ―I get briefings at the Pentagon all the time about how popular Tricare is and how everybody‘s

happy with it,‖ Gates responded. ―Well, I tell you, I‘ve been on this job going on four years and I‘ve visited a lot of

folks, a lot of facilities, a lot of ships, a lot of air bases and I have yet to find somebody stand there and tell me this is

a great system. ―Instead I hear all kinds of stories about bureaucratic hassles, about difficulty in finding a primary

caregiver, having to wait in line a long time [and] having to drive a considerable distance to see a specialist.‖ At Fort

Bragg in June, one soldier asked visiting Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, if the installation

was adequately prepared to handle the expected influx of thousands of more troops and families coming with the

base realignment plan. Her daughter already endured a six-month waiting list at the on-base military hospital to get

treatment for a rare disease. Instead, the mother had to seek private, and much more expensive, off-base health care.

[Source: Stars and Stripes Kevin Baron & Leo Shane article 3 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Tricare User Fee Update 54:

Following is the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)

position regarding the recent remarks made by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates bashing beneficiaries for Tricare

Problems

There you go again, Mr. Secretary. Speaking to troops in Iraq about Tricare, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

again trotted out a series of statements about how Tricare isn‘t meeting beneficiary needs, how military health care

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cost growth since 2000 is unsustainable, how active duty servicemembers and their families‘ sacrifices should earn

them free health care, and

… That the solution to Tricare‘s problems is to make military retirees pay fees more comparable to civilian

beneficiaries‘ fees. This continues a trend of misdirection by DoD and service leaders — citing misleading budget

figures, lauding the sacrifices of the currently serving, acknowledging system problems, and then proposing new

ways to sock it to military beneficiaries instead of fixing the real system problems. Let‘s start with the basics.

Point 1: Anybody who uses the year 2000 as a benchmark for measuring DoD personnel or health care cost growth

— as if that actually were a reasonable benchmark — is trying to stack the budget deck. In 2000, virtually everyone

in DoD and Congress agreed the military health benefits system was broken and hurting retention. Retirees were

being summarily dropped from Tricare at age 65 and routinely locked out of military medical facilities. Congress

and service leaders alike insisted that had to be fixed and passed Tricare For Life to address it. DoD leaders

applauded congressional passage at the time — and have been complaining ever since about the cost of doing what

they previously acknowledged was the right thing. So let‘s not act as if 2000 should be the standard for military

health care costs. And don‘t try to tell us cost growth since then is ―unsustainable.‖ Cost growth in the future won‘t

be anything like what it‘s been since 2000, because we‘ll (hopefully) never again have to start from such a horribly

inadequate budget baseline.

Point 2: Another reason why cost growth has risen in recent years is we‘ve gone through a horrendous national

recession during which many military retirees lost their jobs and/or suffered cutbacks in their civilian employers‘

health care benefits. Understandably, many fell back to relying on the military coverage they had earned (or so their

military leaders had told them through their entire careers) by virtue of their decades of service and sacrifice in

uniform. Like most of their predecessors in tough budget times, today‘s DoD and service leaders choose to focus on

the cost effect of that and conveniently turn their backs on previous repeated assurances that military health care is a

retiree‘s hard-earned right and benefit.

Point 3: When top military and civilian leaders acknowledge the shortcomings of the military health care system in

providing timely and effective care for the wounded and their families and other beneficiaries, why is it their

―solutions‖ seem to focus more on getting private-sector agencies involved and putting more burden on beneficiaries

than on fixing the systems for which they themselves are responsible? In part, they do that because it‘s easier for

them than solving the admittedly hard problems in getting three service medical systems, multiple contractors, and

DoD health administrators to work efficiently together. But these kinds of misdirection efforts belie their own

responsibilities to beneficiaries and the inadequacies of their own leadership efforts.

Point 4: The implication of the secretary‘s and other DoD and service leaders‘ statements about the treatment of

currently serving and retired forces is that we owe the troops and their families everything while they‘re on active

duty, but they shouldn‘t let the door hit them on the way out once they leave service. MOAA certainly supports no-

fee care for the active force and their families. But in seeking to retain large numbers of quality people for a career,

retention officials and brochures also focus heavily on health care and retirement benefits to be earned by accepting

active duty sacrifices for 20 or 30 years. Many in the audience addressed by Gates in Iraq were nearing the end of

their service careers after three or four or more combat tours. If they spoke up to ask the secretary what exactly he

thinks that service should earn them in terms of health care once they leave active duty, what would the answer be?

Gates‘ specific words to those servicemembers were, ‖Where civilians using other federal care systems today pay an

average annual out-of-pocket cost of about $3,400, Tricare enrollees pay just $1,200.‖ That certainly would seem to

mean he now believes the decades of service and sacrifice that military beneficiaries endure above and beyond what

―civilians using other federal care systems do‖ isn‘t worth the $2,200 difference. Does anyone think ―serve 20 years

and multiple combat tours and earn the same health care benefit as federal civilians who don‘t have to endure that‖

is a powerful retention pitch? Does anyone think today‘s career active duty forces who hear these statements won‘t

understand the message that ―we intend to significantly reduce your future health benefits for serving a career‖?

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Point 5: MOAA doesn‘t disagree efforts must be made to hold down DoD health care cost growth. What they

object to is the persistent failure of defense officials to acknowledge that a significant part of that cost growth is

because of wartime requirements, unique service readiness requirements, and plain inefficiencies in system

budgeting and execution. For years on end, MOAA has offered repeatedly to work with DoD on joint initiatives to

reduce costs for the government and for beneficiaries while also improving health care outcomes. Had the defense

department taken them up on those offers four or five years ago, the Pentagon already could have saved billions of

dollars in the interim. But far more often than not, offers got the stiff-arm from DoD leaders. So most of the progress

that‘s been made has come as the result of work with Congress to force changes down the Pentagon‘s throat. MOAA

wants more effective efforts to address DoD‘s own cost inefficiencies rather than putting such concentrated focus on

increasing beneficiary fees.

Point 6: MOAA isn‘t saying retiree health care fees should stay the same forever. That‘s not realistic (or

appropriate, if retirees ever start getting COLAs again). What they object to most strongly is the misrepresentation

of historical budget reality and the disingenuous distinction between currently serving and retired forces — as if

decades of service and sacrifice are subject to instant devaluation at the moment of departure from active duty.

Military retirees are tired of having their health care fees compared with those of civilians who never served a day in

uniform or served a year (or multiple years) away from their families in a combat zone. They want

acknowledgement that their service continues to have significant compensation value after they retire — just as they

were promised it would. MOAA wants Pentagon and congressional acknowledgement that those decades of service

and sacrifice constitute an up-front premium payment that very few Americans are willing to pay, a specific

acknowledgement that this advance premium should substantially reduce the cash fees required of them in

retirement, and a statutory implementation formula that limits the percentage fee hike in any given year to the

percentage increase in retired pay. So far, we’re still waiting.

[Source: MOAA Leg Up Col. Steve Strobridge, USAF-Ret article 9 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

VA Employment Ranking:

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Government

Accountability Office once again top the list of Best Places to Work in the federal government, according to a new

report released 1 SEP. But some agencies, such as the Veterans Affairs Department and Securities and Exchange

Commission, saw steep drops in their rankings from the Partnership for Public Service’s previous study in 2009. VA

dropped from 12th among large agencies to 21st; SEC dropped from 11th to 24th. The rankings are based on the

Partnership’s agency-by-agency analysis of responses to questions in the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal

Employee Viewpoint Survey, which was released in July. Overall rankings are based on employees’ reported

satisfaction with their jobs and organizations and their willingness to recommend their agencies as a good place to

work. The Partnership also analyzed satisfaction with leadership and management, training and development

opportunities, and opportunities for advancement to rank agencies in other categories. VA spokeswoman Jo Schuda

said the department believes significant operational changes such as enacting the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Secretary

Eric Shinseki’s push to reduce the claims backlog have stressed employees and contributed to its ranking decline.

“Both of those major new initiatives required substantial changes in technology that continue,” Schuda said.

Shinseki “expected this amount of organization change can be difficult for the work force, but that change has to

happen if we’re going to be able to meet these significant challenges.” Schuda said the survey results show that VA

leaders have to keep talking to employees about how changes being enacted will benefit veterans, and how the

changes will be put into action. The complete results are posted online at http://bestplacestowork.org. [Source:

FederalTimes.com Stephen Losey article 1 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

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Cell Phones for Soldiers:

Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany

Bergquist from Norwell MA, with $21 of their own money. Since then, the registered 501c3 non-profit organization

has raised almost $2 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving

overseas. To a military family, a phone call home is priceless. Cell Phones for Soldiers address an everyday

emotional need that everyone has experienced: the need to call home, to hear a familiar voice while far away. You

can help our troops stay connected by donating your used cell phones. The phones are sent to ReCellular, which

pays Cell Phones for Soldiers for each donated phone. Proceeds from each phone are used to purchase calling cards

for U.S. Soldiers serving overseas with an hour of talk time. Americans will replace an estimated 130 million cell

phones this year with the majority of phones either discarded or stuffed in a drawer.

To forwarding you old cellphone/s drop off points for phones can be found at

www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/locateDropoff.asp by entering your zip code or they can be sent by mail or FedEx.

At www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/resource_center.html you can download a shipping label with prepaid postage

for mailing 1-3 phones. For 4 or more phones, go to www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com for a FedEx shipping label.

Deactivate phone(s) and turn off power.

Keep battery attached to phone. If battery is not attached to phone, place tape over terminal ends.

Place phone(s) in drop off box or put in an envelope or small box, affix the prepaid shipping label to

package, seal and drop in mailbox or FedEx package center.

[Source: Military.com Military Report 30 Aug 2010 ++]

===============================

VA Vet Centers Update 07:

The Vet Center Program was established by Congress in 1979 out of the

recognition that a significant number of Vietnam era vets were still experiencing readjustment problems. Vet

Centers are community based and part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In APR 91, in response to the

Persian Gulf War, Congress extended the eligibility to veterans who served during other periods of armed hostilities

after the Vietnam era. Those other periods are identified as Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia,

and Kosovo/Bosnia. In OCT 96, Congress extended the eligibility to include WWII and Korean Combat Veterans.

The goal of the Vet Center program is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to

eligible veterans in order to help them make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life. On 1 APR 03 the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs extended eligibility for Vet Center services to veterans of Operation Enduring

Freedom (OEF) and on 25 JUN 03 Vet Center eligibility was extended to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)

and subsequent operations within the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). The family members of all veterans listed

above are eligible for Vet Center services as well. On 5 AUG 03 VA Secretary Anthony J. Principi authorized Vet

Centers to furnish bereavement counseling services to surviving parents, spouses, children and siblings of service

members who die of any cause while on active duty, to include federally activated Reserve and National Guard

personnel.

If you, or a family member, served in any combat zone and received a military campaign ribbon (Vietnam,

Southwest Asia, OEF, OIF, etc.) than your family is eligible for Vet Center services. Readjustment counseling

covering a wide range of psycho social services is offered to eligible Veterans and their families in the effort to

make a successful transition from military to civilian life. They include:

Individual and group counseling for Veterans and their families

Family counseling for military related issues

Bereavement counseling for families who experience an active duty death

Military sexual trauma counseling and referral

Outreach and education including PDHRA, community events, etc.

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Substance abuse assessment and referral

Employment assessment & referral

VBA benefits explanation and referral

Screening & referral for medical issues including TBI, depression, etc.

VA’s readjustment counseling is provided at community-based Vet Centers located near veterans and their

families. All Vet Center services are prepaid through military service. Contact your nearest Vet Center through

information provided in the Vet Center Directory at http://www2.va.gov/directory/guide/vetcenter_flsh.asp or

listings in your local blue pages. Vet Center staff are available during normal business hours at 1-800-905-4675

(Eastern) and 1-866-496-8838 (Pacific). By the end of 2010, there will be 300 Vet Centers across the US and

surrounding territories (US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa). [Source:

www.vetcenter.va.gov/Vet_Center_Services.asp Aug 2010 ++]

===============================

Outward Bound Update 01:

Outward Bound, a 45-year old non-profit outdoor, adventure-education

organization, is looking for veterans, interested in participating in fully-funded reintegration wilderness expeditions.

Adventures are physically, mentally and emotionally stimulating and work to build the self-confidence, trust, and

communication skills necessary to successfully return to their families and communities following war time service.

Goals of the program are to provide a positive outdoor experience for military veterans that will enable them to

experience the healing benefits of the natural world and benefit from quality environmental education. Details are:

Who: Available to all OEF or OIF Veterans who were deployed to Iraq and/or Afghanistan , pending

medical screening.

What: A 5-7 day Wilderness Expedition: may include backpacking, rock climbing, canoeing, dog sledding,

sailing, sea kayaking and white water rafting.

Where: Wilderness locations include: California , Colorado , Maine , Maryland , Minnesota, New Jersey ,

Pennsylvania , Utah , Oregon , Washington , Alabama , and Florida.

When: Dates available year-round.

How: What sets Outward Bound apart is that the goal is personal growth. The wilderness and the skills

learned to deal with it are simply a vehicle for growth.

Cost: All expenses paid! Veterans will not be responsible for cost of expedition including round-trip

stateside transportation to course site. Funding provided by the Military Family Outdoor Initiative Project,

a joint project of the Sierra Club and The Sierra Club Foundation.

To Enroll: Call 1-866-669-2362 ext 8387 (VETS).

[Source: MSC Newsletter August 2010 ++]

===============================

DoD Benefit Cuts Update 03:

One week after comparing Social Security to a “milk cow with 310

million tits,‖ former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY), and co-chairman of President Obama’s fiscal commission, now

questions disability benefits being paid to war veterans, saying they are “not helping” the nation’s debt crisis.

Simpson said, “The irony [is] that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the

country in this fiscal mess.” The bi-partisan Commission is charged with identifying policies to improve the fiscal

stability of the country. It is intended to meet once a month when Congress is in session. Its first meeting was held

on 27 APR 2010. The former Senator‘s shocking comments are extremely disappointing to military fraternal

organizations and their nationwide memberships. Simpson‘s remarks are insulting and a ―slap in the face‖ to the

millions of veterans and their families who sacrificed so much to protect our country. NAUS agrees with the

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Veterans of Foreign Wars, the largest group of U.S. combat veterans and fellow National Military and Veterans

Alliance member, in calling Simpson‘s remarks and his reasoning “totally irresponsible and potentially detrimental‖

to programs for disabled veterans. A White House spokesman said that the President did not agree with Mr.

Simpson‘s comments. The spokesman said that the White House expected some differences of opinion and there

was no plan to ask Mr. Simpson to step down. Veterans have earned their benefits and as President Obama said

earlier this week, ―We will do whatever it takes to serve our veterans as well as they have served us. This is a sacred

trust.‖ [Source: NAUS Weekly Update 3 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Vet Insurance Life Update 06:

A lawsuit, originally filed in Springfield MA on behalf of

deceased veterans‘ families and others, accuses Prudential of improperly collecting interest on unpaid veterans‘ life

insurance benefits. The lawsuit has also been expanded to include claims of fraud. The plaintiff‘s attorneys are

seeking to have the case certified as a class action on behalf of 60,000 beneficiaries of military life insurance

policies. The suit claims Prudential fails to pay beneficiaries in a lump sum as required by U.S. law and the language

of the policies, instead encouraging them to leave the money in accounts with the company, which pays them a

small amount of interest. Bob DeFillippo, a spokesman for Newark, New Jersey-based Prudential Financial Inc.,

declined to comment on the suit. He said the company informs death-benefit beneficiaries of their payment options

and that they can immediately withdraw all the money from their Alliance Account. The plaintiffs claim that

Prudential ―fraudulently informs beneficiaries that this Alliance Account scheme constitutes a ‗lump-sum‘ payment

as required by law.‖ Instead, the company keeps the money in its general account, paying only when the

beneficiaries write drafts on the account, they claim. More than 100 insurance carriers earn investment income on

$28 billion owed to life insurance beneficiaries..

In another lawsuit, a woman named Jasmine Williams is suing MetLife Inc. She claims that Metlife told her that

her $101,819 in life insurance benefits were safe and was sent what the company called a guaranteed money market

―checkbook‖ in 2002. The next year, Williams, then 19, told MetLife that a cousin had taken $48,900 by forging her

name on 12 checks. Williams, of Rougemont, North Carolina, sought reimbursement. The insurance company and

Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank NA, which processed MetLife checks, refused to cover Williams‘ losses. The bank

claimed that the insurer owed her the money, and the insurer claimed that only the bank could reimburse her. The

reason they could do that is because Metlife, like Prudential, retains the assets instead of depositing them in a bank.

