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Veteran Related Legislation: Many Suggested, Few Chosen Part 2 of 2

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Yes I know, this is a very... long... column. So long I had to break it down into parts with part one found at (

https://experts.longisland.com/veterans/archive_article.php?ExpArtID=2796

). Initially, I thought to shorten it somewhat. However, and considering the title of this week's column, I decided not to. Another reason I decided not to shorten this week's column has to do with a thought I and many of my fellow Veteran Service Officers share. All too often we wonder if certain politicians are more concerned with proposing a bill, than to seeing that it passes. In any event, what follows are the current pending veterans related legislation before both the House and the Senate. I owe a "tip of the hat" to Lt. James "EMO" Tichacek, USN (Ret) Director, "Retiree Assistance Office," and his "RAO Bulletin Update 1 June 2007" (

http://post_119_gulfport_ms.tripod.com/rao1.html

). Not only for compiling the bulk of this data, but also for all the veterans related information he shares with us, twice a month, every month, month in and month out. One last comment; for the first time I write my week's column with a new "Toy." My Agent Orange induced neurological problems have reduced my typing skills from what was once over 65 words a minute to something less than 10 words a minute. And, recently, after typing for no more than half an hour, my one good hand lets me "know" it wants to take a rest. That being the case, my new "Toy" is voice-to-text dictation software. While it certainly is still no "Hal," it is working a lot better than the software of a similar nature I first tried 10 years ago, and then again five years ago. Even with the mistakes it makes, it's "easier" for me to correct those errors than to type the text from scratch. You have to love new technology, or at least what it can help you accomplish.

Veteran Legislation May 30, 20007

What follows is a listing of Congressional bills of interest to the veteran community introduced in the 110th Congress. By clicking on the bill number you can access the actual legislative language of the bill and see if your representative has signed on as a cosponsor. At

http://thomas.loc.gov

you can also review a copy of each bill, determine its current status, the committee it has been assigned to, and if your legislator is a sponsor or cosponsor of it.

Senate Bills



S.0022

:


Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to establish a program of educational assistance for members of the Armed Forces who serve in the Armed Forces after September 11, 2001, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Webb, Jim [VA] (introduced 1/4/07). Cosponsors (14).


S.0057

:


Filipino Veterans Equity Act of 2007

. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to deem certain service in the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and the Philippine Scouts to have been active service for purposes of benefits under programs administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Sponsor: Sen Inouye, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 1/4/07). Cosponsors (12).


S.0066

: Filipinos World War II Claims Related.

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 1/4/07). Cosponsors (None).


S.0067

: Travel On Military Aircraft Related.

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 1/4/07). Cosponsors (5).


S.0071

: Former POW Related.

A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to authorize certain disabled former prisoners of war (POWs) to use DoD commissary and exchange stores. Sponsor: Sen Inouye, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 1/4/07). Cosponsors (None).


S.0117

:


Veterans Health and Benefits Improvement Act of 2007

. A bill to amend titles 10 and 38, United States Code, to improve benefits and services for members of the Armed Forces, veterans of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), and other veterans, to require reports on the effects of the GWOT, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Obama, Barack [IL] (introduced 1/4/07). Cosponsors (14).


S.0161

: 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. Sponsor: Sen Thune, John [SD] (introduced 1/4/07). Cosponsors (1).


S.0207

:


Voluntary Support for Reservists and National Guard Members Act.

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 Coleman, Norm [MN] (introduced 1/9/07). Cosponsors (2)


S.0225

: SGLI Related.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand the number of individuals qualifying for retroactive benefits from traumatic injury protection coverage under Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance. It would expand retroactive payments of traumatic injury insurance to servicemembers injured outside a combat area between 10 OCT 01 and 1 DEC 05.Sponsor: Sen Craig, Larry E. [ID] (introduced 1/9/07). Cosponsors (2).


S.0326

: Disabled Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2007

.


