Friday, June 28, 2013

The American Legion Washington DC Office HOT ISSUES Friday June 28th, 2013

The American Legion Washington DC Office


Friday June 28th, 2013
  • On Monday, June 24, staff met with Brian Hawkins, Director and Ross Fletcher, Chief of Staff of the DC VA Medical Center  to discuss the Compensation and Pension (C&P) RSVP Scheduling Program at DC VA Medical Center.   By regulation, the Veterans Benefits Administration requires veterans that submit a claim for an injury/illness to conduct a C&P exam to determine the severity of injury/illness and appropriate percentage of service connection.  The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) sends a C&P exam request to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to schedule and complete the C&P exam.  Instead of mailing the veteran a letter with their date for the C&P exam within 30 days, the DC VA Medical Center and other pilot VA sites sending a RSVP letter to request a veteran schedule an appointment within 10 days.  The RSVP program has allowed the veteran to have more flexibility and options for scheduling as well as helped the DC VA Medical Center to coordinate the multiple doctors that are necessary if the exam has several conditions the veteran is claiming.  However, approximately five to ten percent of veterans are not scheduling within the 10 day period of the RSVP program, and if VHA is unable to reach the veteran in 10 days, they send the failure to report notice back to VBA which affects the veterans' claim decision.   A future meeting will be set up with VBA to determine if the request for exam can be re-sent to VHA if a veteran does not schedule an appointment during the first 10-day period.
  • On June 18th, staff attended a Panel Discussion and Q&A on Facing the Invisible Wounds of War, presented by Volunteers of America at the National Press Club 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20045. The Panel was moderated by the anchor of Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace, with special guests: Congressman Phil Roe, and Congressman Tim Walz. The panel featured: Kelly Caffarelli, President of The Home Depot Foundation, Koby Langley, Senior Advisor for the Corporation for National and Community Service, Former U.S. Senator, Richard Luger, and Dr. Jonathan Sherin, Executive Vice President, Military Communities & Chief Medical Officer for Volunteers of America. The panel engaged discussion on the mental health challenges faced by many of America's returning veterans, including PTSD, military sexual trauma, addiction and other barriers to building strong civilian lives.
  • On June 22, 2013, Warren Goldstein, Senior National Field Service Representative conducted Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) training at the Department of Tennessee Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.  The training was on "VA Enrollment and Priority Groups." There were 25 Legionnaires to include Department Services Officers in attendance.
  • On June 28, 2013, Roscoe Butler will be meeting with Dr. Ellen Fox, Chief Ethics in Health Care Officer and Dr. Sherrie Hans, Deputy Chief, National Center of Ethics in Health Care to discuss their to discuss their 2012 and 2013 office goals and priorities, status of the program's progress toward achieving these goals and the program office's resources (budget, staffing and equipment).
  • VA Processes Nearly All Disability Claims Pending Over 2 Years, Moves to Complete Those Older Than 1 Year
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that as a result of the initiative launched in April to expedite disability compensation claims decisions for Veterans who have a waited a year or longer, more than 65,000-claims – or 97 percent of all claims over two years old in the inventory – have been eliminated from the backlog.  Veterans Benefits Administration has stated that 95 percent of these have been completed and only 5 percent have been issue a provisional rating.  With the speed of processing the 65,000 claims we will monitor the accuracy of the ratings.  How many of these completed claims will end up in the appeals process only time will tell.  Even the VA conceded to Senator Titus that some of these claims will end up in the appeals process.  During our upcoming ROAR visits we might not be able to review the actual claims as they will be in VBMS but we need to request from VACO the report that reflects the ratio of the two year completed claims that are being appealed.
  • OIG Inspection of VA Regional Office Houston Texas
The OIG evaluated the Houston VARO to see how well it accomplishes its mission.  OIG found the VARO staff did not accurately process 37 (62 percent) of 60 disability claims reviewed.  OIG sampled claims for certain types of medical disabilities that they considered to be at higher risk of processing errors, so these results do not represent the overall accuracy of disability claims processing at this VARO.  Specific to the claims OIG reviewed, 22 of 30 temporary 100 percent disability evaluations were inaccurate.  Generally, these errors occurred because VARO management did not ensure staff took appropriate action to reduce benefits when required, and staff did not follow up on requests for hearings where veterans could present additional evidence to show that temporary 100 percent evaluations were still warranted.  Also, staff misinterpreted VBA policy and inaccurately processed 15 of 30 traumatic brain injury claims.  Further, VARO managers did not ensure staff accurately completed Systematic Analyses of Operations or addressed Gulf War veterans' entitlement to mental health treatment.