Had Williams‘ money been in a bank, instead of an account managed by an insurance company, federal and state

law would have required the bank to verify signatures on checks and cover losses. Williams‘ predicament spotlights

the uncertainties people face by accepting so-called retained-asset account checkbooks from insurers. [Source:

Bloomberg News Bob Van Voris article 30 Aug 2010 ++]

===============================

Tricare Overseas Program Update 01:

International SOS Assistance, Inc. is the new Tricare

Overseas Program (TOP) Contractor effective 1 SEP 2010. As the new contractor for the TOP, they have developed

a new website www.Tricare-overseas.com specifically for the overseas population. This will be the new one-stop

location for all information pertaining to TOP. On 1 SEP all overseas beneficiaries, providers and government users

will no longer use the www.Tricare4u.com website. Wisconsin Physicians Service (WPS) will support International

SOS (ISOS) as the claims processor for TOP. The new Tricare Overseas website will offer the same features as the

current www.Tricare4u.com website. Whether it is viewing claims history, eligibility, or a Tricare Overseas

Explanation of Benefits (EOB), you will continue to enjoy the same benefits with the new website. Beneficiaries can

register on www.Tricare-overseas.com to get started or use their existing www.Tricare4u.com username and

password. All will be prompted to change their password when they first log on www.Tricare-overseas.com.

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ISOS is the contractor for remote overseas claims processing and they also certify Philippines providers. When a

claim comes in with a first time Tricare provider, the name and address of the provider is sent to ISOS for

certification. Once they have received the information from ISOS their provider file database is updated

appropriately. SOS has announced two important changes that will impact how you receive your Tricare

Explanation of Benefits.

Beginning on 1 SEP 2010, you will receive a monthly summary EOB instead of a separate EOB each time

a claim processes. The Tricare Overseas summary EOB will continue to have all of the information you are

accustomed to receiving but will now be compiled into one monthly statement. Note that if a check is

issued to you rather than the provider or if you have a claim denied by Tricare Overseas that may be

appealed, you will receive a summary EOB through that date.

Beginning on 01 SEP 2010, you will have the option to log into the new website and elect to suppress your

summary EOB. If you make this election you will then receive an immediate email notification each time

your Tricare Overseas claim has processed. The email notification will provide a link to the www.Tricare-

overseas.com website allowing you the convenience to view and print your TOP EOB from your home

instead of receiving the monthly summary EOB in the mail.

Editors Note: As with all new things there are still some bugs to work out on the new website. When I attempted

to access the authorized list of providers for the Philippines on the new website it could not be displayed. I called

the Overseas – Europe/Pacific contact number 1-608-301-2310 on 3 SEP and asked what the problem was. I was

informed that at present this had not yet been activated but it should be within in a few weeks. In the interim

www.Tricare4u.com could still be used for this.

[Source: https://www.Tricare4u.com Notice 17 Aug 2010 ++]

===============================

TSP Update 16:

After a month of good news, eight of 10 TSP funds posted negative returns for August:

The I Fund, which invests in overseas companies, lost 3.14% last month after gaining 10.78% in July. That

gain had followed months of losses, most notably an 11.2% drop in May. The fund remains down 7.8% this

year.

The S Fund (which invests in small and mid-size companies and tracks the Dow Jones Wilshire 4500

Index) posted a. loss of 5.59%. It saw losses in May and June but was up about 7% in July. On the year it

is up 0.21%.

The C Fund (invested in common stocks of large companies on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index) posted a.

loss of 4.51%. It saw losses in May and June but was up about 7% in July. On the year it is is still down,

with losses of 4.62%.

The F Fund, invested in fixed-income bonds, saw a 1.28% increase in August, higher than the 1.07%

growth posted in July.

The government securities (G) fund, the TSP’s most stable offering, earned 0.22% in August, almost

identical to July’s 0.23% gain.

The life-cycle funds, designed to shift investors from a more aggressive portfolio earlier in their careers to more

stable investments as they near retirement, all posted losses. The funds had struggled in May and June but made

small gains in July. On the year, only the L Income Fund, for people who have reached their target retirement date

and are withdrawing money from their TSP accounts monthly, and the L 2010 fund are in positive territory, with

1.26% and 1.18% gains, respectively. The L 2020 fund has lost 1.1%, the L 2030 1.8% and the L 2040 2.43%. The

L 2010 Fund will close 31 DEC and all investments will be moved to the L Income Fund. Participants wishing to

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change their investments can do so through the TSP website www.tsp.gov/index.shtml. [Source: GovExec.com

Emily Long article 2 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Hip/Knee Replacement:

Even though knee and hip replacements have become routine, they‘re not

fail-safe. A study published in 2007 found that 7% of hip replacements done for Medicare patients had to be

replaced within seven and half years. Experts agree that failure rate should be lower. If you‘re considering

replacing a knee or hip, here are some ways to increase your chances of success and avoid a second implant:

Choose an experienced surgeon at a hospital that does a lot of implants. Ask for a referral from your

doctors and friends. A study published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery in 2004 found that

doctors who perform more than 50 procedures a year had fewer complications. Patients at hospitals that

performed more than 200 new replacements a year fared better than patients at hospitals that performed 25

or fewer. Ask the prospective surgeon how many joint replacements like yours he or she performs a year.

Do the same with your hospital.

Not everyone with joint pain will benefit from a replacement. An implant can help reduce pain and

improve mobility if the damage is caused by arthritis, for instance. But a new joint won‘t help pain caused

by inflammation of surrounding soft tissue. According to doctors, some people can manage with careful

use of medications.

Gather information about the procedure. Once you‘ve picked a surgeon and have recommendations for

the type of joint you will receive, find out how well it has performed in other patients. Are there known

complications? Depending on the type of implant, some may cause tissue and bone damage in certain

patients. Some patients have complained of ―squeaky‖ new joints.

Have a recovery plan. To avoid complications recuperating from a joint replacement, discuss with your

doctor what sort of support you‘ll need when you go home. Make sure you have enough help since you‘ll

have difficulty getting around. You won‘t be able to drive right away and you may want a friend or family

member to stay with you. Consider hiring an aide or visiting nurse. If you have pets, make arrangements

for their care as well.

[Source: The New York Times Lesley Alderman article 2 Jul 2010 ++]

===============================

VA Prostate Cancer Program Update 10:

Most physicians are reluctant to prescribe the drug

finasteride to prevent prostate cancer in older men with elevated risk of the disease, despite evidence that the drug

can reduce risk by about a quarter, researchers say. “There are no other proven ways of reducing your risk of

prostate cancer — this is the only one,” Dr. Ian M. Thompson of the University of Texas Health Science Center in

San Antonio, told Bloomberg. Its use could reduce new diagnoses by “tens of thousands,” he said. Thompson was

the lead author of a 2003 report that showed that the drug, sold by Merck under the brand name Proscar, could

reduce the risk of prostate cancer among such men from 24% to 18%. Another study this year showed that a second

drug, dutasteride, might be even slightly more effective. Risk factors for prostate cancer include being older than 65,

having elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a family history of the disease and being African-

American.

In the new study, Dr. Linda S. Kinsinger of the Veterans Health Administration National Center for Health

Promotion and Disease Prevention and her colleagues surveyed a random sample of 325 VHA urologists and 1,200

VHA primary care physicians to determine how their prescribing practices changed from 2000 through 2005, a

period that included the widely heralded finasteride trial. The researchers reported in the September issue of the

journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention that the use of finasteride did increase somewhat during the

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period, but to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (an enlarged prostate gland), not to prevent prostate cancer. Fully

64% of urologists and 80% of primary-care physicians said they never prescribed the drug for prevention. One

concern among urologists was that the 2003 study suggested that, even though finasteride reduced the risk of

prostate cancers, those who did develop the disease might be more likely to develop a highly aggressive form.

Researchers have shown, however, that that was an artifact of the study and is not true. Kinsinger compared using

finasteride to ward off prostate cancer to using statins to ward off heart disease. The primary difference between the

two, she added, is that the effects of statins can be monitored by measuring cholesterol levels, but there is no

analogous marker to show that finasteride is working. The primary side effect of finasteride is that it increases hair

growth. [Source: Chicago Tribune | Living Thomas H. Maugh article 1 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

VA Facility Maintenance Update 01:

The Department of Veterans Affairs is spending tens of

millions of taxpayer dollars every year to maintain hundreds of buildings, most of them vacant, that have fallen into

such a state of disrepair that many of them are considered health hazards, an investigation by FoxNews.com reveals.

Exactly how much it costs to maintain the run-down and abandoned buildings is a matter of dispute. The

Government Accountability Office estimates that the VA has spent $175 million every year since 2007. But the VA

disputes that figure, saying it spent $85 million on the buildings in 2007 and only $37 million last year. The VA

maintains 5,507 buildings across the country. But as many as 314 of them are currently vacant — and they require

huge outlays of money just to remain standing. Some veterans’ advocates have called for the structures to be

renovated or razed and rebuilt to provide housing for homeless veterans — but demolishing them or making them

habitable could cost even more money, because many of the buildings contain hazardous materials. Others say the

government should sell these buildings to developers or non-profits that can make use of the facilities. But the VA is

restricted by complex federal property and historical building guidelines and sanctioned share lease agreement

programs that require outside organizations to come up with big bucks — no small feat for cash-strapped

municipalities and non-profits in the midst of a recession. And some of these buildings are just too old or too bizarre

to drum up interest. Anyone looking for a 325-square-foot pink, octagonal monkey house in Dayton, Ohio?

A FoxNews.com investigation has uncovered scores of these decrepit or abandoned buildings across the country

that are home to rats, vermin, bird’s nests, septic rainwater, exposed asbestos, lead paint, wall-to-wall fungal growth,

mold, radon, fiberglass insulation, old clothes, spare tires, barrels of unidentified chemicals and even abandoned

children‘s dolls, according to documents and first-hand observations. On 1 SEP the VA released this statement:

“VA places its highest priority on the delivery of quality healthcare services and benefits to Veterans and their

families. The Department is also called to ensure the safety and security for our Veterans, Employees and those who

visit our facilities. That why VA continues to work on meeting the President‘s directive to reduce our inventory of

unneeded buildings or convert their use to meet our key mission objectives, like ending Veteran homelessness. Over

the past three years VA has disposed of 266 vacant or underused buildings consisting of over 2.6 million ground

square feet and close to 200 acres of land and plans to dispose of 6.9 million ground square feet over the next five

years.”

The VA owns a total of 145.6 million gross square feet, of which 6.6 million gross square feet are vacant. Add

another 4 million gross square feet of underutilized space — areas that are occupied but not utilized most effectively

— and 7% of VA property is wasting both space and money. In 2007, according to a GAO report the following year,

the VA spent $175 million annually to maintain vacant or underutilized buildings. The report noted that 5% of VA

buildings were vacant, the same percentage of vacancy reported this year. GAO officials told FoxNews.com that

they believe the VA is still spending that same amount ($175 million a year) on vacant or underutilized buildings.

But the VA disputes the GAO’s calculations, saying it spent only $85 million in 2007 and spent only $37 million last

year. The VA’s current calculations are based on a national average of $2 per square foot of vacant space; GAO’s

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calculations take into account the specific costs associated with particular buildings and uses regional averages.

GAO also says the VA underreported costs and excluded property, maintenance and operational

expenses.)Meanwhile, advocates for homeless veterans are urging the VA to find some way to utilize these

structures to provide health and psychological services to veterans across the country — and to prepare for the

thousands more who will return home from Iraq and Afghanistan. “You got dormant buildings? You want to give

them away? Refurbish them! Use them!” said Larry Van Kurant, spokesman for Veterans of Foreign Wars who is

against VA‘s divestment of property.

Bob Young, who served on President Bush‘s advisory council for historic preservation and has testified before

VA committees on adaptive reuse of historic properties, acknowledged that the ―VA does not have enough housing

for the veterans it treats.‖ But, he said, ―VA has limited funds and it must weigh the balance between spending

money on patient care and infrastructure. If constructing a new building or leasing a building is less expensive than

rehabilitating a historic structure, it‘s easy to see why the historic building option would not be the choice to make.

It‘s all about the money.‖ VA spokesman Drew Brookie gave FoxNews.com this statement: ―VA places its highest

priority on the delivery of quality services and benefits to veterans and their families — first and foremost.

Demolishing unneeded buildings is often costly and requires the careful balancing of priorities for resources,

especially since our department‘s mission is to care — often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — for our nation‘s

veterans. VA understands the importance and implications associated with an inventory of vacant and underutilized

buildings. VA has been and continues to actively work on reducing its inventory of unneeded facilities.‖ [Source:

FoxNews.com Jana Winter article 1 Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Saving Money:

Ask your doctor for a discount. Before your appointment t, visit www.healthcarebluebook.com or call a

local health insurer to find out what it pays area doctors for a similar consultation or test. Then aim for that

number, which is usually lower than the doctor‘s charge. Try to negotiate directly with the doctor – not

office personnel – in person and before treatment is given.

Dental work. Get dental work for a fraction of the cost from dentist-supervised students at a dental school.

Find a school at www.ada.org by clicking on ―Dental Schools‖. For low-cost, federally funded care, go to

www.nidcr.nih.gov and click ―Finding Dental Care‖.

Request an itemized bill when hospitalized. A daily bill helps you track whether you‘re getting the

medical supplies, drugs and services that have been determined necessary for your treatment, and to cry

foul if they haven‘t been provided. It also lets you spot and protest outrageous charges, such as $30 for a

―thermal therapy kit‖ that is really just an ice bag.

Bring your own drugs. Some hospitals quadruple the price you normally pay for prescription and over-

the-counter medications, so find out in advance what you‘ll need and get them yourself. But ask the

hospital if it will allow this. Many hospitals don‘t.

Medical studies. No cost treatment and medication may be available if you qualify for a medical study for

a chronic condition such as diabetes or allergies. Find studies at www.clinicaltrials.gov or call local

medical schools. Check the stud‘s credentials.

Haring aid. Try haggling over the price of your hearing aid, which typically sells at a retail markup of

120%. Most of the 15% of people who ask for such a deal get one.

[Source: AARP Bulletin Jul-Aug 2010 ++]

===============================

Medicare Fraud Update 48:

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Miami FL – A South Florida doctor, clinic owner and five nurses pleaded guilty on Tuesday to

participating in a multimillion-dollar Medicare fraud scheme. They were among a group of South

Floridians rounded up in December during a health care fraud sweep. Dr. Fred Dweck admitted to referring

858 Medicare recipients for unnecessary home health care services. As a result, Miami-area home health

care agencies billed the Medicare program for more than $37 million in false and fraudulent claims.

Medicare paid more than $22 million of the fraudulent claims. Yudel Cayro owned and operated Courtesy

Medical Group in Miami, which employed Dweck. He admitted to receiving kickbacks and bribes from

people who recruited Medicare recipients into the scheme, and from owners and operators of Miami-area

home health agencies. Cayro admitted that about 344 Medicare recipients were referred for such

unnecessary services through his clinic, resulting in more than $16 million of fraudulent billing to the

Medicare program by home health agencies. Medicare paid about $9.8 million for medically unnecessary

home health care and therapy services. Nurses Teresita Leal, Armando Sanchez, Lissbet Diaz, Marlenys

Fernandez and Silvio Ruiz worked at various times for ABC Home Health Care and/or Florida Home

Health Care Providers, two Miami-area home health care agencies. They admitted to falsifying patient files

for Medicare beneficiaries to make it appear that they qualified for home health care and therapy services.

All face up to 10 years in prison for each conspiracy to commit health care fraud count and five years in

prison for each false statement count.

Pembroke Pines FL – Afredo Rasco, 51, pleaded guilty 1 SEP to conspiracy to commit health care fraud

and aggravated identity theft by using a doctor’s identification to bill Medicare for services never delivered.

His wife, Niurka Rasco, 49, pleaded guilty to a single count of filing documents claiming to be the owner-

operator of United Medical, the Savannah business from which the false Medicare billings originated and

that shared a Broughton Street location with United Therapy and Iris Oswald, 53, owner of United Therapy,

pleaded guilty to providing transportation, gift cards and lunches to entice patients to use the clinic. The

Rascos and Oswald were charged with carrying out a scheme in which doctors’ identifications were stolen

and used to bill Medicare for expensive infusion therapy for patients with HIV, AIDS and immune-system

disorders. Before they were detected, the defendants had submitted $6.5 million in phony bills to Medicare

and had stolen more than $4 million. Rasco faces a maximum penalty of up to 12 years in prison, up to

$500,000 in fines and three years probation, his wife faces up to six months in prison, up to $2,000 in fines

and a year of probation, and Oswald faces up to five years in prison, fines up to $250,000 and three years

probation.

Tampa FL – Emilio L. Tain, 42, was sentenced 1 SEP to 10 months in prison and 15 months of house

arrest after pleading guilty to filing false Medicare claims involving a Hialeah pharmacy. He submitted

about $776,298 in fraudulent bills to Medicare between 31 MAR and 8 APR, claiming that Elbia‘s

Pharmacy in Hialeah provided prescription drugs to Medicare beneficiaries. Tain also admitted that Luis A.