A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a special period of limitation when uniformed services retirement pay is reduced as result of award of disability compensation. Sponsor: Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] (introduced 1/17/07). Cosponsors (26).


S.0383

: Persian Gulf War Related.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to extend the period of eligibility for health care for combat service in the Persian Gulf War or future hostilities from two years to five years after discharge or release. Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 1/24/07). Cosponsors (4).


S.0415

:


Veterans' Memorials ... Protection Act of 2007

. A bill to amend the Revised Statutes of the United States to prevent the use of the legal system in a manner that among other things will stop the award of taxpayer dollars in legal fees to groups filing lawsuits against veterans' memorials and public displays of religion. Sponsor: Sen Brownback, Sam [KS] (introduced 1/29/07). Cosponsors (17).


S.0423

: Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2007

. A bill to increase, effective as of December 1, 2007, the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) for the survivors of certain disabled veterans. Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 1/29/07). Cosponsors (10).


S.0439

: Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2007.

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 VA for their disability and either retired pay by reason of their years of military service or Combat-Related Special Compensation. Sponsor: Sen Reid, Harry [NV] (introduced 1/31/07). Cosponsors (22).


S.0479

:


Veterans Suicide Prevention Act.

A bill to reduce the incidence of suicide among veterans. Sponsor: Sen Harkin, Tom [IA] (introduced 2/1/07). Cosponsors (26).


S.0604

: Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act.

A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to limit increases in the certain costs of health care services under the health care programs of DoD, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] (introduced 2/15/07). Cosponsors (15).


S.0617

:


Veterans Eagle Parks Pass Act.

A bill to make the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass available at a discount to certain veterans. Sponsor: Sen Smith, Gordon H. [OR] (introduced 2/15/07). Cosponsors (6)


S.0643

: Disabled Veterans Insurance Act of 2007.

A bill to amend section 1922A of title 38, United States Code, to increase the amount of supplemental insurance available for totally disabled veterans. Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 2/15/07). Cosponsors (None


S.0644

: Total Force Montgomery GI Bill

. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to recodify as part of that title certain educational assistance programs for members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces, to improve such programs, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] (introduced 2/15/07). Cosponsors (13).


S.0648

: National Guard and Reserve Retirement Modernization Act.

A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to reduce the eligibility age for receipt of non-regular military service retired pay for members of the Ready Reserve in active federal status or on active duty for significant periods. Sponsor: Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] (introduced 2/15/07). Cosponsors (10).


S.0659

: Death Gratuity Related.

A bill to amend section 1477 of title 10, United States Code, to provide for the payment of the death gratuity with respect to members of the Armed Forces without a surviving spouse who are survived by a minor child. Sponsor: Sen Hagel, Chuck [NE] (introduced 2/16/07). Cosponsors (6). Companion Bill is H.R.1115.


S.0671

: Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act.

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 2/16/07). Cosponsors (9


S.0713

:


Dignity for Wounded Warriors Act.

A bill to ensure dignity in care for members of the Armed Forces recovering from injuries. Sponsor: Sen Obama, Barack [IL] (introduced 2/28/07). Cosponsors (32). Companion Bill is H.R.1268.


S.0723

: Montgomery GI Bill Enhancement Act of 2007.

A bill to provide certain enhancements to the Montgomery GI Bill Program for certain individuals who serve as members of the Armed Forces after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Hagel, Chuck [NE] (introduced 3/1/07). Cosponsors (1).


S.0773

: TRICARE Related.

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 Warner, John [VA] (introduced 3/6/07). Cosponsors (31). Companion bill to H.R.1110.


S.0793

: Reauthorization of the Traumatic Brain Injury Act.

A bill to provide for the expansion and improvement of traumatic brain injury programs. Sponsor: Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] (introduced 3/7/07). Cosponsors (7). Companion bill to H.R.1418.


S.0815

: Veterans Health Care Empowerment Act of 2007.