OIG recommended the VARO Director implement a plan to ensure staff complies with VBA policy to reduce temporary 100 percent disability evaluations, and follow up on hearing requests associated with proposed reductions in benefits.  The Director should also ensure staff reviews the 689 temporary 100 percent disability evaluations remaining from our inspection universe and take action to manage these evaluations appropriately.  Further, the Director should implement a plan to ensure effective training and accurate second signature reviews of traumatic brain injury claims.  The Director should also provide refresher training and ensure the Systematic Analyses of Operations checklist is amended to address all elements required by current VBA policy.  The VARO Director concurred with OIG recommendations.
With reading the report we will look at a Regional Office Action Review visit and ensure the VARO is following up and through with VBA policy and procedures.
  • Staff met with Sen. Boxer and Sen. Gillibrand's office to discuss Military Sexual Assault bill.  Discussed existing bills and possible language that TAL could support, and the possibility of Gillibrand's staff coming to convention to brief the Nat Security and VA&R Commissions.
  • Staff met with the Heritage Foundation to discuss the Treaty on Persons with Disabilities.   Heritage was interested in our position based on prior TAL support.  We discussed that TAL does not have a resolution to support, and where there is very little Veteran implication, doubtful that TAL would be interested in getting involved further.
  • Staff met with VA Undersecretary together with VA&R to discuss proposed legislation that would mandate VA reporting requirements regarding infectious diseases.  There are two proposed bills regarding reporting procedures, and TAL needed to get specific information from VA before making a decision on which bill to support.
  • Staff presented legislative report during the annual Citizens Flag Alliance meeting.  Discussed the House resolutions that have been introduced, and what the status is of these resolutions are, and the Senate resolution that was introduced last week.  We further discussed strategies for moving the resolutions forward.
  • TAL participated as a witness in a hearing to address pending legislation before the HVAC Economic Opportunity subcommittee. 
  • HR 331, To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to permit the centralized reporting of veteran enrollment by certain groups, districts, and consortiums of educational institutions.
  • HR 821 - To amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to provide surviving spouses with certain protections relating to mortgages and mortgage foreclosures, and for other purposes.
  • HR 1357 - To amend the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 to improve the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program by providing assistance under such program for certain training programs that are considered less than full-time.
  • HR 1796 – TROOP TALENT ACT 2013 To ensure that the education and training provided members of the Armed Forces and veterans better assists members and veterans in obtaining civilian certifications and licenses, and for other purposes.
  • HR 1842 MILITARY FAMILIES HOME PROTESTION ACT, To amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to improve the protections for servicemembers, surviving spouses, and disabled veterans against mortgage foreclosures, and for other purposes.       
  • HR 2011 VETERANS ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT ACT 2013 To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for a two-year extension of the Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education.
  • HR 2150 HOMELESS VETERANS REINTERGRATION ACT 2013 To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for a five-year extension to the homeless veterans reintegration programs.
  • HR 2210 MARINE GUNNERY SERGEANT JOHN DAVID FRY SCHOLARSHIP IMPROVEMENTS ACT OF 2013 To amend title 38, United States Code, to expand the eligibility of children of certain deceased veterans to educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • HR 2327 To amend title 38, United States Code, to establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration, and for other purposes
  • DRAFT BILL To amend title 38, United States Code, to codify and improve the election requirements for the receipt of educational assistance under the Post 9/11 Educational Assistance program of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Staff participated in a congressional Watchdog Caucus - Steps Congress Can Take to Reduce the VA Backlog.  A Bipartisan Congressional Watchdog Caucus Briefing held in the Cannon House Office Building
  • Staff provided testimony for the record on the CBO scoring issue regarding VA leased CBOCs
  • Staff participated in an off-side Heritage Foundation presentation featuring Senator Kelly Ayott titled Project for the Common Defense: Keeping America Strong for the Next Generation
  • Staff met with the American Federation of Government Workers to discuss the topic of "Official Time" at VA facilities with regard to VA employees using VA paid hours to act as Union officials.