Perez Moreira recruited him to become a nominal owner of the pharmacy, and sign paperwork and open

bank accounts on behalf of the pharmacy. The fraud was detected early, and Tain and his co-conspirators

received only $70 from Medicare. In addition to jail time, Tain must pay back the $70, plus a $4,000 fine,

and perform community service after his release.

Miami FL – Flor Crisologo, 58, the owner and operator of J & F Community Medical Center Inc., pleaded

guilty 9 SEP to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. She admitted that she submitted

approximately $23 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for HIV injection and infusion

services purportedly provided through J & F. Crisologo hired a physician at J & F and conspired with the

physician and others to order unnecessary tests, sign false medical analyses and diagnosis forms, and

authorize treatments to make it appear that medical services were being provided to patients who were

Medicare beneficiaries. The services included medically unnecessary injection and infusion therapies. She

also admitted that she and her conspirators paid Medicare beneficiaries kickbacks to induce the

beneficiaries to claim they received legitimate services at the clinic when in fact the HIV infusion services

were either not provided or were not medically necessary. Crisologo faces up to 10 years in prison, fines,

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and forfeiture of any property or proceeds derived from her criminal activities. Sentencing is scheduled for

23 NOV 2010.

[Source: Fraud News Daily reports 1-14 Sep 2010++]

===============================

Medicad Fraud Update 21:

Washington D.C. – Lois Diane Fant, owner of a now defunct transportation company, was sentenced 1

SEP to three years‘ probation and 180 days of home detention for billing Medicaid for non-existent

transportation services. Fant, 61, pled guilty on 7 JUN to the first count of the indictment charging health

card fraud. During her guilty plea, Fant admitted that, between JAN 03 and JUN 05 she submitted false

claims to Medicaid for transportation services which, in reality had not been performed, for a total loss to

the government of $125,000. In addition to the home detention and probation, Judge Bates ordered Fant to

pay restitution of $125,000. As explained at sentencing, Medicaid conducted an audit in JUN 05 due to

Fant‘s relatively high volume of claims to D.C. Medicaid. Fant was unable to provide any records of

transportation services, although regulations required transportation providers, such as her company, to

maintain trip logs. Subsequent scheduled audits were cancelled by Fant. The defendant‘s company was

suspended from being a Medicaid provider in June 2005.

Pasadena TX – Dr. David Lloyd Gonzales Jr., 47, was found guilty 30 AUG for defrauding Medicaid. The

dentist was convicted on 22 counts of health care fraud after a jury determined he knowingly billed

Medicaid for unperformed services, such as root canals, fillings and wisdom teeth extractions. The jury

took about one day to deliberate in his trial. Gonzales began working with Medicaid in 1994, but he was

suspended in 2005. He has been released on bond and will remain free until his sentencing hearing, which

is scheduled for 29 NOV. He could face up to a decade behind bars and pay up to $250,000. Medicaid pays

for dental services for eligible beneficiaries from infancy to age 21.

Elizabeth NJ – Dr. Yousef Masood, 46, was arrested 7 SEP on charges of running an alleged Medicaid

fraud scheme. So far, it is believed Masood stole at least $1.8 million from taxpayers — and that number is

expected to grow. Masood prescribed over $9 million in Medicaid drugs in 2009 even though he never saw

2/3 of the patients who walked into his medical office. He hired three workers at $17-per-hour to cover his

Elizabeth, N.J., office, claiming they were doctors although they were not licensed to practice. Most

patients saw the three low paid workers — all while Masood was allegedly billing the government and

living the high life. In fact, even while on vacation in Bermuda, Europe and the Dominican Republic, Dr.

Masood was claiming he actually saw patients at his office and wrote out prescriptions. Prosecutors said

once Masood was paid by Medicaid, the doctor moved millions into other accounts. He also bought

properties in Basking Ridge, N.J. as well as Davenport, Florida with the money he allegedly stole. The

three “fake doctors” — Hamid Bhatti, Hakim Muta Muhammad and Carlos Quijada — were also arrested.

[Source: Fraud News Daily reports 1-14 Sep 2010++]

===============================

State Veteran’s Benefits:

The state of Connecticut provides several benefits to veterans. To obtain

information on these refer to this Bulletin’s Attachment for an overview of those listed below. Benefits are

available to veterans who are residents of the state. For a more detailed explanation of each click on ―Learn more

about …‖ wording highlighted in blue on the attachment.

Housing Benefits

Financial Assistance Benefits

Employment Benefits

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Education Benefits

Other State Veteran Benefits

[Source: www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits/connecticut-state-veterans-benefits Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Military History:

During World War I and World War II, hundreds of American Indians joined the

United States armed forces and used words from their traditional tribal languages as weapons. Some Code Talkers

enlisted, others were drafted. Many of the Code Talkers who served were under age and had to lie about their age to

join. Some were just 15 years old. Ultimately, there were Code Talkers from at least 16 tribes who served in the

army, the marines, and the navy. The military asked them to develop secret battle communications based on their

languages—and America‘s enemies never deciphered the coded messages they sent. ―Code Talkers,‖ as they came

to be known after World War II, are twentieth-century American Indian warriors and heroes who significantly aided

the victories of the United States and its allies. American Indian Code Talkers were communications specialists.

Their job was to send coded messages about troop movements, enemy positions, and other critical information on

the battlefield. Some Code Talkers translated messages into their Native languages and relayed them to another

tribal member. Others developed a special code within their languages that they used in combat to send important

messages.

In World War I, Choctaw and other American Indians transmitted battle messages in their tribal languages by

telephone. Although not used extensively, the World War I telephone squads played a key role in helping the United

States Army win several battles in France that brought about the end of the war. Beginning in 1940, the army

recruited Comanches, Choctaws, Hopis, Cherokees, and others to transmit messages. The army had special

American Indian recruiters working to find Comanches in Oklahoma who would enlist. The Marine Corps recruited

Navajo Code Talkers in 1941 and 1942. Philip Johnston, a World War I veteran who had heard about the successes

of the Choctaw telephone squad, was instrumentals in advancing the use of Code Talkers. Although not Indian, had

grown up on the Navajo reservation and was familiar with their language and capabilities. In 1942, he suggested to

the Marine Corps that Navajos and other tribes could be very helpful in maintaining communications secrecy. After

viewing a demonstration of messages sent in the Navajo language, the Marine Corps was so impressed that they

recruited 29 Navajos in two weeks to develop a code within their language. After the Navajo code was developed,

the Marine Corps established a Code Talking school. As the war progressed, more than 400 Navajos were eventually

recruited as Code Talkers. The training was intense. Following their basic training, the Code Talkers completed

extensive training in communications and memorizing the code.

Many Code Talkers earned medals during and after the war, but this was recognition that many servicemen and

women received, depending on where they were and what they did in the war. Special recognition for Code Talking

did not come for more than 40 years. One reason that Code Talkers were not recognized until much later is because

the program was secret and classified by the military. The Navajos were ordered to keep their wartime jobs secret. It

wasn‘t until 1968 that the Navajo Code Talkers program was declassified by the military. The military did not order

the Comanche Code Talkers to keep silent about their jobs in the war. However, mostly due to security concerns, the

program was not discussed outside the Comanche community. After the programs were declassified, people started

to realize the importance of the Code Talkers‘ achievements, and recognition finally began to arrive.

In 1989, the French government awarded the Comanche Code Talkers the Chevalier of the National Order

of Merit, a very high honor.

in 2000, the United States Congress passed legislation to honor the Navajo Code Talkers and provided

them with special gold and silver Congressional Medals. The gold medals were for the original 29 Navajos

that developed the code and the silver medals for those that served later in the program. A statement in the

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Navajo language on the back of the medals translates to: ―With the Navajo language they defeated the

enemy.‖

In 2007, a Congressional bill was introduced to officially recognize all American Indians who served as

Code Talkers during the twentieth century.

Beyond Washington, D.C., tribal governments, some state and local governments, and a variety of

organizations have acknowledged the importance of the Code Talkers.

[Source: www.nmai.si.edu/education/codetalkers/htm Aug 2010 ++]

=============================

Military History Anniversaries

:

Sep 16 1942 – WWII: The Japanese base at Kiska in the Aleutian Islands is raided by American bombers

Sep 16 1950 – Korea: The U.S. 8th Army breaks out of the Pusan Perimeter in South Korea and begins

heading north to meet MacArthur’s troops heading south from Inchon.

Sep 16 1972 – Vietnam: South Vietnamese troops recapture Quang Tri province in South Vietnam from the

North Vietnamese Army.

Sep 16 1967 – Vietnam: Siege of Con Thien Began.

Sep 17 1778 – The Treaty of Fort Pitt is signed. It is the first formal treaty between the United States and a

Native American tribe (the Lenape or Delaware Indians).

Sep 17 1862 – Civil War: The Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in U.S. history, commences. Fighting in

the corn field, Bloody Lane and Burnside‘s Bridge rages all day as the Union and Confederate armies

suffer a combined 26,293 casualties

Sep 17 1862 – Civil War: The Allegheny Arsenal explosion results in the single largest civilian disaster

during the war.

Sep 17 1900 – Philippine-American War: Filipinos under Juan Cailles defeat Americans under Colonel

Benjamin F. Cheatham at Mabitac, Laguna.

Sep 17 1902 – Latin America Interventions: U.S. troops are sent to Panama to keep train lines open over the

isthmus as Panamanian nationals struggle for independence from Colombia.

Sep 17 1944 – WWII: Allied Airborne troops parachute into the Netherlands as the “Market” half of

Operation Market Garden.

Sep 18 1947 – The United States Air Force becomes an independent service.

Sep 18 1964 – Vietnam: North Vietnamese Army begins infiltration of South Vietnam.

Sep 18 1964 – Vietnam: U.S. destroyers‘ fire on hostile targets.

Sep 19 1777 – American Revolution: : First Battle of Saratoga/Battle of Freeman’s Farm/Battle of Bemis

Heights.

Sep 19 1862 – Civil War: Battle of Iuka – Union troops under General William Rosecrans defeat a

Confederate force the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater of the American Civil War.

Sep 19 1918 – WWI: American troops of the Allied North Russia Expeditionary Force receive their baptism

of fire near the town of Seltso against Soviet forces.

Sep 19 1994 – Latin America Interventions: Operation Uphold Democracy began (Haiti).

Sep 20 1863 – Civil War: The 2 day Battle of Chickamauga ends in the most significant Union defeat in the

Western Theater of the War.

Sep 20 1965 – Vietnam: Seven U.S. planes are downed in one day.

Sep 21 1780 – American Revolution: Benedict Arnold gives the British the plans to West Point.

Sep 21 1944 – WWII: U.S. troops of the 7th Army, invading Southern France, cross the Meuse River.

Sep 21 1961 – Maiden flight of the CH-47 Chinook transportation helicopter.

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Sep 22 1776 – American Revolution: American Captain Nathan Hale is hanged as a spy by the British in

New York City; his last words are reputed to have been, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for

my country.”

Sep 23 1779 – American Revolution: The American navy under John Paul Jones, commanding from

Bonhomme Richard, defeats and captures the British man-of-war Serapis.

Sep 23 1780 – American Revolution: British Major John André is arrested as a spy by American soldiers

exposing Benedict Arnold’s change of sides.

Sep 23 1945 – The first American dies in Vietnam during the fall of Saigon to French forces.

Sep 24 1780 – American Revolution: Benedict Arnold flees to British Army lines after his plot to surrender

West Point is exposed by the arrest of British Major John André.

Sep 25 1915 – WWI: An allied offensive is launched in France against the German Army.

Sep 25 1929 – Jimmy Doolittle performs the first blind flight from Mitchel Field proving that full

Instrument Flying from take off to landing is possible.

Sep 25 1944 – WWII: Surviving elements of the British 1st Airborne Division withdraw from Arnhem in

the Netherlands, thus ending the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden.

Sep 26 1777 – American Revolution: The British army launches a major offensive, capturing Philadelphia.

Sep 26 1950 – Korea: General Douglas MacArthur‘s American X Corps, fresh from the Inchon landing,

links up with the U.S. Eighth Army after its breakout from the Pusan Perimeter.

Sep 27 1950 – Korea: U.S. Army and Marine troops liberate Seoul, South Korea.

Sep 28 1906 – Latin America Interventions: U.S. troops reoccupy Cuba, stay until 1909

Sep 29 1789 – Congress votes to create a U.S. army.

Sep 29 1864 – Civil War: Union troops capture the Confederate Fort Harrison, outside Petersburg VA.

Sep 29 1899 – Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) was established.

Sep 30 1949 – Cold War: The Berlin Airlift is officially halted after 277,264 flights.

Sep 30 1950 – Korea: U.N. forces cross the 38th parallel as they pursue the retreating North Korean Army.

[Source: Various Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Military Trivia 12:

The answers to the following trivia questions on the American Civil War are provided

at the end in reverse order:

1. Question: Who commanded the Union Sixth Corps after John Sedgewick was mortally wounded?

a.) Governeur Warren b.) Ambrose Burnside c.) Ulysses S. Grant d.) ‘Stonewall’ Jackson e.) Horatio

Wright

2. Question: ‘Company Q’ in the Confederate Army was called what?

a.) An ‘all-black’ company b.) Dismounted cavalry c.) The sick list d.) Quartermaster’s delight e.) The

all-wounded company

3. Question: How old was JEB Stuart when he was killed?

a.) 23 b.) 25 c.) 32 d.) 33 e.) 34

4. Question: What was the name of General Robert E. Lee’s horse?

a.) Old Ironhorse b.) Old Blood and Guts c.) Traveler d.) Charger e.) Yankee Clipper

5. Question: What Confederate General was also one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan?

a.) Robert E. Lee b.) James Longstreet c.) A.P. Hill d.) Stonewall Jackson e.) Nathan B. Forrest

6 Question: Where did General Robert E. Lee finally surrender?

a.) Richmond, Virginia, on April 9 1865 b.) Appomattox, Virginia, Court House, on April 9 1865 c.)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 9 1865 d.) Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on April 9 1865 e.)

Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 9 1865.

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7. Question: Which Confederate state lost more men than any other state during the Civil War?

a.) Alabama b.) Georgia c.) Tennessee d.) North Carolina e.) Virginia

8. Question: Which was the first Regiment of black troops mustered in the Civil War?

1st Louisiana National Guard b.) 54th Maine c.) 22nd Ohio Home Guard d.) 142 Indiana Negro a.) a.)

Corps e.) 33rd Yankee Musketeers

9. Question: In what North Carolina fort was the C.S.S. Albemarle constructed?

a.) Fort Branch b.) Fort Sumter c.) Fort Garp d.) Fort Fisher e.) Fort Moultrie

10. Question: Where did the largest cavalry engagement of the Civil War take place?

a.) Chancellorsville b.) Gettysburg c.) Brandy Station d.) Yellow Tavern e.) Appomattox

11. Question: When were Union forces defeated by the Confederates at the Second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas,

Virginia?

a.) August 30, 1860 b.) August 30, 1861 c.) August 30, 1862 d.) August 30, 1863 e.) August 30, 1864

12. Question: Which side named battles after the nearest town where they were fought?

Neither, they were named by Congress b.) The Southern Command c.) The Northern Command

d.) Both the North and South e.) They were so named directly by Abraham Lincoln

13. Question: Which Civil War General was nicknamed ‘Lee’s Old War Horse’?

Jackson b.) Longstreet c.) Stuart d.) Pickett e.) Simmons

14. Question: When was the Confederate flag officially lowered for the last time?

November 6, 1865 b.) November 6, 1866 c.) November 6, 1867 d.) November 6, 1868 e.) November 6,

1869

15. Question: Which U.S. warship sank the Confederate raider ‘Alabama’?

Kearsarge b.) Michigan c.) Constitution d.) Congress e.) Nautilus

Answers in reverse order: A – A – B – B – C – C – A – A – D – B – A – C – C – C – E [Source:

www.trivia.net/begin.cfm Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Tax Burden for Oklahoma Retirees:

Many people planning to retire use the presence or absence

of a state income tax as a litmus test for a retirement destination. This is a serious miscalculation since higher sales

and property taxes can more than offset the lack of a state income tax. The lack of a state income tax doesn‘t

necessarily ensure a low total tax burden. Following are the taxes you can expect to pay if you retire in Oklahoma:

Sales Taxes

State Sales Tax: 4.5% (prescription drugs exempt); cities, towns and counties may levy local sales taxes. The

county tax cannot exceed 2% but some cities have sales taxes over 4.25%.