A bill to provide health care benefits to veterans with a service-connected disability at non-DVA medical facilities that receive payments under the Medicare program or the TRICARE program. Sponsor: Sen Craig, Larry E. [ID] (introduced 3/8/07). Cosponsors (3). Companion bill to H.R.1416.


S.0847

:


Veteran's Multiple Sclerosis.

A bill to extend the period of time during which a veteran's multiple sclerosis is to be considered to have been incurred in, or aggravated by, military service during a period of war. Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 3/13/07). Cosponsors (2).


S.0848

:


Prisoner of War Benefits Act of 2007.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide improved benefits for veterans who are former prisoners of war. Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 3/13/07). Cosponsors (2).


S.0882

: Transition Related.

A bill to require a pilot program on the facilitation of the transition of members of the Armed Forces to receipt of veterans health care benefits upon completion of military service, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] (introduced 3/14/07). Cosponsors (7).


S.0935

: SBP Related.

A bill to repeal the requirement for reduction of survivor annuities under the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) by veterans' dependency and indemnity compensation, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] (introduced 3/20/07). Cosponsors (34).


S.0961

: Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2007.

A bill to amend title 46, United States Code, 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, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin [NE] (introduced 3/22/07). Cosponsors (37).


Companion bill H.R.0023.


S.0986

: Combat-Related Special Compensation Act of 2007.

A bill to expand eligibility for Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) paid by the uniformed services in order to permit certain additional retired members who have a service-connected disability to receive both disability compensation from the DVA for that disability and Combat-Related Special Compensation by reason of that disability. Sponsor: Sen Reid, Harry [NV] (introduced 3/26/07). Cosponsors (2). Companion bill H.R.0089.


S.0994

: Disabled Veterans Fairness Act.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to eliminate the deductible and change the method of determining the mileage reimbursement rate under the beneficiary travel program administered by the Secretary of Veteran Affairs, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Tester, Jon [MT] (introduced 3/27/07). Cosponsors (6).


S.1005

:


Military Reservist and Veteran Small Business Reauthorization Act of 2007.

A bill to amend the Small Business Act to improve programs for veterans, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 3/28/07). Cosponsors (4).


S.1065

: Heroes at Home Act of 2007.

A bill 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 DoD and the DVA. Sponsor: Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [NY] (introduced 3/29/07). Cosponsors (8).


S.1084

:


Homes for Heroes Act of 2007.

A bill to provide housing assistance for very low-income veterans. Sponsor: Sen Obama, Barack [IL] (introduced 4/10/07). Cosponsors (8).


S.1096

: Veterans Housing Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide certain housing benefits to disabled members of the Armed Forces, to expand certain benefits for disabled veterans with severe burns, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Cornyn, John [TX] (introduced 4/12/07). Cosponsors (3).


S.1097

:


Cold War Medal Act of 2007.

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 era. Sponsor: Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [NY] (introduced 4/12/07). Cosponsors (1).


S.1146

:


Rural Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2007.

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 Salazar, Ken [CO] (introduced 4/18/07). Cosponsors (19


S.1147

:


Honor Our Commitment to Veterans Act.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to terminate the administrative freeze on the enrollment into the health care system of the Department of Veterans Affairs of veterans in the lowest priority category for enrollment (referred to as "Priority 8"). Sponsor: Sen Murray, Patty [WA] (introduced 4/18/07). Cosponsors (3). Companion Bill H.R.0463.


S.1163

:


Blinded Veterans Paired Organ Act of 2007.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve compensation and specially adapted housing for veterans in certain cases of impairment of vision involving both eyes, and to provide for the use of the National Directory of New Hires for income verification purposes. Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 4/19/2007). Cosponsors (5).





S.1196:


Mental Health Care for Our Wounded Warriors Act.

A bill to improve mental health care for wounded members of the Armed Forces, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. [CT] (introduced 4/24/07). Cosponsors (5).