  • Staff met with Senator Manchin (WV) staff regarding claims backlog bill
  • Staff prepared testimony with VAR for testimony before Disability and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee of the House on pending legislation (Legislative staff prepped testimony) VA&R Director will be witness.
  • H.R. 1288:  WORLD WAR II MERCHANT MARINER SERVICE ACT, To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to accept additional documentation when considering the application for veterans status of an individual who performed service as a coastwise merchant seaman during World War II, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 1494:  BLUE WATER NAVY SHIP ACCOUNTABILITY ACT To direct the Secretary of Defense to review the operation of certain ships during the Vietnam Era, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 1623:  VA CLAIMS EFFICIENCY THROUGH INFORMATION ACT OF 2013 H.R. 1623:  To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to make publicly available certain information about pending and completed claims for compensation under the laws administered by the Secretary, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 1809 To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide notice of average times for processing claims and percentage of claims approved, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 2086: THE PAY AS YOU RATE ACT To direct the Secretary to make interim payments of disability compensation benefits for certain claims for such compensation prior to the adjudication of such claims, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 2138:  ENDING VA CLAIMS DISABILITY BACKLOG AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT   To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to resolve the backlog of disability claims of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 2189: To establish a commission or task force to evaluate the backlog of disability claims of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • H.R. 2341: THE VETERANS PENSION PROTECTION ACT To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to consider the resources of individuals applying for pension that were recently disposed of by the individuals for less than fair market value when determining the eligibility of such individuals for such pension, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 2423: DISABLED VETERANS' ACCESS TO MEDICAL EXAMS IMPROVEMENT ACT To improve the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with private physicians to conduct medical disability examinations.
  • Staff attended House Armed Services Committee hearing titled Past, Present and Future Irregular Warfare Challenges: Private Sector Perspectives
  • Staff met with Congressman Cumming's office regarding co-sponsorship for Congressman Fitzpatrick's bill that would allow veteran owned small businesses compete with other disadvantaged small businesses in Department of Transportation's grants to the states for infrastructure improvements.
  • Staff met with Senator Blumenthal's office regarding a companion bill for Congressman Fitzpatrick's bill that would allow veteran owned small businesses compete with other disadvantaged small businesses in Department of Transportation's grants to the states for infrastructure improvements.
  • Staff met with the Chamber of Commerce to discuss the extent to which the Chamber would participate in our National Convention, in terms of providing speakers, panels, co-hosting the Hiring Event and Employment Workshops.  The parties also discussed the possibility of creating a rewards program for Legion Posts and Local Chambers of Commerce that have worked extremely well over the last few years to try and work together to reduce the veteran's unemployment rate.
  • This week planning continued with our partners on hiring events we have in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Virginia and of course our Transitions and Benefits Fair that will be held in Houston Texas in conjunction with the National convention.
  • Staff participated in a phone conference with James Madison University in Virginia that has recently attended the V3 conference in Virginia which outlined the State's dedication of resources to ensure that veterans progress through Virginia's institutions of higher education and obtain their degrees as smoothly as possible and the development of a handover employment resources on their way out.  JMU has done most of the work in starting the program, the program is handed off and currently being piloted at Old Dominion University.  The University seeks more assistance from the local veteran community and government entities to ensure that their steering committee is on the right track. 
  • Staff met with the Small Business Administration and Syracuse University to discuss the progression of the 2-day For HEROES Entrepreneurial Course that will be piloted at our National Convention.  Discussion continued regarding legal matters, logistics, data collection and capabilities.  