Gasoline Tax: 17 cents/gallon

Diesel Fuel Tax: 14 cents/gallon

Gasohol Tax: 17 cents/gallon

Cigarette Tax: $1.03/pack of 20

Personal Income Taxes

Tax Rate Range: Low – 0.5%; High – 5.5% (The rate range reported is for single persons not deducting federal

income tax. For married persons filing jointly, the same rates apply to income brackets ranging from $2,000 to over

$21,000. Separate schedules, with rates ranging from 0.5% to 10%, apply to taxpayers deducting federal income

taxes.

Income Brackets: 8 – Lowest – $1,000; Highest – $8,700

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Personal Exemptions: Single – $1,000; Married – $2,000; Dependents – $1,000. Additional Exemptions: 65 or older

– $1,000

Standard Deduction: Single – $4,250; Married filing jointly – $8,500; Married filing separately – $4,250

Medical/Dental Deduction: Federal amount.

Federal Income Tax Deduction: Full but higher rates apply to the remaining taxable income.

Retirement Income:

Retirement Income Taxes: Social Security benefits that are included in the Federal Adjusted Gross Income shall

be subtracted on your Oklahoma income tax return. Each individual may exclude a percentage (60% in 2009) of

their retirement benefits received from the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), including survivor benefits,

paid in lieu of Social Security to the extent such benefits are included in the Federal Adjusted Gross Income. Retired

military personnel may exclude 75% of their retirement benefits beginning in tax year 2007 or $10,000, which is

greater, but not to exceed the amount included in the Federal Adjusted Gross Income. Individuals with Oklahoma

Government or Federal Civil Service Retirement Income may exclude their retirement benefits, up to $10,000, but

not to exceed the amount included in the Federal Adjusted Gross Income. Individuals with other retirement income

may exclude their retirement benefits, up to $10,000, but not to exceed the amount included in the Federal Adjusted

Gross Income. For more information refer to www.tax.ok.gov/faq/faqiti23d.html.

Retired Military Pay: Individuals may exclude 75% of their retirement benefits or $10,000, whichever is greater.

The amount of the exclusion cannot exceed the amount included in the federal adjusted gross income.

Military Disability Retired Pay: Retirees who entered the military before Sept. 24, 1975, and members receiving

disability retirements based on combat injuries or who could receive disability payments from the VA are covered

by laws giving disability broad exemption from federal income tax. Most military retired pay based on service-

related disabilities also is free from federal income tax, but there is no guarantee of total protection.

VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: VA benefits are not taxable because they generally are

for disabilities and are not subject to federal or state taxes.

Military SBP/SSBP/RCSBP/RSFPP: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with

state department of revenue office.

Property Taxes

Real property is assessed at an amount between 11% and 13.5% of its fair cash value. Oklahoma offers a homestead

exemption for homeowners which reduces the property’s assessed value by $1,000. In most cases this will result in

a tax savings of $80 to $120. If gross household income is under $20,000 a year or less and you meet all of the

homestead exemption requirements, you may qualify for an additional $1,000 exemption. A property tax refund

worth up to $200 is available if you are 65 or older, or totally disabled, and have an income of $12,000 or less.

There is a 100% property tax exemption for disabled veterans. Veterans and the surviving spouse of a veteran may

also qualify for a property tax exemption.

Senior citizens with a household income of less than $25,000 previously qualified for a valuation freeze on their

primary residence. This meant that their property tax would not go up just because the value of other homes in the

neighborhood has gone up. As the result of a law passed in 2004, the amount of qualifying income would be fixed

to the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s estimate of median family income. Call 405-713-

1236. For more information on ad valorem taxes refer to www.tax.ok.gov/adv4.html.

Inheritance and Estate Taxes – There is no inheritance tax but there is an estate tax. Estate tax is ½% to 10% of the

net estate at the time of death and is independent of the federal estate tax. It also imposes an additional estate tax

that is essentially designed to absorb any available federal estate credit for state death taxes. The amount of

Oklahoma estate tax imposed depends on who gets what. For details refer to

www.tax.ok.gov/oktax/forms/45499.pdf.

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For further information, visit the Oklahoma Tax Commission site www.oktax.state.ok.us or call 405-521-3160.

[Source: www.retirementliving.com Aug 2010 ++]

===============================

Congressional Alphalist:

To better understand what is happening to veteran legislation as it proceeds

through Congress it is useful to know the language used by our representatives as they conduct business. Following

are some of the words or expressions you will see while reading about or listening to House and Senate sessions:

JEFFERSON’S MANUAL. A book of rules of procedure and parliamentary philosophy. It was written by

Thomas Jefferson in 1801 when, as Vice President, he presided over the Senate. The Senate does not use

Jefferson’s Manual, while the House uses it as a supplement to its standing rules.

JOINT COMMITTEE. A COMMITTEE comprised of both House and Senate members. There are

currently 4 joint committees. They are the joint committees on the library, on printing, on taxation, and the

joint economic committee. None of the joint committees have legislative powers. They conduct oversight

& issue research studies.

JOINT MEETING. Occurs when the House and Senate assemble together to hear a speech by a dignitary.

A JOINT SESSION is when the House and Senate assemble together to hear the president give a speech. A

joint session is also held to count the electoral votes for president and vice-president.

JOINT RESOLUTIONS. Resolutions used to pose constitutional amendments, to fix technical errors, or to

appropriate. They become public law if adopted by both the House and Senate and, where relevant,

approved by the president. In terms of Constitutional amendments, they must be approved by 3/4 of the

states.

JUNKET. A critical term for a foreign trip taken by a member or a group of members. Usually work-

related, these trips are sometimes paid for by public funds or by a foreign government.

K STREET. The downtown Washington, D.C. Avenue where many lobbyists and lawyers have offices.

KILL. To kill a bill is to defeat a bill, often in committee and sometimes as a result of inaction. See also

TABLING.

KING OF THE HILL. Refers to a special rule for sequencing, debating and voting on competing

amendments. If more than one version receives a majority of votes, the one with the largest margin

prevails.

LAME DUCKS. Members who will not return in the next Congress but who are finishing out their current

term. Lame duck sessions are those held after the November election up to when the new Congress begins.

LAW. A legislative proposal passed by both the House and the Senate and approved by the President.

LAY ON THE TABLE. To lay a bill, resolution, amendment, appeal, or motion on the table is to dispose

of it permanently and adversely. Under congressional rules of procedure, tabling kills the underlying

matter. If done by unanimous consent, the Chair will simply state: “without objection, the [matter] is laid

upon the table.” If done by a record vote, a motion to table is formally offered and put to a vote. An

example of uncontroversial tabling would be when bills whose substance have been shifted to another piece

of legislation are tabled without objection. An example of a controversial tabling would be when a

debatable resolution is offered. Moving to table the resolution both ends debate and kills the resolution. In

the House privileged resolutions would otherwise receive at least one hour of debate and in the Senate

would have no restriction upon debate.

LEADER TIME. Time reserved for the use of the majority and minority leaders at the start of each day’s

session. Each leader is given 10 minutes to discuss the day’s legislative agenda or to address policy issues.

LEGISLATION. The making of laws or the laws themselves.

LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT. The “L.A.” is the staff person who advises a member of Congress on

legislative issues.

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LEGISLATIVE CORRESPONDENT. The “L.C.” is the staff person who answers the mail sent to a

member of Congress.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL. The staff person who advises Committee members on legal questions & bill

language.

LEGISLATIVE DAY. Any day on which the House or Senate meet. It runs until the next adjournment. If

the Chamber recesses rather than adjourns, the legislative day may run over several calendar days.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY. Refers to the chronology of steps a bill took as it moved through the process.

It also refers to the collection of documents generated by committees and floor debate on the bill. Federal

agencies and the courts review that history to verify Congressional intent on the bill.

LEGISLATIVE VETO. Refers to the repeal by Congress of federal agency or presidential actions. The

Executive actions stand unless nullified by disapproval resolutions passed by Congress.

LIVE QUORUM. A Live Quorum is conducted to get a majority, or 51, senators to the floor. It takes the

form of a motion to instruct the Sergeant-at-Arms to request the attendance of absent senators.

LOGROLLING. The term used for an informal pact between members to vote for each other’s priorities..

[Source: C-SPAN Congressional Glossary Sep 2010 ++]

===============================

Veteran Legislation Status 12 SEP 2010:

The House and Senate returned from their summer

six week recess 13 Sep. For or a listing of Congressional bills of interest to the veteran community that have been

introduced in the 111

th

Congress refer to the Bulletin‘s House & Senate Veteran Legislation attachments. Support of

these bills through cosponsorship by other legislators is critical if they are ever going to move through the legislative

process for a floor vote to become law. A good indication on that likelihood is the number of cosponsors who have

signed onto the bill. Any number of members may cosponsor a bill in the House or Senate. At http://thomas.loc.gov

you can review a copy of each bill‘s content, determine its current status, the committee it has been assigned to, and

if your legislator is a sponsor or cosponsor of it. To determine what bills, amendments your representative has

sponsored, cosponsored, or dropped sponsorship on refer to http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/d111/sponlst.html.

Grassroots lobbying is perhaps the most effective way to let your Representative and Senators know your

opinion. Whether you are calling into a local or Washington, D.C. office; sending a letter or e-mail; signing a

petition; or making a personal visit, Members of Congress are the most receptive and open to suggestions from their

constituents. The key to increasing cosponsorship on veteran related bills and subsequent passage into law is letting

legislators know of veteran‘s feelings on issues. You can reach their Washington office via the Capital Operator

direct at (866) 272-6622, (800) 828-0498, or (866) 340-9281 to express your views. Otherwise, you can locate on

http://thomas.loc.gov your legislator‘s phone number, mailing address, or email/website to communicate with a

message or letter of your own making. Refer to http://www.thecapitol.net/FAQ/cong_schedule.html for dates that

you can access your legislators on their home turf. [Source: RAO Bulletin Attachment 29 Aug 2010 ++]

===============================

Have You Heard?

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) wrote a poem about how military members are treated

during and after wars. Apparently, the sentiments of the Kipling poem remain alive today, even in the hearts of

those who once honorably served.

TOMMY

I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,

The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”

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The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,

I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:

O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;

But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,

The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,

O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,

They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;

They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,

But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;

But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,

The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,

O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep

Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;

An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit

Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.

Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”

But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,

The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,

O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,

But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;

An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,

Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;

While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,

But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,

There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,

O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:

We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.

Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face

The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”

But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;

An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;

An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

===============================

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

— Harry S Truman (1884 – 1972)

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===============================

Lt. James ―EMO‖ Tichacek, USN (Ret)

Associate Director, Retiree Assistance Office, U.S. Embassy Warden & IRS VITA Baguio City RP

PSC 517 Box RCB, FPO AP 96517

Tel: (951) 238-1246 in U.S. or Cell: 0915-361-3503 in the Philippines.

Email: raoemo@sbcglobal.net Web: http://post_119_gulfport_ms.tripod.com/rao1.html

AL/AMVETS/DAV/FRA/NAUS/NCOA/MOAA/USDR/VFW/VVA/CG33/DD890/AD37 member

Share

Senate VETERAN LEGISLATION 29 August 2010

Of the 6106 House and 3754 Senate pieces of legislation introduced in the 111th Congress to date, the

following are the Senate bills of interest to the non-active duty veteran community. Bill titles in green (if

any) are new additions to this summary, titles in orange have either passed either the House or Senate and

been passed to the other for consideration or been incorporated into another bill, and those highlighted in blue

have become public law. A good indication on the likelihood a bill of being forwarded to the House or Senate

for passage and subsequently being signed into law by the President is the number of cosponsors who have

signed onto the bill. An alternate way for it to become law is if it is added as an addendum to another bill

such as the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and survives the conference committee

assigned to iron out the difference between the House and Senate bills. At http://thomas.loc.gov you can

review a copy of each bill’s text, determine its current status, the committee it has been assigned to, who your

representative is and his/her phone number, mailing address, or email/website to communicate with a

message or letter of your own making, and if your legislator is a sponsor or cosponsor of it. To separately

determine what bills, amendments your representative has sponsored, cosponsored, or dropped sponsorship

on refer to http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/d111/sponlst.html. To review a numerical list of all bills introduced

refer to http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/111search.html. The key to increasing cosponsorship is letting legislators

know of their constituent’s views on issues. Those bills that include a website in red are being pushed by

various veterans groups for passage and by clicking on that website you can forward a preformatted message

to your legislator requesting he/she support the bill.

=============================================================================

S.46 : Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act of 2009 to amend title XVIII of the Social Security

Act to repeal the Medicare outpatient rehabilitation therapy caps.

Sponsor: Sen Ensign, John [NV] (introduced 1/6/2009) Cosponsors (32) Related Bill: H.R.43

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/moaa/issues/alert/?alertid=14486941&type=CO

________________________________________

S.66 : Disabled Vet Space A. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to permit former members of the

Armed Forces who have a service-connected disability rated as total to travel on military aircraft in the same

manner and to the same extent as retired members of the Armed Forces are entitled to travel on such aircraft.

Sponsor: Sen Inouye, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

________________________________________

Page 2

S.67 : Disabled POW Commissary/Exchange Use. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to authorize

certain disabled former prisoners of war to use Department of Defense commissary and exchange stores.

Sponsor: Sen Inouye, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

________________________________________

S.68 : Filipino Service Certification. A bill to require the Secretary of the Army to determine the validity of

the claims of certain Filipinos that they performed military service on behalf of the United States during

World War II.

Sponsor: Sen Inouye, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.94 : Long-Term Care Family Accessibility Act. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

provide for a nonrefundable tax credit for long-term care insurance premiums.

Sponsor: Sen Vitter, David [LA] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

Major Action: 1/13/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.239 : Veterans Health Equity Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to ensure that

veterans in each of the 48 contiguous States are able to receive services in at least one full-service hospital of

the Veterans Health Administration in the State or receive comparable services provided by contract in the

State.

Sponsor: Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] (introduced 1/14/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Companion Bill H.R.190

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/14/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.246 : Veterans Health Care Quality Improvement Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

improve the quality of care provided to veterans in Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, to

encourage highly qualified doctors to serve in hard-to-fill positions in such medical facilities, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] (introduced 1/14/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/14/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.252 : Veterans Health Care Authorization Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

enhance the capacity of the Department of Veterans Affairs to recruit and retain nurses and other critical

health-care professionals, to improve the provision of health care veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 1/15/2009)

Cosponsors (11)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Ordered to be reported without amendment favorably.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

Page 3

http://capwiz.com/dav/issues/alert/?alertid=14008476&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

S.263 : Servicemembers Access to Justice Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

improve the enforcement of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994,

and for other purposes. Companion Bill H.R.1474.

Sponsor: Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] (introduced 1/15/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.274 : Veterans Jobs Opportunity Act of 2009. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

provide an incentive to hire unemployed veterans.

Sponsor: Sen Baucus, Max [MT] (introduced 1/16/2009)

Cosponsors (1) Related Bill: H.R.4443

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 1/16/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

________________________________________

S.296 : Fair Tax Act of 2009. A bill to promote freedom, fairness, and economic opportunity by repealing the

income tax and other taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and enacting a national sales tax to be

administered primarily by the States.

Sponsor: Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] (introduced 1/22/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 1/22/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

________________________________________

S.307 : Critical Access Hospital Flexibility Act of 2009. A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security

Act to provide flexibility in the manner in which beds are counted for purposes of determining whether a

hospital may be designated as a critical access hospital under the Medicare program and to exempt from the

critical access hospital inpatient bed limitation the number of beds provided for certain veterans. Companion

Bill H.R.668

Sponsor: Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] (introduced 1/22/2009)

Cosponsors (15)

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 1/22/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

________________________________________

S.315 : Veterans Outreach Improvement Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

improve the outreach activities of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes. Companion

Bill H.R.32

Sponsor: Sen Feingold, Russell D. [WI] (introduced 1/26/2009)

Cosponsors (2) Related Bill H.R.2257

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.347 : Vet Hand Loss Traumatic Injury Protection. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to allow

the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to distinguish between the severity of a qualifying loss of a dominant hand

and a qualifying loss of a non-dominant hand for purposes of traumatic injury protection under

Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Ensign, John [NV] (introduced 1/29/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Page 4

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.402 : Keeping Our Promise to America’s Military Veterans Act. A bill to improve the lives of our Nation’s

veterans and their families and provide them with the opportunity to achieve the American dream.

Sponsor: Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/10/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.404 : Veterans’ Emergency Care Fairness Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

expand veteran eligibility for reimbursement by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for emergency treatment

furnished in a non-Department facility, and for other purposes. Companion Bill H.R.1377.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/10/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.407 : Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009. A bill to increase, effective as of

December 1, 2009, the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of

dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (17)

Related bill H.R.1513

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Senate Reports: 111-24

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-37 [GPO: Text, PDF]

________________________________________

S.423 : Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38,

United States Code, to authorize advance appropriations for certain medical care accounts of the Department

of Veterans Affairs by providing two-fiscal year budget authority, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (56)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 8/6/2009 Senate floor actions. Status: Returned to the Calendar. Calendar No. 101.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12703276

________________________________________

S.491 : Federal and Military Retiree Health Care Equity Act. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of

1986 to allow Federal civilian and military retirees to pay health insurance premiums on a pretax basis and to

allow a deduction for TRICARE supplemental premiums.

