Rep. Maloney on Veterans Day Weekend
New York, NY—Today U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn) saluted the contributions of America’s veterans and military families and noted important Congressional developments in 2013:
“As the wife, sister and daughter of military veterans, I know firsthand what our military heroes have done to protect our great nation and I am so grateful for their sacrifices. Today we rightly honor our veterans, but our nation’s commitment to these men and women goes well beyond a single day. Our country has a moral obligation to fulfill the promises we made to these veterans. Our veterans did their duty and our country must do its duty as well.
“That is why I’m glad that we’ve made progress in reducing the disability claims backlog at the Veterans’ Administration. The VA has announced that they have cut pending applications by 34 percent since March. Still, there are over 10,000 claims pending at the New York office. The House passed bipartisan legislation last month to address the backlog and help Veterans receive the benefits they deserve and I hope the Senate moves this bill as well.
We also voted early this year to make sure the 23rd Street Manhattan VA Hospital got the resources it needs to rebuild in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and continue serving our veterans here in the city. More work must be done to keep our promises to our veterans and I will make sure we keep those promises.”
A package passed by the House in October included two bills Maloney supported to help veterans waiting on claims in the backlog:
H.R. 2086, Pay As You Rate Act (Rep. Dina Titus) - requires VA to pay for medical conditions as they are adjudicated in an electronic system.
H.R. 1809, Expedite claims processing by educating veterans on the quickest route to receive their decision (Rep. Beto O’Rourke) - provides veterans with information regarding VA’s timeliness for adjudicating claims in different formats such as paper application or online utilizing the Fully Developed Claims program.
In July, Rep. Maloney introduced the Fair Access to Co-Ops for Veterans Act, which would require the VA to extend its Home Loan Guaranty Program to include financing for housing co-ops, a major form of housing in cities like New York. This legislation would ensure that New York veterans have access to the same kind of home-buying support that veterans in other parts of the country obtain and allow greater flexibility for veterans to find housing that meets their families’ needs.
In addition to these priorities, Maloney also urged her colleagues in Congress to consider the needs of veterans during upcoming legislative debate on a 2014 budget:
“The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans remains persistently high, and our slow economic recovery makes it harder for those returning from service to find a good, middle-class job. Congress needs to pass a budget that invests in our veterans and strengthens the economy so that our returning heroes can build a life here at home” Maloney said.