  • June 28, 2013.  The House Veteran Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs will conduct a hearing on the following bills:
  • H.R. 1288
  • H.R. 1494
  • H.R. 1623
  • H.R. 1809
  • H.R. 2086
  • H.R. 2138
  • H.R. 2189
  • H.R. 2341
  • H.R. 2382
  • H.R. 2423
10:00 A.M.; 334 Cannon
  • July 9, 2013.  The House Veterans Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Health intends to hold a legislative hearing on health related bills.  10:00 A.M.; 334 Cannon
        Tentative Bill List:
  • Draft Bill XXX-- "Veterans Choice-Long Term Care" Certified Adult Foster Home (Miller(FL)
  • H.R. 1612-- To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to convey a parcel of land in Tuskegee, Alabama, to Tuskegee University, and for other purposes (Rogers (AL)
  • H.R. 2065-- Safe Housing for Homeless Veterans Act (McKinley (WV)
  • H.R. 1143-- Tinnitus Research and Treatment Act of 2013 (Michaud (ME)
  • H.R. 1702-- Veterans Transportation Service Act (Barber (AZ)
  • July 10, 2013.  The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs will hold a joint hearing with the House Committee on Armed Services entitled, "DOD and VA Collaboration to assist Service Members Returning to Civilian Life." 10:00 A.M.; 2118 Rayburn
Daniel S. Wheeler
National Adjutant
The American Legion
War-time veterans and military members dedicated to a strong
national security; compassionate care for veterans and their families;
community service; and the wholesome development of our nation's youth.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The American Legion Washington DC Office HOT ISSUES Wednesday June 4th, 2013

The American Legion Washington DC Office

Wednesday June 4th, 2013
  • Staff attended the Veterans Benefits Administration/VSO meeting.  The main topic of this meeting is the "new" Standardized Notice of Disagreement" form.
At previous meetings with VBA Senior Leadership, and during the last VSO Quarterly meeting, The American Legion staff identified concerns with the latest NOD form that was being sent out to veterans.
After staff stated concerns about the NOD form, the VFW, VVA, PVA and AMVETS stated they echo the concerns of The American Legion
The VA requested veterans to fill the NOD form out and submit directly back to the local VA Regional Office
At the next VSO Bi-Weekly Meeting, Mr. Ron Burke, SES, Director of AMC will introduce the "new" Standardized Notice of Disagreement form.  At this time, we will provide feedback and concerns.
Please see attached Two Year Old Claim Initiative Document that explains concerns with the current form.
  • The Veterans Benefit Management System (VBMS) will finally be fully implemented within VBA.  All Regional Offices are scheduled to have VBMS installed and running by the end of this month.
The American Legion Appeals Representatives are being introduced to VBMS and how it will relate to their daily operations by VA staff.
Still no word on when VBMS will be introduce to the Pension Management Centers
  • Staff  MEB/PEB Representative is visiting and assisting Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed/Bethesda Naval Medical Center this week.  Staff is also meeting with one soldier to assist as the soldier is currently going through the MEB/PEB process.
Staff will visit and assist the service members at Fort Meade providing information on their current MEB/PEB process.
  • On June 3, Time Magazine released an article, "The Rise (and Fall) of the VA Backlog".   The article points out reasons, according to a former VA communications official, that the backlog increased and addresses concerns raised by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) claims that Post 9/11 veterans have increased the backlog. 
Some of the areas that contributed to the backlog according to the article include: Reducing the backlog of claim inventory standard down from 180 days to 125 days, allowing new Agent Orange presumptive conditions, rollout of VBMS, reducing the stressor requirement for PTSD disability claims, etc.
Key quote from the article: 
"And herein lies perhaps the biggest fallacy of the VA claims backlog as portrayed in the media. The myth is that the VA claims backlog has much to do with veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan—that it is, for the most part, related to a crush of returning war veterans. This myth is perpetuated by interest groups like Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and echoed by many in the media. For example a pre-Memorial Day Miami Herald editorial is representative of the pervasive misinformation floating in the media. It discusses the VA backlog almost solely in terms of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans—even though 80% of backlogged claims belong to veterans of other eras.In fact, claims filed by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are only a small portion of VA's inventory and backlog. Currently, they make up 20% of VA's pending inventory. They represent 21% of the backlog. Only 10% of first-time claims in the backlog belong to Iraq or Afghanistan veterans. This is crucial to understand because it demonstrates that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are not central to this problem."