Sponsor: Sen Webb, Jim [VA] (introduced 2/26/2009)

Cosponsors (48)

Companion Bill H.R.1203

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 2/26/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

________________________________________

S.498 : Vet Dental Insurance. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize dental insurance for

veterans and survivors and dependents of veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Burr, Richard [NC] (introduced 2/26/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/26/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Page 5

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.514 : Veterans Rehabilitation and Training Improvements Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United

States Code, to enhance vocational rehabilitation benefits for veterans, and for other purposes. Companion

Bill H.R.297.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 3/3/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.535 : SBP DIC Offset Elimination. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to repeal requirement for

reduction of survivor annuities under the Survivor Benefit Plan by veterans’ dependency and indemnity

compensation, and for other purposes. Companion Bill H.775.

Sponsor: Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] (introduced 3/5/2009)

Cosponsors (58)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/5/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senator send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=14275496&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

S.543 : Veteran and Servicemember Family Caregiver Support Act of 2009. A bill to require a pilot program

on training, certification, and support for family caregivers of seriously disabled veterans and members of the

Armed Forces to provide caregiver services to such veterans and members, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] (introduced 3/6/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Companion Bill H.R.785.

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/6/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.546 : Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to permit certain

retired members of the uniformed services who have a service-connected disability to receive both disability

compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for their disability and either retired pay by reason of

their years of military service of Combat-Related Special Compensation. Companion Bill H.R.811.

Sponsor: Sen Reid, Harry [NV] (introduced 3/9/2009)

Cosponsors (45)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/9/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12904686&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

S.572 : Purple Heart Forever Stamp. A bill to provide for the issuance of a “forever stamp” to honor the

sacrifices of the brave men and women of the armed forces who have been awarded the Purple Heart.

Companion Bill H.R.1305.

Sponsor: Sen Webb, Jim [VA] (introduced 3/11/2009)

Cosponsors (17)

Committees: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/23/2009 Referred to Senate subcommittee. Status: Committee on Homeland Security

and Governmental Affairs referred to Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government

Information, Federal Services, and International Security.

________________________________________

S.597 : Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States

Page 6

Code, to expand and improve health care services available to women veterans, especially those serving in

operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for

other purposes. Companion Bill H.R.1211

Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 3/16/2009)

Cosponsors (20)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/16/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.606 : Veterans Corps Program. A bill to amend the National and Community Service Act of 1990 to

establish a Veterans Corps program.

Sponsor: Sen Warner, Mark R. [VA] (introduced 3/17/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Latest Major Action: 3/17/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

________________________________________

S.614 : WASP Gold Medal Award. A bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Airforce

Service Pilots (“WASP”).

Sponsor: Sen Hutchison, Kay Bailey [TX] (introduced 3/17/2009)

Cosponsors (75)

Companion Bill

H.R.2014

Committees: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-40 [GPO: Text, PDF]

________________________________________

S.642 : Health Care for Members of the Armed Forces Exposed to Chemical Hazards Act of 2009. A bill to

require the Secretary of Defense to establish registries of members and former members of the Armed Forces

exposed in the line of duty to occupational and environmental health chemical hazards, to amend title 38,

United States Code, to provide health care to veterans exposed to such hazards, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Bayh, Evan [IN] (introduced 3/19/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/19/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

________________________________________

S.644 : National Guard and Reserve Retired Pay Equity Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 10, United States

Code, to include service after September 11, 2001, as service qualifying for the determination of a reduced

eligibility age for receipt of non-regular service retired pay.

Sponsor: Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] (introduced 3/19/2009)

Cosponsors (13) Companion Bill H.R.208

Related Bill S.831

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/19/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/ncoausa/issues/alert/?alertid=12995086&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id] or

http://capwiz.com/moaa/issues/bills/?bill=12960556

________________________________________

S.658 : Rural Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code,

to improve health care for veterans who live in rural areas, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Tester, Jon [MT] (introduced 3/19/2009)

Cosponsors (10)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/19/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

Page 7

S.663 : Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38,

United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish the Merchant Mariner Equity

Compensation Fund to provide benefits to certain individuals who served in the United States merchant

marine (including the Army Transport Service and the Naval Transport Service) during World War II.

Sponsor: Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin [NE] (introduced 3/19/2009)

Cosponsors (51)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.669 : Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

clarify the conditions under which certain persons may be treated as adjudicated mentally incompetent for

certain purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Burr, Richard [NC] (introduced 3/23/2009)

Cosponsors (18)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/16/2009 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No.

78.

________________________________________

S.691 : Colorado National Cemetery for Veterans. A bill to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to

establish a national cemetery for veterans in southern Colorado region, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Bennet, Michael F. [CO] (introduced 3/25/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.699 : South Texas Veterans’ Hospital. A bill to provide for the construction by the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs of a full service hospital in Far South Texas.

Sponsor: Sen Cornyn, John [TX] (introduced 3/25/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.700 : Ending the Medicare Disability Waiting Period Act of 2009. A bill to amend title II of the Social

Security Act to phase out the 24-month waiting period for disabled individuals to become eligible for

Medicare benefits, to eliminate the waiting period for individuals with life-threatening conditions, and for

other purposes. Companion Bill H.R.1708.

Sponsor: Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] (introduced 3/25/2009)

Cosponsors (21)

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

_______________________________________

S.728 : Veterans’ Insurance and Benefits Enhancement Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States

Code, to enhance veterans’ insurance benefits, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 3/26/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/7/2009 Senate floor actions. Status: Returned to the Calendar. Calendar No. 155.

________________________________________

S.731 : TRICARE Coverage For “Gray Area” Reservists. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to

provide for continuity of TRICARE Standard coverage for certain members of the Retired Reserve.

Page 8

Companion Bill H.R.270

Sponsor: Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin [NE] (introduced 3/26/2009)

Cosponsors (23)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/26/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services. ‘

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://www.ngaus.org/content.asp?bid=1805&False&False

________________________________________

S.734 : Rural Veterans Health Care Access and Quality Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States

Code, to improve the capacity of the Department of Veterans Affairs to recruit and retain physicians in Health

Professional Shortage Areas and to improve the provision of health care to veterans in rural areas, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 3/30/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/30/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.746 : Nebraska National Cemetery. A bill to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a national

cemetery in the Sarpy County region to serve veterans in eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, and northwest

Missouri.

Sponsor: Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin [NE] (introduced 3/31/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.760 : National World War I Memorial. A bill to designate the Liberty Memorial at the National World

War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, as the “National World War I Memorial”.

Sponsor: Sen McCaskill, Claire [MO] (introduced 4/1/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Related Bill H.R.1849

Committees: Senate Energy and Natural Resources

Latest Major Action: 12/3/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Energy and

Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.768 : Bataan Gold Medal Initiative. A bill to grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the soldiers from the

United States who were prisoners of war at Bataan during World War II.

Sponsor: Sen Udall, Tom [NM] (introduced 4/1/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/1/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

________________________________________

S.772 : Honor Act of 2009. A bill to enhance benefits for survivors of certain former members of the Armed

Forces with a history of post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, to enhance availability and

access to mental health counseling for members of the Armed Forces and veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Bond, Christopher S. [MO] (introduced 4/1/2009)

Cosponsors (12)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/1/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.793 : Department of Veterans Affairs Vision Scholars Act of 2009. A bill to direct the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs to establish a scholarship program for students seeking a degree or certificate in the areas of

Page 9

visual impairment and orientation and mobility.

Sponsor: Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] (introduced 4/2/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/2/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.801 : Family Caregiver Program Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to waive

charges for humanitarian care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to family members

accompanying veterans severely injured after September 11, 2001, as they receive medical care from the

Department and to provide assistance to family caregivers, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 4/2/2009)

Cosponsors (27)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 9/25/2009 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No.

167.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13104956&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

S.820 : Veterans Mobility Enhancement Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

enhance the automobile assistance allowance for veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] (introduced 4/2/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.821 : VA Copay Collection Prohibition. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to prohibit the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs from collecting certain copayments from veterans who are catastrophically

disabled, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] (introduced 4/2/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/2/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read the second time and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

S.831 : National Guard and Reserve Retired Pay Equity Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 10, United States

Code, to include service after September 11, 2001, as service qualifying for the determination of a reduced

eligibility age for receipt of non-regular service retired pay.

Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 4/20/2009)

Cosponsors (34)

Related Bill S.644

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/20/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via www.ngaus.org/content.asp?bid=1805

________________________________________

S.832 : MOAA Federal Charter. A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to grant a Federal charter to

the Military Officers Association of America, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] (introduced 4/20/2009)

Cosponsors (41)

Companion Bill H.R.2017

Related Bill S.1449

Committees: Senate Judiciary

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-95 [GPO: Text, PDF]

________________________________________

Page 10

S.842 : VA Home Loan Payoff to Mortgagers. A bill to repeal the sunset of certain enhancements of

protections of servicemembers relating to mortgages and mortgage foreclosures, to amend title 38, United

States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to pay mortgage holders unpaid balances on

housing loans guaranteed by Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 4/21/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/21/2009 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.847 : SBP Education Assistance Limitation Exclusion. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide that utilization of survivors’ and dependents’ educational assistance shall not be subject to the 48-

month limitation on the aggregate amount of assistance utilizable under multiple veterans and related

educational assistance programs.

Sponsor: Sen Webb, Jim [VA] (introduced 4/21/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

________________________________________

S.883 : Medal of Honor Coin. A bill to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and

celebration of the establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861, America’s highest award for valor in action

against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the

United States, to honor the American military men and women who have been recipients of the Medal of

Honor, and to promote awareness of what the Medal of Honor represents and how ordinary Americans,

through courage, sacrifice, selfless service and patriotism, can challenge fate and change the course of

history.

Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 4/23/2009)

Cosponsors (85)

Committees: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/23/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

________________________________________

S.902 : Veteran’s Treatment Courts. A bill to provide grants to establish veteran’s treatment courts.

Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 4/27/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Related Bill H.R.2127

Committees: Senate Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.

________________________________________

S. 944 – The Wounded Warrior Transition Assistance Act. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to

require the Secretaries of the military departments to give wounded members of the reserve components of

the Armed Forces the option of remaining on active duty during the transition process in order to continue to

receive military pay and allowances, to authorize members to reside at their permanent places of residence

during the process, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Feingold, Russell D. [WI] (introduced 4/30/2009)

Cosponsors (5)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/30/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13266571&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

——————————————————————————–

S.977 : Prisoner of War Benefits Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide

Page 11

improved benefits for veterans who are former prisoners of war, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 5/5/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.998 : Arthur Woolweaver, Jr., Social Security Act Improvements for the Terminally Ill Act. A bill to

amend title II of the Social Security Act to eliminate the five-month waiting period in the disability insurance

program, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] (introduced 5/7/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 5/7/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

——————————————————————————–

S.1008 : Military Retired Pay Fairness Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to limit

requirements of separation pay, special separation benefits, and voluntary separation incentive from members

of the Armed Forces subsequently receiving retired or retainer pay.

Sponsor: Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] (introduced 5/7/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Companion bill H.R.2302

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 5/7/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13682656&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id] or

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13967481&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

——————————————————————————–

S.1015 : Enhanced Disability Compensation for Certain Disabled Veterans. A bill to amend title 38, United

States Code, to enhance disability compensation for certain disabled veterans with difficulties using

prostheses and disabled veterans in need of regular aid and attendance for residuals of traumatic brain injury,

and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Burr, Richard [NC] (introduced 5/11/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/11/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1016 : Vet Disability Compensation Award upon Separation. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code,

to modify the commencement of the period of payment of original awards of compensation for veterans who

are retired or separated from the Uniformed services for disability.

Sponsor: Sen Burr, Richard [NC] (introduced 5/11/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/11/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1042 : Illegal Garnishment Prevention Act. A bill to prohibit the use of funds to promote the direct deposit

of Veterans and Social Security benefits until adequate safeguards are established to prevent the attachment

and garnishment of such benefits.

Sponsor: Sen Kohl, Herb [WI] (introduced 5/14/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Page 12

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 5/14/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

——————————————————————————–

S.1055 : Gold Medal Award for 100

th

Inf Bn & 442

nd

RCT. A bill to grant the congressional gold medal,

collectively, to the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, United States Army, in

recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.

Sponsor: Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] (introduced 5/14/2009)

Cosponsors (71)

Related bill H.R.347

Committees: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/14/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1106 : Selected Reserve Continuum of Care Act. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to require

the provision of medical and dental readiness services to certain members of the Selected Reserve and

Individual Ready Reserve based on medical need, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] (introduced 5/20/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 5/20/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.1109 : PRO-VETS Act of 2009. A bill to provide veterans with individualized notice about available

benefits, to streamline application processes or the benefits, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] (introduced 5/20/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1118 : DIC Compensation Rate Increase to 55%. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide

for an increase in the amount of monthly dependency and indemnity compensation payable to surviving

spouses by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1128 : Atomic Veterans Service Medal Act. A bill to authorize the award of a military service medal to

members of the Armed Forces who were exposed to ionizing radiation as a result of participation in the

testing of nuclear weapons or under other circumstances.

Sponsor: Sen Roberts, Pat [KS] (introduced 5/21/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Related bill H.R.2553

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 5/21/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.1160 : Homes for Heroes Act of 2009. A bill to provide housing assistance for very low-income veterans.

Sponsor: Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] (introduced 6/1/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Page 13

Committees: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/1/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1166 : Voluntary Support for Reservists and National Guard Members Act of 2009. A bill to amend the

Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow taxpayers to designate part or all of any income tax refund to support

reservists and National Guard members.

Sponsor: Sen Reid, Harry [NV] (introduced 6/3/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 6/3/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

——————————————————————————–

S.1168 : Nationally Significant Battlefields Protection. A bill to authorize the acquisition and protection of

nationally significant battlefields and associated sites of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 under

the American Battlefield Protection Program.

Sponsor: Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] (introduced 6/3/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Related Bill

H.R.1694

Committees: Senate Energy and Natural Resources

Latest Major Action: 7/15/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Energy and

Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks. Hearings held. With printed Hearing: S.Hrg. 111-92.

——————————————————————————–

S.1169 : Uniformed Services with Autism (USA) Heroes Act . A bill to amend title 10, United States Code,

to provide for the treatment of autism under TRICARE.

Sponsor: Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] (introduced 6/3/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/3/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.1204 : Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act of 2009. A bill to amend the Department of

Veterans Affairs Health Care Programs Enhancement Act of 2001 to require the provision of chiropractic

care and services to veterans at all Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 6/8/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Related bill H.R.1017

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1237 : Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans with Children Act of 2009. A bill to amend

title 38, United States Code, to expand the grant program for homeless veterans with special needs to include

male homeless veterans with minor dependents and to establish a grant program for reintegration of homeless

women veterans and homeless veterans with children, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 6/11/2009)

Cosponsors (10)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2010 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No.

360.

Page 14

——————————————————————————–

S.1337 : Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act of 2009. A bill to exempt children of certain Filipino

World War II veterans from the numerical limitations on immigrant visas.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 6/24/2009)

Cosponsors (6)

Committees: Senate Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 6/24/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.

——————————————————————————–

S.1347 : Carmelo Rodriguez Military Medical Accountability Act of 2009. A bill to amend chapter 171 of

title 28, United States Code, to allow members of the Armed Forces to sue the United States for damages for

certain injuries caused by improper medical care, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] (introduced 6/24/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 6/24/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13791596&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

——————————————————————————–

S.1394 : Veterans Entitlement to Service Act of 2009. A bill to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to

acknowledge the receipt of medical, disability, and pension claims and other communications submitted by

claimants, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] (introduced 7/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1427 : Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital Quality Report Card Act of 2009. A bill to amend title

38, United States Code, to establish a Hospital Quality Report Card Initiative to report on health care quality

in Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] (introduced 7/9/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1429 : Servicemembers Mental Health Care Commission Act. A bill to establish a commission on

veterans and members of the Armed Forces with post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or

other mental health disorders, to enhance the capacity of mental health care providers to assist such veterans

and members, to ensure such veterans are not discriminated against, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] (introduced 7/9/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1449 : MOAA Federal Charter. A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to grant a Federal charter to

the Military Officers Association of America, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] (introduced 7/14/2009) Cosponsors (None) Related Bill H.R.2017 & S.832

Page 15

Committees: Senate Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 7/14/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.

——————————————————————————–

S.1450 : Deceased Servicemen Parental Nursing Home Care. A bill to enable State homes to furnish

nursing home care to parents any of whose children died while serving in the Armed Forces.