S.1205

:


Peer Support Programs Related.

A bill to require a pilot program on assisting veterans service organizations and other veterans groups in developing and promoting peer support programs that facilitate community reintegration of veterans returning from active duty, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Smith, Gordon H. [OR] (introduced 4/25/07). Cosponsors (4).


S.1233

:


Veterans Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Act of 2007.

A bill to provide and enhance intervention, rehabilitative treatment, and services to veterans with traumatic brain injury, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 4/26/07). Cosponsors (2).


S.1243

:


Non-Regular Service Related.

A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to reduce the age for receipt of military retired pay for non-regular service from 60 years of age to 55 years of age. Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 4/26/07). Cosponsors (3).


S.1252

:


Disability Ratings Related.

A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for uniformity in the awarding of disability ratings for wounds or injuries incurred by members of the Armed Forces, and for other purposes.Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 4/30/07). Cosponsors (1).


S.1265:



Adapted Housing Assistance Related.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand eligibility for veterans' mortgage life insurance to include members of the Armed Forced receiving specially adapted housing assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sponsor: Sen Craig, Larry E. [ID] (introduced 5/2/07). Cosponsors (None).


S.1266:



Veterans' Dignified Burial Assistance Act of 2007.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to increase assistance for veterans interred in cemeteries other than national cemeteries, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Craig, Larry E. [ID] (introduced 5/2/07). Cosponsors (None).


S.1293

:


Veterans' Education and Vocational Benefits Improvement Act of 2007.

A bill to amend titles 10 and 38, United States Code, to improve educational assistance for members and former members of the Armed Forces, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Craig, Larry E. [ID] (introduced 5/3/07). Cosponsors (None).


S.1314

:


Veterans Outreach Improvement Act of 2007.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the outreach activities of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Feingold, Russell D. [WI] (introduced 5/7/07). Cosponsors (1


S.1315

:


Disabled Veterans Insurance Improvement Act of 2007.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to enhance life insurance benefits for disabled veterans, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 5/7/07). Cosponsors (None). Companion bill H.R.2026.


S.1326


:

Comprehensive Veterans Benefits Improvements Act of 2007.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve and enhance compensation and pension, health care, housing, burial, and other benefits for veterans, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] (introduced 5/8/07). Cosponsors (None).


S.1349

:


Military and Veterans Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Act.

A bill to ensure that the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs provide to members of the Armed Forces and veterans with traumatic brain injury the services that best meet their individual needs, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] (introduced 5/9/07). Cosponsors (8).


S.1363

:


Bridging the Gap for Wounded Warriors Act.

A bill to improve health care for severely injured members and former members of the Armed Forces, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [NY] (introduced 5/10/07). Cosponsors (2).


S.1409

:


21st Century GI Bill of Rights Act of 2007.

A bill to provide and enhance education, housing, and entrepreneur assistance for veterans who serve in the Armed Forces after September 11, 2001, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [NY] (introduced 5/16/07). Cosponsors (None). Companion bill H.R.2385.


S.1441

: State Veterans Home Modernization Act of 2007.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to modify authorities for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to accept new applications for grants for State home construction projects to authorize the Secretary to award grants for construction of facilities used in non-institutional care programs, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Craig, Larry E. [ID] (introduced 5/21/07). Cosponsors (None).


S.1444

: Free Mailing Privileges Related.

A bill to provide for free mailing privileges for personal correspondence and parcels sent to members of the Armed Forces serving on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. Sponsor: Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [NY] (introduced 5/22/07).Cosponsors (None).


S.1454

:


Burial Benefits Related.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to increase burial benefits for veterans, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] (introduced 5/23/07). Cosponsors (None).


S.1468

:


Burial Benefits Related.

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to increase burial benefits for veterans, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] (introduced 5/23/07). Cosponsors (None).

--- Regards, Walt Schmidt