  • On Monday, June 3, the VA&R Health Care Policy Unit staff attended a meeting with Dr. Kendra Weaver, Senior Consultant, Clinical Operations and Dr. Ira Katz, Senior Consultant, Program Evaluation with the VA Office of Mental Health Operations.  The purpose of the meeting was to obtain an overview of the office's 2013 goals and priorities and to discuss ways our offices could work together on sharing of best practices and concerns.   The Office of Mental Health Operations is charged with "execution, monitoring, implementation, and integration of mental health policies within the Veteran Integrated Service Network (VISN) offices and facilities."  During the meeting, the TBI and PTSD Ad Hoc Committee, System Worth Saving Task Force upcoming focus and VA's announcement on June 3 that they had completed the hiring of 1,600 mental health professionals authorized in 2012 were discussed.
  • The Health Care Policy Unit is working with the Magazine Division to review and edit the 2013 System Worth Saving Report on Women Veterans.  15 VA Medical Center site visit reports are being consolidated into a publication and staff is currently composing the executive summary of the guide with the Task Force's findings and recommendations.  The report will be printed and distributed at the 2013 American Legion National Convention. 
  • On Tuesday, June 4, the VA&R Health Care Policy Unit is meeting with the VA Office of Quality, Safety and Value. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the System Worth Saving 2012 report on Quality of Care and Patient Satisfaction and to obtain an action plan and response to each of the report recommendations.
  • Congressman Mike Michaud of the House Veterans Affairs Committee discussed his concerns and frustration with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's decision to pursue a commercial IT platform in an media article released on May 23 crux of the problem is DoD/VA has been working for over 10 years to achieve a single, interoperable joint record and billions of dollars have been spent by DoD and VA with no clear decision or adoption of a single record.  The latest decision by Secretary Hagel is to pursue a commercial IT platform that will connect with VA's IT platform. The alternative and preferred decision was for Secretary Hagel to adopt VA's IT platform and share in upgrade and modernization costs since the VA's IT platform is open-sourced and government owned and well liked by DoD and VA clinicians alike.    According to the article, "a bipartisan group of House representatives sent a letter Wednesday to President Barack Obama urging him to intervene and "end the back and forth" between the two departments. "Select a system, pick a path, and move forward," said the letter, signed by committee chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., ranking Democrat Mike Michaud of Maine and 18 other committee members."
  • Staff will be meeting with Kevin Schmiegel, Executive Director, Hiring Our Heroes, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to discuss the upcoming American Legion national convention job fair and training workshop.
  • Staff will be meeting with members of National Coalition for Homeless Veterans to begin discussions on possible homeless veteran training at interested American Legion post's across the nation as a joint initiative.
  • Economic Division staff will be attending and participating as a panel member at the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities 2013 Annual Convention & Expo. Below are the following panels that the Economic Division will be speaking to at the convention.
APSCU Best Practices for Military & Veteran Education
Jeff Cropsey, Grantham University
Jim Hendrickson, Colorado Technical University
Joe Wescott, National Association of State Approving Agencies
Ryan Gallucci, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.
Mike Dakduk, Student Veterans of America
Steve Gonzalez, American Legion
When the media, Capitol Hill, the Administration, and many veteran service organizations (VSOs) began to question some private sector colleges and universities commitment to providing a quality education to military and veteran students and the protection of military and veteran education benefits emerged as a top, legislative priority, APSCU made a calculated risk to pursue a proactive, thoughtful course of action. Consequently, APSCU released the "Five Tenets of Veteran Education," which, among other things, established APSCU's Blue Ribbon Taskforce. Comprised of APSCU and non-APSCU members, the Taskforce released the culmination of their efforts in a February 2013 Report entitled, "Report of the APSCU Blue Ribbon Taskforce for Military and Veteran Education." The Report provides an overview of the military and veteran student, a recommendation for measuring the academic outcomes of these populations, and, notably, Best Practices in Military and Veteran Education.
Implementation of the Principles of Excellence and H.R. 4057
Rob Worley, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Mike Dakduk, Student Veterans of America
Steve Gonzalez, American Legion
In 2012, President Obama signed an Executive Order to strengthen oversight, enforcement, and accountability of military and veteran educational benefit programs by the U.S. Departments of Defense, Education, and Veterans Affairs. During the 112th Congress, legislation (H.R. 4057) supported by APSCU and other veteran education stakeholders to improve outcomes for veteran students was signed into law. This session allows key agency representatives to provide an update on the implementation of the EO and P.L. 112-249.