Sponsor: Sen Ensign, John [NV] (introduced 7/14/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/14/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1452 : COMBAT PTSD Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the meaning of

“combat with the enemy” for purposes of service-connection of disabilities.

Sponsor: Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] (introduced 7/14/2009)

Cosponsors (5)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/14/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1467 : Lance Corporal Josef Lopez Fairness for Servicemembers Harmed by Vaccines Act of 2009. A

bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide coverage under Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life

Insurance for adverse reactions to vaccinations administered by the Department of Defense, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Sen McCaskill, Claire [MO] (introduced 7/16/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1495 : Service Dogs for Veterans Act of 2009. A bill to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry

out a pilot program to assess the feasibility and advisability of using service dogs for the treatment or

rehabilitation of veterans with physical or mental injuries or disabilities, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Franken, Al [MN] (introduced 7/22/2009)

Cosponsors (7) Related Bill H.R.3266

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/22/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1518 : Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

furnish hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care to veterans who were stationed at Camp

Lejeune, North Carolina, while the water was contaminated at Camp Lejeune.

Sponsor: Sen Burr, Richard [NC] (introduced 7/27/2009)

Cosponsors (15)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1520 : NAIV Charter. A bill to grant a Federal charter to the National American Indian Veterans,

Page 16

Incorporated.

Sponsor: Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] (introduced 7/27/2009)

Cosponsors (1) Related Bill H.R.3349

Committees: Senate Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 7/27/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.

——————————————————————————–

S.1543 : Supporting Military Families Act of 2009. A bill to amend the Family and Medical Leave Act of

1993 and title 5, United States Code, to provide leave for family members of members of regular components

of the Armed Forces, and leave to care for covered veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] (introduced 7/30/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Latest Major Action: 7/30/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

——————————————————————————–

S.1547 : Zero Tolerance for Veterans Homelessness Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States

Code, and the United States Housing Act of 1937 to enhance and expand the assistance provided by the

Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to homeless

veterans and veterans at risk of homelessness, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Reed, Jack [RI] (introduced 7/30/2009)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1556 : Veteran Voting Support Act of 2009. A bill to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to permit

facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs to be designated as voter registration agencies, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] (introduced 8/3/2009)

Cosponsors (6)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1558 : Travel Reimbursement for Inactive Duty Training Personnel (TRIP) Act of 2009. A bill to amend

title 37, United States Code, to provide travel and transportation allowances for members of the reserve

components for long distance and certain other travel to inactive duty training.

Sponsor: Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] (introduced 8/3/2009)

Cosponsors (8)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 8/3/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.1668 : National Guard Education Equality Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide

for the inclusion of certain active duty service in the reserve components as qualifying service for purposes of

Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Bennet, Michael F. [CO] (introduced 9/14/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Page 17

Affairs. Hearings held.

To support this bill and/or contact your Senators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/ngaus/mail/compose/?mailid=14779496&azip=92571

——————————————————————————–

S.1685 : Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act of 2009. A bill to provide an emergency benefit of $250 to

seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities in 2010 to compensate for the lack of a cost-of-living

adjustment for such year, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] (introduced 9/17/2009)

Cosponsors (10) Related Bills: H.R.3597

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 9/17/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

——————————————————————————–

S.1695 : Congressional Gold Medal Award. A bill to authorize the award of a Congressional gold medal

to the Montford Point Marines of World War II.

Sponsor: Sen Burris, Roland [IL] (introduced 9/23/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Latest Major Action: 9/23/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1717 : VA Facility Leases. A bill to authorize major medical facility leases for the Department of

Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2010, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 9/25/2009)

Cosponsors (1) Related Bill S.1310

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-82

——————————————————————————–

S.1752 : Parkinson’s Disease VA Compensation. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide wartime disability compensation for certain veterans with

Parkinson’s disease.

Sponsor: Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] (introduced 10/5/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1753 : Disabled Veteran Caregiver Housing Assistance Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United

States Code, to increase assistance for disabled veterans who are temporarily residing in housing owned by a

family member, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] (introduced 10/5/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1779 : Health Care for Veterans Exposed to Chemical Hazards Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38,

United States Code, to provide health care to veterans exposed in the line of duty to occupational and

environmental health chemical hazards, and for other purposes.

Page 18

Sponsor: Sen Bayh, Evan [IN] (introduced 10/14/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/21/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1780 : Honor America’s Guard-Reserve Retirees Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

deem certain service in the reserve components as active service for purposes of laws administered by the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] (introduced 10/14/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Related bill: H.R.3787

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/19/2010 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1798 : Automatic Reserve Component Enrollment Act of 2009. A bill to provide for the automatic

enrollment of demobilizing members of the National Guard and Reserve in health care and dental care

programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] (introduced 10/19/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/19/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.1932 : Post 9/11 Troops to Teachers Enhancement Act. A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary

Education Act of 1965 to allow members of the Armed Forces who served on active duty on or after

September 11, 2001, to be eligible to participate in the Troops-to-Teachers Program, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen McCain, John [AZ] (introduced 10/27/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Latest Major Action:

——————————————————————————–

S.1939 : Vet Presumptive Exposure in Vietnam. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify

presumptions relating to the exposure of certain veterans who served in the vicinity of the Republic of

Vietnam, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] (introduced 10/27/2009)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/19/2010 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.1963 : Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United

States Code, to provide assistance to caregivers of veterans, to improve the provision of health care to

veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 10/28/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-163 [GPO: Text, PDF]

——————————————————————————–

S.2096 : Parent VA Burial Eligibility. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the

Page 19

eligibility of parents of certain deceased veterans for interment in national cemeteries.

Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 10/29/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/29/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.2743 : Cold War Service Medal Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for

the award of a military service medal to members of the Armed Forces who served honorably during the Cold

War, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] (introduced 11/5/2009)

Cosponsors (8)

Related bill: H.R.4051

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 11/5/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.2759 : Benefit Rating Acceleration for Veteran Entitlements Act of 2009. A bill to amend title II and

XVI of the Social Security Act to provide for treatment of disability rated and certified as total by the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs as disability for purposes of such titles.

Sponsor: Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] (introduced 11/10/2009)

Cosponsors (None) Related Bill: H.R.4054

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 11/10/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

——————————————————————————–

S.2760 : VA Homeless Vets Appropriations. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for an

increase in the annual amount authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out

comprehensive service programs for homeless veterans.

Sponsor: Sen Udall, Tom [NM] (introduced 11/10/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/10/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.2769 : Post-9/11 Veterans’ Job Training Act of 2009. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide for the use of entitlement under Post-9/11 Educational Assistance for the pursuit of apprenticeships

and on-job training, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] (introduced 11/10/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/10/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.2770 : Veterans Business Center Act of 2009. A bill to amend the Small Business Act to establish a

Veterans Business Center program, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] (introduced 11/10/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Latest Major Action: 11/10/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Page 20

——————————————————————————–

S.3082 : VA Work Study Allowances. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize individuals

who are pursuing programs of rehabilitation, education, or training under laws administered by the Secretary

of Veterans Affairs to receive work-study allowances for certain outreach services provided through

congressional offices, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] (introduced 3/5/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Related bill: H.R.4765

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/5/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.3107 : Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2010. A bill to amend title 38 ,

United States Code, to provide for an increase, effective December 1, 2010, in the rates of compensation for

veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the

survivors of certain disabled veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 3/11/2010)

Cosponsors (11) Related Bill: H.R.4667

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/19/2010 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.3118 : Veterans Pensions Protection Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide that

monetary benefits paid to veterans by States and municipalities shall be excluded from consideration as

income for purposes of pension benefits paid by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 3/16/2010) Cosponsors (None) Related Bill: H.R.3485

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/16/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.3162 : VA Minimum Essential Coverage. A bill to clarify the health care provided by the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs that constitutes minimum essential coverage.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 3/24/2010)

Cosponsors (59) Related bills: H.R.5014

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/13/2010 Held at the desk.

——————————————————————————–

S.3171 : Veterans Training Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the approval of

certain programs of education for purposes of the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program.

Sponsor: Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] (introduced 3/25/2010) Cosponsors (10) Related bills: H.R. 3813

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.3192 : Fair Access to Veterans Benefits Act of 2010. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide for the tolling of the timing of review for appeals of final decisions of the Board of Veterans’

Appeals, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Specter, Arlen [PA] (introduced 4/12/2010) Cosponsors (1)

Related bills: H.R.5045,

Page 21

H.R.5064

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 4/12/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.3201 : TRICARE Dependent Coverage Extension Act. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to

extend TRICARE coverage to certain dependents under the age of 26.

Sponsor: Sen Udall, Mark [CO] (introduced 4/14/2010) Cosponsors (31) Related bills: H.R.4923

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/14/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.3234 : Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010. A bill to improve employment, training, and

placement services furnished to veterans, especially those serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation

Enduring Freedom, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 4/20/2010) Cosponsors (13) Related bills: H.R.5120

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/19/2010 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.3286 : VA Vet Claim Assistance Pilot Program. A bill to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to

carry out a pilot program on the award of grants to State and local government agencies and nonprofit

organizations to provide assistance to veterans with their submittal of claims to the Veterans Benefits

Administration, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Specter, Arlen [PA] (introduced 4/29/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/19/2010 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.3356 : CHAMPVA Children Maximum Age increase. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

increase the maximum age for children eligible for medical care under the CHAMPVA program, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Feingold, Russell D. [WI] (introduced 5/13/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/13/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.3359 : Veterans’ Disability Compensation Automatic COLA Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States

Code, to provide for annual cost-of-living adjustments to be made automatically by law each year in the rates

of disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and

indemnity compensation for survivors of certain service-connected disabled veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Thune, John [SD] (introduced 5/13/2010)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/13/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Page 22

——————————————————————————–

S.3367 : VA Pension Increase for Disabled Couples. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to

increase the rate of pension for disabled veterans who are married to one another and both of whom require

regular aid and attendance, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 5/13/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/19/2010 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.3371 : TRICARE Mental Health Care Access Act. A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to

improve access to mental health care counselors under the TRICARE program, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen McCaskill, Claire [MO] (introduced 5/13/2010)

Cosponsors (8)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 5/13/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.3378 : Examination of Exposures to Environmental Hazards During Military Service and Health

Care for Camp Lejeune and Atsugi Naval Air Facility Veterans and their Families Act of 2010. An

original bill to authorize health care for individuals exposed to environmental hazards at Camp Lejeune and

the Atsugi Naval Air Facility, to establish an advisory board to examine exposures to environmental hazards

during military service, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 5/17/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Senate Reports: 111-189

Latest Major Action: 5/17/2010 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No.

377.

——————————————————————————–

S.3394 : Strengthening Entrepreneurship for America’s Veterans Act of 2010. A bill to establish the

veterans’ business center program, to improve the programs for veterans of the Small Business

Administration, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] (introduced 5/20/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Latest Major Action: 5/20/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

——————————————————————————–

S.3398 : Veteran Employment Transition Act of 2010. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986

to extend the work opportunity credit to certain recently discharged veterans.

Sponsor: Sen Baucus, Max [MT] (introduced 5/24/2010) Cosponsors (3) Related bills: H.R.5400

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 5/24/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

——————————————————————————–

S.3406 : Reserve Retirement Deployment Credit Correction Act. A bill to amend title 10, United States

Page 23

Code, to eliminate the per-fiscal year calculation of days of certain active duty or active service used to

reduce the minimum age at which a member of a reserve component of the uniformed services may retire for

non-regular service.

Sponsor: Sen Hagan, Kay [NC] (introduced 5/24/2010) Cosponsors (1) Related bills: H.R.4947

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 5/24/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.3447 : Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010. A bill to amend title 38,

United States Code, to improve educational assistance for veterans who served in the Armed Forces after

September 11, 2001, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 5/27/2010)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/21/2010 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Veterans’

Affairs. Hearings held.

——————————————————————————–

S.3454 : National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011. An original bill to authorize

appropriations for fiscal year 2011 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military

construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths

for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Levin, Carl [MI] (introduced 6/4/2010) Cosponsors (None) Related bills: H.R.5136, S.3455,

S.3456, S.3457

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Senate Reports: 111-201

Latest Major Action: 6/4/2010 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No.

414.

——————————————————————————–

S.3477 : Blue Star/Gold Star Flag Act of 2010. A bill to ensure that the right of an individual to display the

Service Flag on residential property not be abridged.

Sponsor: Sen Webb, Jim [VA] (introduced 6/10/2010) Cosponsors (11) Related Bill: H.R.2546

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/10/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

——————————————————————————–

S.3499 : Fiduciary Benefits Oversight Act of 2010. A bill to require fiduciaries of individuals receiving

benefits under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to authorize the Secretary to obtain

financial records with respect to such individuals for purposes of administering such laws, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 6/16/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/16/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.3556 : Hire A Hero Act of 2010. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the work

opportunity credit to small businesses which hire individuals who are members of the Ready Reserve or

Page 24

National Guard

Sponsor: Sen Brownback, Sam [KS] (introduced 6/30/2010)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: Senate Finance

Latest Major Action: 6/30/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Finance.

——————————————————————————–

S.3609 : VA Contract Physicians. A bill to extend the temporary authority for performance of medical

disability examinations by contract physicians for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 7/19/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/19/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

——————————————————————————–

S.3615 : Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2011.

Sponsor: Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] (introduced 7/19/2010)

Cosponsors (None) Related bill: S.1407

Committees: Senate Appropriations

Senate Reports: 111-226

Latest Major Action: 7/19/2010 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No.

469.

——————————————————————————–

S.3678 : Sergeant Coleman Bean National Guard and Reserves Mental Health Act. A bill to improve

mental health services for members of the National Guard and Reserve deployed in connection with a

contingency operation, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] (introduced 7/29/2010)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: Senate Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 7/29/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the

Committee on Armed Services.

—————————————————————————

[Source: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/LegislativeData.php?n=Browse 29 Aug 2010 ++]

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House VETERAN LEGISLATION 29 August 2010

Of the 6106 House and 3754 Senate pieces of legislation introduced in the 111th Congress to date, the

following House bills are of interest to the non-active duty veteran community. Bill titles in green (if any)

are new additions to this summary, titles in orange have either passed either the House or Senate and been

passed to the other for consideration or been incorporated into another bill, and those highlighted in blue have

become public law. A good indication on the likelihood a bill of being forwarded to the House or Senate for

passage and subsequently being signed into law by the President is the number of cosponsors who have

signed onto the bill. An alternate way for it to become law is if it is added as an addendum to another bill

such as the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and survives the conference committee

assigned to iron out the difference between the House and Senate bills. At http://thomas.loc.gov you can

review a copy of each bill’s text, determine its current status, the committee it has been assigned to, who your

representative is and his/her phone number, mailing address, or email/website to communicate with a

message or letter of your own making, and if your legislator is a sponsor or cosponsor of it. To separately

determine what bills, amendments your representative has sponsored, cosponsored, or dropped sponsorship

on refer to http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/d111/sponlst.html. To review a numerical list of all bills introduced

refer to http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/111search.html. The key to increasing cosponsorship is letting legislators

know of their constituent’s views on issues. Those bills that include a website in red are being pushed by

various veterans groups for passage and by clicking on that website you can forward a preformatted message

to your legislator requesting he/she support the bill.

=============================================================================

H.R.23 : Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2009 to amend title 38,

United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish the Merchant Mariner Equity

Compensation Fund to provide benefits to certain individuals who served in the United States merchant

marine (including the Army Transport Service and the Naval Transport Service) during World War II.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (168)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/13/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/naus/issues/alert/?alertid=12497121

________________________________________

H.R.32 : Veterans Outreach Improvement Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the

outreach activities of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes. Companion Bill S.315

Sponsor: Rep McIntyre, Mike [NC-7] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (41)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/28/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Provisions of measure

Page 2

incorporated into H.R. 3949 .

________________________________________

H.R.33 : Disability Benefit Fairness Act of 2009 to amend title II of the Social Security Act to eliminate the

5-month waiting period for entitlement to disability benefits and to eliminate reconsideration as an

intervening step between initial benefit entitlement decisions and subsequent hearings on the record on such

decisions.

Sponsor: Rep McIntyre, Mike [NC-7] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.43 : Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act of 2009 to amend title XVIII of the Social Security

Act to repeal the Medicare outpatient rehabilitation therapy caps.

Sponsor: Rep Becerra, Xavier [CA-31] (introduced 1/6/2009) Cosponsors (187) Related bill S.46

Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy

and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently

determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of

the committee concerned.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/moaa/issues/alert/?alertid=14486941&type=CO

________________________________________

H.R.82 : Veterans Outreach Improvement Act of 2009 to expand retroactive eligibility of the Army Combat

Action Badge to include members of the Army who participated in combat during which they personally

engaged, or were personally engaged by, the enemy at any time on or after December 7, 1941.

