As the year ends and the first session of the 112th Congress comes to a close, the VFW would like to thank all of our advocates who helped us fight to create, protect and enhance the services and benefits provided to America's service members, veterans and their families. It is because of you that we were able to get four critical bills passed into law:
* P.L. 112-56, VOW to Hire Heroes Act – a comprehensive jobs bill that improves reemployment rights for Guard and Reservist, expands education and training programs, requires mandatory Transitional Assistance Program attendance, and offers employer tax credits for hiring veterans.
* P.L. 112-53, Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011, increases the rates of VA disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children by 3.6%, which matches the COLA increase military retirees and Social Security recipients will receive.
* P.L. 112-37, Veterans Health Care Facilities Capital Improvement Act of 2011, legislation that authorizes major medical projects and leases within VA, and expands mental health treatments, rehabilitation and comprehensive homeless veteran housing programs.
* P.L. 112-26, Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011, provides a fix in reimbursement rates under the Post-9/11 GI Bill for students already enrolled at private schools.
There are other bills passed by the House that still await Senate action. They include mortgage protections for service members, harsher penalties for misrepresenting a business as owned or controlled by service-disabled veterans, sexual assault prevention measures within VA, and improvements to the disability claims and appeals process. Review a list of VFW-supported legislation. For more about the public laws, visit http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php.
Happy New Year!
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