  • The senior uniformed leaders from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard appeared together for the first time to discuss the military's widening sexual assault scandal at what promises to be a high-profile Senate Armed Services hearing on Tuesday. The gathering, which also featured testimony from each service's judge advocate general, comes just weeks before Armed Services marks up a fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill that will contain policy changes aimed at correcting the problem. A key pressure point remains whether to take prosecutorial decision-making out of the accused's chain of command for felony-level offenses.
  • Staff urging senators to consider signing on as sponsors for the Flag amendment.  Senator  Hatch is going to introduce the Senate version next Friday, the 14th of June – Flag Day.
  • The first issue of the legislative Newsletter was published today.  Future editions will be published on Mondays 
  • Defense Appropriations bill contains TRICARE increases – Legislative staff is preparing an aggressive response.
  • Legislative staff is currently evaluating legislation concerning; Military Sexual Trauma – Zero Tolerance, Veterans Courts, 
June 4, 2013.  HVAC Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations will hold a hearing entitled, "How Secure is Veterans Private Information?"  2:00 P.M.; 334 Cannon
June 5, 2013. The Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs will hold a legislative hearing on VA's benefit programs and other purposes.  10:00 A.M.; Russell 418
The tentative bill list is as follows:
S. 6  Putting Our Veterans Back to Work Act of 2013 (Reid)
S. 200  A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the interment in
national cemeteries under the control of the National Cemetery Administration of
individuals who served in combat support of the Armed forces in the Kingdom of
Laos between February 28, 1961, and May 15, 1975, and for other purposes
S.257  GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act of 2013  (Boozman)
S.262  Veterans Education Equity Act of 2013  (Durbin)
S. 294  Ruth Moore Act of 2013  (Tester)
S. 373  Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act of 2013 
S. 492  A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to require States to
recognize the Military experience of Veterans when issuing licenses and
credentials to Veterans, and for other purposes  (Burr)
S. 430  Veterans Small Business Opportunity and Protection Act of 2013  (Heller)
S. 495  Careers for Veterans Act of 2013  (Burr)
S. 514  A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide additional
Educational Assistance under Post-9/11 Educational Assistance to Veterans
pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, math, or an area that
leads to employment in a high-demand occupation, and for other purposes 
S. 515  A bill to amend Title 38, United States Code, to extend the Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program to cover recipients of Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David  Fry scholarship, and for other purposes.  (Brown)
S 572  Veterans Second Amendment Act  (Burr)
S. 629  Honor America's Guard-Reserve Retirees Act of 2013  (Pryor)
S. 674  Accountability for Veterans Act of 2013  (Heller)         
S. 690  Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2013  (Schatz)
S. 695  Veterans Paralympic Act of 2013--A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to extend the Authorization of appropriations for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to pay a monthly assistance allowance to Disabled Veterans training or competing for the Paralympic Team and the authorization of appropriations for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide assistance to United States Paralympics, Inc., and for other purposes (Boozman)
S. 705  A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to ensure Memorials commemorating the service of the United States Armed Forces may contain religious symbols, and for other purposes  (Burr)
S. 735  Survivor Benefits Improvement Act of 2013  (Sanders)
S. 748  Veterans Pension Protection Act  (Wyden)
S. 778  A bill to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to issue cards to Veterans that identify them as Veterans, and for other purposes.  (Burr)
S. 819  Veterans Mental Health Treatment First Act of 2013  (Burr)
S. 863  Veterans Back to School Act of 2013  (Blumenthal)
S. 868  Filipino Veterans Promise Act  (Heller)
S. 889  Servicemembers' Choice in Transition Act of 2013  (Boozman)
S. 893  Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013  (Sanders)
S. 894  A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to extend expiring authority for work-study allowances for individuals who are pursuing programs of rehabilitation, education, or training  under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to expand such authority to certain outreach services provided through congressional offices, and for other purposes.  (Sanders)
S. 922  Veterans Outreach Act of 2013  (Sanders)
S. 927  Veterans Equipped for success During Transition Act of 2013  (Sanders)
S. 928  Claims Processing Improvement Act of 2013  (Sanders)
Also a number of draft bills will be considered.
Daniel S. Wheeler
National Adjutant
The American Legion
War-time veterans and military members dedicated to a strong
national security; compassionate care for veterans and their families;
community service; and the wholesome development of our nation's youth.