Sponsor: Rep Brown-Waite, Ginny [FL-5] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/30/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.84 : Veterans Timely Access to Health Care Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to establish

standards of access to care for veterans seeking health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Brown-Waite, Ginny [FL-5] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

________________________________________

H.R.108 : Disabled Veterans Commissary and Exchange Store Benefits Act to amend title 10, United States

Code, to extend military commissary and exchange store privileges to veterans with a compensable service-

connected disability and to their dependents.

Sponsor: Rep Fortenberry, Jeff [NE-1] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/30/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.114 : Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition Business Benefit Act to allow veterans to elect to use, with

the approval of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, certain financial educational assistance to establish and

operate certain business, and for other purposes.

Page 3

Sponsor: Rep Fortenberry, Jeff [NE-1] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/10/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee Hearings Held.

________________________________________

H.R.147 : Designate a Portion of Tax Payment for Homeless Vets. To amend the Internal Revenue Code of

1986 to allow taxpayers to designate a portion of their income tax payment to provide assistance to homeless

veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (91)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/4/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12922516&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.161 : Social Security Beneficiary Tax Reduction Act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

repeal the 1993 increase in taxes on Social Security benefits.

Sponsor: Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.162 : Senior Citizens’ Tax Elimination Act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the

inclusion in gross income of Social Security benefits.

Sponsor: Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.174 : Colorado Vet Cemetery. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a national

cemetery for veterans in the southern Colorado region.

Sponsor: Rep Salazar, John T. [CO-3] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 11/3/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.177 : Depleted Uranium Screening and Testing Act to provide for identification of members of the

Armed Forces exposed during military service to depleted uranium, to provide for health testing of such

members, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/30/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.190 : Veterans Health Equity Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to ensure that veterans

in each of the 48 contiguous States are able to receive services in at least one full-service hospital of the

Veterans Health Administration in the State or receive comparable services provided by contract in the State.

Companion Bill S.239.

Sponsor: Rep Shea-Porter, Carol [NH-1] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Page 4

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.198 : Health Care Tax Deduction Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a

deduction for amounts paid for health insurance and prescription drug costs of individuals.

Sponsor: Rep Stearns, Cliff [FL-6] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.208 : National Guardsmen and Reservists Parity for Patriots Act to amend title 10, United States Code,

to ensure that members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces who have served on active duty or

performed active service since September 11, 2001, in support of a contingency operation or in other

emergency situations receive credit for such service in determining eligibility for early receipt of non-regular

service retired pay, and for other purposes. Companion Bill S.644.

Sponsor: Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (166)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/30/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via http://capwiz.com/vfw/dbq/officials

and /or http://capwiz.com/ngaus/mail/compose/?mailid=13672261&azip=92571&bzip=7311

________________________________________

H.R.210 : Vet Cemetery South Carolina Land Acquisition Study. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

to conduct a study on the acquisition of a parcel of land adjacent to Beaufort National Cemetery, Beaufort,

South Carolina.

Sponsor: Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.217 : Vet Cemetery South Carolina Land Acquisition Purchase. To direct the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs to acquire a parcel of land adjacent to Beaufort National Cemetery, Beaufort, South Carolina.

Sponsor: Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] (introduced 1/6/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/6/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Veterans’

Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by

the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee

concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.228 : Visual Impairment VA Scholarship Program to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to

establish a scholarship program for students seeking a degree or certificate in the areas of visual impairment

and orientation and mobility.

Sponsor: Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] (introduced 1/7/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/28/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Provisions of measure

incorporated into H.R. 3949 .

________________________________________

H.R.236 : Social Security Protection Act to amend the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to protect Social

Security beneficiaries against any reduction in benefits.

Sponsor: Rep Brown-Waite, Ginny [FL-5] (introduced 1/7/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Page 5

Committees: House Rules; House Budget

Latest Major Action: 1/7/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Rules,

and in addition to the Committee on the Budget, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker,

in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.237 : Military Retiree Health Care Relief Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

allow a refundable credit to military retirees for premiums paid for coverage under Medicare Part B.

Sponsor: Rep Emerson, Jo Ann [MO-8] (introduced 1/7/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/7/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12921516&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.247 : Protect Our Veterans Memorials Act of 2009 to amend section 1369 of title 18, United States

Code, to extend Federal jurisdiction over destruction of veterans’ memorials on State or local government

property.

Sponsor: Rep Green, Gene [TX-29] (introduced 1/7/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 2/9/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

_______________________________________

H.R.270 : TRICARE Continuity of Coverage for National Guard and Reserve Families Act of 2009 to

amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for continuity of TRICARE Standard coverage for certain

members of the Retired Reserve. Companion Bill S.731.

Sponsor: Rep Latta, Robert E. [OH-5] (introduced 1/7/2009)

Cosponsors (72)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/30/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12923561&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id] or

http://www.ngaus.org/content.asp?bid=1805&False&False

________________________________________

H.R.293 : Homeless Women Veteran and Homeless Veterans with Children Reintegration Grant Program

Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Labor to carry out a grant

program to provide reintegration services through programs and facilities that emphasize services for

homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (15)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/8/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

________________________________________

H.R.294 : Veteran Owned Small Business Promotion Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide for the reauthorization of the Department of Veterans Affairs small business loan program, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 9/24/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

________________________________________

Page 6

H.R.295 : More Jobs for Veterans Act of 2009 to authorize appropriations for the veterans’ workforce

investment programs.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (11)

Committees: House Education and Labor

Latest Major Action: 3/16/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness.

________________________________________

H.R.296 : Armed Forces Disability Retirement Enhancement Act of 2009 to amend title 10, United States

Code, to revise the process by which a member of the Armed Forces is retired for disability and becomes

eligible for retirement pay, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 1/30/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.297 : Veteran Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Subsistence Allowance Improvement Act of

2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for an increase in the amount of subsistence allowance

payable by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to veterans participating in vocational rehabilitation programs,

and for other purposes. Companion Bill S.514

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (10)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/4/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

________________________________________

H.R.303 : Retired Pay Restoration Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to permit additional retired

members of the Armed Forces who have a service-connected disability to receive both disability

compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for their disability and either retired pay by reason of

their years of military service or Combat-Related Special Compensation and to eliminate the phase-in period

under current law with respect to such concurrent receipt.

Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (134)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/30/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.309 : American Heroes’ Homeownership Assistance Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code

of 1986 to allow certain current and former service members to receive a refundable credit for the purchase of

a principal residence.

Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/8/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.333 : Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to permit retired

members of the Armed Forces who have a service-connected disability rated less than 50 percent to receive

concurrent payment of both retired pay and veterans’ disability compensation, to eliminate the phase-in period

for concurrent receipt, to extend eligibility for concurrent receipt to chapter 61 disability retirees with less

than 20 years of service, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Marshall, Jim [GA-8] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (163)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Page 7

Military Personnel.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12406456&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id] and

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12888756

_______________________________________

H.R.341 : Suspend Limitations Period for Tax Refund on VA Retroactive Payments. To amend the Internal

Revenue Code of 1986 to suspend the running of periods of limitation for credit or refund of overpayment of

Federal income tax by veterans while their service-connected compensation determinations are pending with

the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Platts, Todd Russell [PA-19] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/8/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.347 : Congressional Gold Medal Award. To grant the congressional gold medal, collectively, to the

100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, United States Army, in recognition of their

dedicated service during World War II.

Sponsor: Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] (introduced 1/8/2009)

Cosponsors (297) – Related bill S.1055

Committees: House Financial Services; House Administration

Latest Major Action: 5/18/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.379 : State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Expansion Act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986

to ensure that all taxpayers have the ability to deduct State and local general sales taxes. Companion Bill

S.35.

Sponsor: Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (26)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/9/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.394 : Medal of Honor Pension. To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs to increase the amount of the Medal of Honor special pension provided under that title by up

to $1,000.

Sponsor: Rep Brown, Henry E., Jr. [SC-1] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/9/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.403 : Homes for Heroes Act of 2009 to provide housing assistance for very low-income veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Green, Al [TX-9] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (41)

Committees: House Financial Services; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 6/17/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.423 : Samuel B. Moody Bataan Death March Compensation Act to provide compensation for certain

World War II veterans who survived the Bataan Death March and were held as prisoners of war by the

Japanese.

Sponsor: Rep Mica, John L. [FL-7] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Armed Services

Page 8

Latest Major Action: 2/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.433 : Ready Employers Willing to Assist Reservists’ Deployment (REWARD) Act of 2009 to amend the

Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow employers a credit against income tax equal to 50 percent of the

compensation paid to employees while they are performing active duty service as members of the Ready

Reserve or the National Guard and of the compensation paid to temporary replacement employees.

Sponsor: Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (40)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/9/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.442 : Veterans’ Heritage Firearms Act of 2009 to provide an amnesty period during which veterans and

their family members can register certain firearms in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record,

and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Rehberg, Denny [MT] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (196)

Committees: House Judiciary; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/9/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

________________________________________

H.R.449 : Health Care for America’s Heroes Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand the

availability of health care provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs by adjusting the income level for

certain priority veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Sestak, Joe [PA-7] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/9/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.456 : Disabled Veteran Small Business Eligibility Expansion Act of 2009 to amend the Small Business

Act to make service-disabled veterans eligible under the 8(a) business development program.

Sponsor: Rep Wittman, Robert J. [VA-1] (introduced 1/9/2009)

Cosponsors (5)

Committees: House Small Business

Latest Major Action: 1/9/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Small Business.

________________________________________

H.R.466 : Wounded Veteran Job Security Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to prohibit

discrimination and acts of reprisal against persons who receive treatment for illnesses, injuries, and

disabilities incurred in or aggravated by service in the uniformed services.

Sponsor: Rep Doggett, Lloyd [TX-25] (introduced 1/13/2009)

Cosponsors (8)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/9/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.482 : Frank Buckles World War I Memorial Act to authorize the rededication of the District of

Columbia War Memorial as a National and District of Columbia World War I Memorial to honor the

sacrifices made by American veterans of World War I.

Sponsor: Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] (introduced 1/13/2009)

Cosponsors (51)

Committees: House Natural Resources

Latest Major Action: 2/4/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Page 9

National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands.

________________________________________

H.R.484 : Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act to require the Secretary of Defense to

develop and implement a plan to provide chiropractic health care services and benefits for certain new

beneficiaries as part of the TRICARE program.

Sponsor: Rep Rogers, Mike D. [AL-3] (introduced 1/13/2009)

Cosponsors (46)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 2/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.531 : Social Security Number Fraudulent Use Notification Act of 2009 to amend title II of the Social

Security Act to require that the Commissioner of Social Security notify individuals of improper use of their

Social Security account numbers.

Sponsor: Rep Myrick, Sue Wilkins [NC-9] (introduced 1/14/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/14/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.568 : Veterans Health Care Quality Improvement Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve

the quality of care provided to veterans in Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, to encourage

highly qualified doctors to serve in hard-to-fill positions in such medical facilities, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Costello, Jerry F. [IL-12] (introduced 1/15/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Oversight and Government Reform

Latest Major Action: 1/15/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

________________________________________

H.R.593 : CRSC for DoD Disability Severances Pay. To amend title 10, United States Code, to expand the

authorized concurrent receipt of disability severance pay from the Department of Defense and compensation

for the same disability under any law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs to cover all

veterans who have a combat-related disability, as defined under section 1413a of such title.

Sponsor: Rep Smith, Adam [WA-9] (introduced 1/15/2009)

Cosponsors (44)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 2/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12918951&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.612 : Disabled Veterans Insurance Act of 2009 to amend section 1922A of title 38, United States Code,

to increase the amount of supplemental insurance available for totally disabled veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3] (introduced 1/21/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/21/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.613 : Military Retiree Survivor Comfort Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for

forgiveness of certain overpayments of retired pay paid to deceased retired members of the Armed Forces

following their death.

Sponsor: Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3] (introduced 1/21/2009)

Cosponsors (63)

Committees: House Armed Services

Page 10

Latest Major Action: 2/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12489731&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.620 : Jobs for Veterans Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow an increased

work opportunity credit with respect to recent veterans.

Sponsor: Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] (introduced 1/21/2009)

Cosponsors (14) Related Bill: H.R.4443

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/21/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.627 : Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009 to amend the Truth in Lending Act to establish fair

and transparent practices relating to the extension of credit under an open end consumer credit plan, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] (introduced 1/22/2009)

Cosponsors (128) Related Bill S.235

Companion Bill S.414

Committees: House Financial Services

House Reports: 111-88

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-24

________________________________________

H.R.656 : Unemployed Early Retirement Plan Withdrawal without Penalty. To amend the Internal Revenue

Code of 1986 to allow certain individuals who have attained age 50 and who are unemployed to receive

distributions from qualified retirement plans without incurring a 10 percent additional tax.

Sponsor: Rep Platts, Todd Russell [PA-19] (introduced 1/22/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/22/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.667 : Heroes at Home Act of 2009 to improve the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury in

members and former members of the Armed Forces, to review and expand telehealth and telemental health

programs of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Salazar, John T. [CO-3] (introduced 1/23/2009)

Cosponsors (46)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 2/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.668 : Critical Access Hospital Flexibility Act of 2009 to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to

provide flexibility in the manner in which beds are counted for purposes of determining whether a hospital

may be designated as a critical access hospital under the Medicare Program and to exempt from the critical

access hospital inpatient bed limitation the number of beds provided for certain veterans. Companion Bill

S.307

Sponsor: Rep Walden, Greg [OR-2] (introduced 1/23/2009)

Cosponsors (10)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 1/23/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.671 : In Memory Medal for Forgotten Veterans Act to direct the Secretary of Defense to issue a medal

to certain veterans who died after their service in the Vietnam War as a direct result of that service.

Page 11

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 1/26/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 2/6/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.731 : Jenny’s Law to amend title 38, United States Code, to exclude individuals who have been

convicted of committing certain sex offenses from receiving certain burial-related benefits and funeral honors

which are otherwise available to certain veterans, members of the Armed Forces, and related individuals, and

for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Shadegg, John B. [AZ-3] (introduced 1/27/2009)

Cosponsors (26)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/27/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.746 : Safeguarding America’s Seniors and Veterans Act of 2009 to provide for economic recovery

payments to recipients of Social Security, railroad retirement, and veterans disability benefits.

Sponsor: Rep Adler, John H. [NJ-3] (introduced 1/28/2009)

Cosponsors (11)

Committees: House Ways and Means; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 1/28/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Ways

and Means, and in addition to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined

by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the

committee concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.761 : Parental Burial in National Cemeteries (Corey Shea Act). To amend title 38, United States Code,

to provide for the eligibility of parents of certain deceased veterans for interment in national cemeteries.

Sponsor: Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] (introduced 1/28/2009)

Cosponsors (3) Related Bill H.R.3949

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/28/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Provisions of measure

incorporated into H.R.3949 .

________________________________________

H.R.775 : Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act to repeal the requirement for reduction of survivor

annuities under the Survivor Benefit Plan to offset the receipt of veterans dependency and indemnity

compensation.

Sponsor: Rep Ortiz, Solomon P. [TX-27] (introduced 1/28/2009)

Cosponsors (349) Companion Bill S.535

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/15/2010 Motion to Discharge Committee filed by Mr. Jones. Petition No: 111-10.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12541746

To support the Discharge Petition send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=14825891&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.784 : VA Reports to Congress. To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs to submit to Congress quarterly reports on vacancies in mental health professional positions in

Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities.

Sponsor: Rep Tsongas, Niki [MA-5] (introduced 1/28/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/3/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

________________________________________

H.R.785 : VA Outreach Training. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program to

Page 12

provide outreach and training to certain college and university mental health centers relating to the mental

health of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and for other purposes.

Companion Bill S.543

Sponsor: Rep Tsongas, Niki [MA-5] (introduced 1/28/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/3/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

________________________________________

H.R.806 : TRICARE Mail-Order Pharmacy Pilot Program Act to establish a mail-order pharmacy pilot

program for TRICARE beneficiaries.

Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] (introduced 2/3/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 2/24/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.809 : Widow Remarriage Age Decrease for DIC. To amend title 38, United States Code, to reduce from

age 57 to age 55 the age after which the remarriage of the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran shall not

result in termination of dependency and indemnity compensation otherwise payable to that surviving spouse.

Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] (introduced 2/3/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/3/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/moaa/issues/bills/?bill=12993371

___________________________________

H.R.811 : Retired Pay Restoration Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to permit certain retired

members of the uniformed services who have a service-connected disability to receive both disability

compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for their disability and either retired pay by reason of

their years of military service or Combat-Related Special Compensation. Companion Bill S.546

Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] (introduced 2/3/2009)

Cosponsors (6)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/24/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.816 : Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act to amend title 10, United States Code, to prohibit

certain increases in fees for military health care.

Sponsor: Rep Edwards, Chet [TX-17] (introduced 2/3/2009)

Cosponsors (199)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 2/24/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12591151&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id] or

http://capwiz.com/moaa/issues/bills/?bill=12603596 or

http://capwiz.com/naus/issues/alert/?alertid=12607551 or

http://capwiz.com/trea/issues/alert/?alertid=12710751

________________________________________

H.R.819 : POW DIC Eligibility Date. To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the payment of

dependency and indemnity compensation to the survivors of former prisoners of war who died on or before

September 30, 1999, under the same eligibility conditions as apply to payment of dependency and indemnity

compensation to the survivors of former prisoners of war who die after that date.

Sponsor: Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17] (introduced 2/3/2009)

Cosponsors (17)

Page 13

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/3/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.870 : Medicare Medically Necessary Dental Care Act of 2009 to amend title XVIII of the Social

Security Act to provide for coverage under part B for medically necessary dental procedures.

Sponsor: Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] (introduced 2/4/2009)

Cosponsors (17)

Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/4/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy

and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently

determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of

the committee concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.879 : Affordable Health Care Expansion Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

allow individuals a refundable credit against income tax for the purchase of private health insurance.

Sponsor: Rep Granger, Kay [TX-12] (introduced 2/4/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/4/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.883 : Social Security 1993 Tax Increase Repeal. To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal

the 1993 increase in income taxes on Social Security benefits.

Sponsor: Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] (introduced 2/4/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/4/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.917 : Combat-Related Injury Death Dependent Health Benefits. To increase the health benefits of

dependents of members of the Armed Forces who die because of a combat-related injury.

Sponsor: Rep Guthrie, Brett [KY-2] (introduced 2/9/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.919 : Veterans’ Medical Personnel Recruitment and Retention Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United

States Code, to enhance the capacity of the Department of Veterans Affairs to recruit and retain nurses and

other critical health-care professionals, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] (introduced 2/9/2009)

Cosponsors (7)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/9/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.929 : VA Vet Training Program. To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs to carry out a program of training to provide eligible veterans with skills relevant to the job

market, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Welch, Peter [VT] (introduced 2/9/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/15/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee (Amended) by Voice Vote .________________________________________

Page 14

H.R.931 : Veterans Employment Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the work

opportunity credit with respect to certain unemployed veterans.

Sponsor: Rep Nye, Glenn C., III [VA-2] (introduced 2/10/2009) Cosponsors (None) Related bill: H.R.4443

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/10/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.942 : Veterans Self-Employment Act of 2009 to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct a

pilot project on the use of educational assistance under programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs to

defray training costs associated with the purchase of certain franchise enterprises.

Sponsor: Rep Alexander, Rodney [LA-5] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/3/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee (Amended) by Voice Vote .

________________________________________

H.R.944 : Prisoner of War Benefits Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide improved

benefits for veterans who are former prisoners of war.

Sponsor: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/10/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.950 : Vet Distance Learning Assistance. To amend chapter 33 of title 38, United States Code, to

increase educational assistance for certain veterans pursuing a program of education offered through distance

learning.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (28)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/4/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Ordered to be Reported

(Amended) by Voice Vote.

________________________________________

H.R.952 : Compensation Owed for Mental Health Based on Activities in Theater Post-traumatic Stress

Disorder Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the meaning of “combat with the enemy” for

purposes of service-connection of disabilities.

Sponsor: Rep Hall, John J. [NY-19] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (95)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 6/10/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Ordered to be Reported

(Amended) by Voice Vote.

________________________________________

H.R.953 : Veterans Travel Tax Relief Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide

for a deduction for travel expenses to medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs in connection

with examinations or treatments relating to service-connected disabilities.

Sponsor: Rep Heller, Dean [NV-2] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (68)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/10/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.954 : Social Security Benefits Fairness Act of 2009 to amend title II of the Social Security Act to

provide that a monthly insurance benefit thereunder shall be paid for the month in which the recipient dies,

Page 15

subject to a reduction of 50 percent if the recipient dies during the first 15 days of such month, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/10/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.972 : Retired Reserve Age for Health Benefits. To amend title 10, United States Code, to eliminate the

requirement that certain former members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces be at least 60 years

of age in order to be eligible to receive health care benefits.

Sponsor: Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] (introduced 2/10/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 3/17/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/moaa/issues/bills/?bill=12992881

________________________________________

H.R.1004 : Veterans Health Care Full Funding Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide an

enhanced funding process to ensure an adequate level of funding for veterans health care programs of the

Department of Veterans Affairs, to establish standards of access to care for veterans seeking health care from

the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Smith, Christopher H. [NJ-4] (introduced 2/11/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/11/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1016 : Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United

States Code, to provide advance appropriations authority for certain medical care accounts of the Department

of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (125)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

House Reports: 111-171

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-81

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

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________________________________________

H.R.1017 : Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act to amend the Department of Veterans Affairs

Health Care Programs Enhancement Act of 2001 and title 38, United States Code, to require the provision of

chiropractic care and services to veterans at all Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers and to expand

access to such care and services.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (37)

Related bill S.1204

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/25/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1034 : Honor and Remember Flag. To amend title 36, United States Code, to designate the Honor and

Remember Flag created by Honor and Remember, Inc., as an official symbol to recognize and honor

members of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Forbes, J. Randy [VA-4] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (20)

Page 16

Committees: House Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 3/16/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.

____________________________________

H.R.1036 : Veterans Physical Therapy Services Improvement Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States

Code, to establish the position of Director of Physical Therapy Service within the Veterans Health

Administration and to establish a fellowship program for physical therapists in the areas of geriatrics,

amputee rehabilitation, polytrauma care, and rehabilitation research.

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (29)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/1/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

________________________________________

H.R.1037 : Pilot College Work Study Programs for Veterans Act of 2009 to direct the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs to conduct a five-year pilot project to test the feasibility and advisability of expanding the scope of

certain qualifying work-study activities under title 38, United States Code.

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

House Reports: 111-162

Latest Major 10/7/2009 Passed/agreed to in Senate. Status: Passed Senate with an amendment by

Unanimous Consent.

________________________________________

H.R.1038 : Shingles Prevention Act to amend part B of title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide

coverage for the shingles vaccine under the Medicare Program.

Sponsor: Rep Hirono, Mazie K. [HI-2] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (12)

Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/12/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy

and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently

determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of

the committee concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.1042 : Enemy POW Hospitalization Policy. To prohibit the provision of medical treatment to enemy

combatants detained by the United States at Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the same facility as a

member of the Armed Forces or Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility.

Sponsor: Rep Miller, Jeff [FL-1] (introduced 2/12/2009)

Cosponsors (9)

Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/13/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

________________________________________

H.R.1075 : Restoring Essential Care for Our Veterans for Effective Recovery (RECOVER) Act to amend

title 38, United States Code, to expand access to hospital care for veterans in major disaster areas, and for

other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Scalise, Steve [LA-1] (introduced 2/13/2009)

Cosponsors (19)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/25/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

________________________________________

H.R.1088 : Mandatory Veteran Specialist Training Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to

provide for a one-year period for the training of new disabled veterans’ outreach program specialists and local

Page 17

veterans’ employment representatives by National Veterans’ Employment and Training Services Institute.

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 2/13/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/20/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1089 : Veterans Employment Rights to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the

enforcement through the Office of Special Counsel of the employment and unemployment rights of veterans

and members of the Armed Forces employed by Federal executive agencies, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 2/13/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/20/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1098 : Veterans’ Worker Retraining Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to increase the

amount of educational assistance payable by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to certain individuals pursuing

internships or on-job training.

Sponsor: Rep Perriello, Thomas S.P. [VA-5] (introduced 2/13/2009)

Cosponsors (12)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/10/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Ordered to be Reported

(Amended) by Voice Vote.

________________________________________

H.R.1114 : National Cemetery Availability. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a process

for determining whether a geographic area is sufficiently served by the national cemeteries located in that

geographic area.

Sponsor: Rep Rehberg, Denny [MT] (introduced 2/23/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/23/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1163 : Establish Nebraska National Cemetery. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a

national cemetery in the Sarpy County region to serve veterans in eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, and

northwest Missouri.

Sponsor: Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] (introduced 2/24/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 2/24/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on

Veterans’ Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently

determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of

the committee concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.1168 : Veterans Retraining Act of 2009 to amend chapter 42 of title 38, United States Code, to provide

certain veterans with employment training assistance.

Sponsor: Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (5)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 11/3/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1169 : VA Adapted Housing/Automobile Assistance. To amend title 38, United States Code, to increase

the amount of assistance provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to disabled veterans for specially

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adapted housing and automobiles and adapted equipment.

Sponsor: Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (8)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/4/2010 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Ordered to be Reported by

Voice Vote.

________________________________________

H.R.1170 : Adapted Housing Technology Grants. To amend chapter 21 of title 38, United States Code, to

establish a grant program to encourage the development of new assistive technologies for specially adapted

housing.

Sponsor: Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 5/20/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1171 : Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 to amend title 38,

United States Code, to reauthorize the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program for fiscal years 2010

through 2014.

Sponsor: Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (4)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/31/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice

and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1172 : VA Website Scholarship Info Addition. To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to include on

the Internet website of the Department of Veterans Affairs a list of organizations that provide scholarships to

veterans and their survivors.

Sponsor: Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (1)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

House Reports: 111-164

Latest Major Action: 6/24/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1182 : Military Spouses Residency Relief Act to amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to

guarantee the equity of spouses of military personnel with regard to matters of residency, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (208)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 10/8/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by

Subcommittee to Full Committee by Voice Vote .

________________________________________

H.R.1197 : Medal of Honor Health Care Equity Act of 2009 to assign a higher priority status for hospital

care and medical services provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs to certain veterans who are

recipients of the medal of honor.

Sponsor: Rep Mitchell, Harry E. [AZ-5] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (15)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/9/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee by Voice Vote.

________________________________________

H.R.1203 : Federal and Military Retiree Health Care Equity Act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of

1986 to allow Federal civilian and military retirees to pay health insurance premiums on a pretax basis and to

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allow a deduction for TRICARE supplemental premiums. Companion Bill S.491

Sponsor: Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8] (introduced 2/25/2009)

Cosponsors (215)

Committees: House Ways and Means; House Oversight and Government Reform; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 6/26/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Federal Workforce, Post Office, and the District of Columbia.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12787701&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.1211: Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand

and improve health care services available to women veterans, especially those serving in Operation Enduring

Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Companion Bill S.597

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 2/26/2009)

Cosponsors (51)

House Reports: 111-165

Latest Major Action: 6/24/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12833716&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.1232 : Far South Texas Veterans Medical Center Act of 2009 to authorize the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs to construct a full service hospital in Far South Texas.

Sponsor: Rep Ortiz, Solomon P. [TX-27] (introduced 2/26/2009)

Cosponsors (6)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 2/26/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

________________________________________

H.R.1263 : Federal Retirement Reform Act of 2009 to amend title 5, United States Code, to provide for the

automatic enrollment of new participants in the Thrift Savings Plan, and to clarify the method for computing

certain annuities based on part-time service; to allow certain employees of the District of Columbia to have

certain periods of service credited for purposes relating to retirement eligibility; and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Lynch, Stephen F. [MA-9] (introduced 3/3/2009)

Cosponsors (5)

Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform; House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/3/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Oversight

and Government Reform, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be

subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the

jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

________________________________________

H.R.1289 : Social Security Fairness for the Terminally Ill Act of 2009 to amend title II of the Social

Security Act to eliminate the five-month waiting period in the disability insurance program, and for other

purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Wilson, Charles A. [OH-6] (introduced 3/3/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/3/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.1293 : Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009 to

amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for an increase in the amount payable by the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs to veterans for improvements and structural alterations furnished as part of home health

services.

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-4] (introduced 3/4/2009)

Cosponsors (16)

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Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/29/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

________________________________________

H.R.1305 : Perpetual Purple Heart Stamp Act to provide for the issuance of a forever stamp to honor the

sacrifices of the brave men and women of the armed forces who have been awarded the Purple Heart.

Companion Bill S.572

Sponsor: Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] (introduced 3/4/2009)

Cosponsors (83)

Committees: House Oversight and Government Reform

Latest Major Action: 3/4/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Oversight and Government Reform.

________________________________________

H.R.1317 : Mortgage Payment Tax Credit. To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a tax

credit to individuals who pay their mortgages on time.

Sponsor: Rep Shuster, Bill [PA-9] (introduced 3/4/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/4/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.1335 : VA Catastrophically Disabled Copay. To amend title 38, United States Code, to prohibit the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs from collecting certain copayments from veterans who are catastrophically

disabled.

Sponsor: Rep Halvorson, Deborah L. [IL-11] (introduced 3/5/2009)

Cosponsors (40)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 7/9/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Forwarded by Subcommittee

to Full Committee (Amended) by Voice Vote.

________________________________________

H.R.1336 : Veterans Education Improvement Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to make

certain improvements in the basic educational assistance program administered by the Secretary of Veterans

Affairs, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] (introduced 3/5/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1377 : VA Emergency Treatment Reimbursement to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand

veteran eligibility for reimbursement by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for emergency treatment furnished

in a non-Department facility, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 3/6/2009)

Cosponsors (2)

Companion Bill S.404.

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-137

________________________________________

H.R.1388 : Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act to reauthorize and reform

the national service laws. Passed 321-105 and placed on the Senate calendar.

Sponsor: Rep McCarthy, Carolyn [NY-4] (introduced 3/9/2009)

Cosponsors (37) Related Bills:

H.RES.250, H.RES.296, S.277

Committees: House Education and Labor,

House Reports: 111-37

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-13

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________________________________________

H.R.1401 : VET Corps Act of 2009 to create a service corps of veterans called Veterans Engaged for

Tomorrow (VET) Corps focused on promoting and improving the service opportunities for veterans and

retired members of the military by engaging such veterans and retired members in projects designed to meet

identifiable public needs with a specific emphasis on projects to support veterans, including disabled and

older veterans and retired members of the military.

Sponsor: Rep Sarbanes, John P. [MD-3] (introduced 3/9/2009)

Cosponsors (14)

Committees: House Education and Labor

Latest Major Action: 4/29/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Healthy Families and Communities.

________________________________________

H.R.1416 : Southern New Jersey Veterans Comprehensive Health Care Act to direct the Secretary of

Veterans Affairs to expand the capability of the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide for the medical-

care needs of veterans in southern New Jersey.

Sponsor: Rep LoBiondo, Frank A. [NJ-2] (introduced 3/10/2009)

Cosponsors (3)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/13/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Health.

________________________________________

H.R.1428 : VA Parkinson’s Disease Compensation. To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the

Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide wartime disability compensation for certain veterans with

Parkinson’s disease.

Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 3/11/2009)

Cosponsors (84)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/13/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=12986021&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.1474 : Servicemembers Access to Justice Act of 2009 to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve

the enforcement of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, and for

other purposes. Companion Bill S.263.

Sponsor: Rep Davis, Artur [AL-7] (introduced 3/12/2009)

Cosponsors (28)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services; House Oversight and Government Reform

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on

Military Personnel.

________________________________________

H.R.1478 : Carmelo Rodriguez Military Medical Accountability Act of 2009 to amend chapter 171 of title

28, United States Code, to allow members of the Armed Forces to sue the United States for damages for

certain injuries caused by improper medical care, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] (introduced 3/12/2009)

Cosponsors (12)

Committees: House Judiciary

Latest Major Action: 4/26/2010 Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 267.

________________________________________

H.R.1496 : Child Health Care Affordability Act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow

individuals a credit against income tax for medical expenses for dependents.

Sponsor: Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14] (introduced 3/12/2009)

Cosponsors (None)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/12/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

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Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.1513 : Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009 to increase, effective as of

December 1, 2009, the rates of disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and

the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors of certain service-connected disabled

veterans, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Kirkpatrick, Ann [AZ-1] (introduced 3/16/2009)

Cosponsors (10)

Related bill S.407

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs

Latest Major Action: 3/31/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read

twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

To support this bill and/or contact your legislators send a message via

http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=13048376&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

________________________________________

H.R.1519 : Social Security Benefits Tax Relief Act of 2009 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to

repeal the 1993 income tax increase on Social Security benefits.

Sponsor: Rep Johnson, Sam [TX-3] (introduced 3/16/2009)

Cosponsors (8)

Committees: House Ways and Means

Latest Major Action: 3/16/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on

Ways and Means.

________________________________________

H.R.1522 : United States Cadet Nurse Corps Equity Act to provide that service of the members of the

organization known as the United States Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II constituted active military

service for purposes of laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Sponsor: Rep Lowey, Nita M. [NY-18] (introduced 3/16/2009)

Cosponsors (25)

Committees: House Veterans’ Affairs; House Armed Services

Latest Major Action: 5/22/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Subcommittee Hearings

Held.

________________________________________

H.R.1532 : CMOH Statute of Limitations Elimination. To amend title 10, United States Code, to eliminate

the statute of limitations on the award