Dear Mr. Eagan:
Thank you for contacting me to express your support for veteran's benefits and services. I wholeheartedly agree that the Federal government needs to honor its commitments to members of the armed forces by providing them with the benefits they deserve.
We must never forget that the freedom enjoyed by so many Americans is possible only because of sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces. As a nation, we owe it to our veterans, and those still serving, to provide them with robust pay, retirement and healthcare benefits. That is why I routinely support legislation to ensure all veterans are fairly compensated for their service to our country and taken care of in retirement. In October 2011, I supported the passage of S.894, the Veteran's Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act, which sought to protect the value of compensation for veterans and their survivors from inflation by increasing payment rates for veterans' disability compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children, and other benefits when inflation increased. I am pleased to report that in November 2011 this bill was signed into law by the president.
I am also a cosponsor of S. 344, the Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2011, which would allow disabled veterans to receive their full retirement pay and disability benefits concurrently, and will continue to support legislation that promotes veterans benefits. And, to assist veterans seeking employment, I have cosponsored, S. 951, the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, which would bolster current efforts to improve the provision of rehabilitation, vocational, and unemployment benefits to veterans and those currently in the Armed Forces.
Additionally, I am working with my colleagues in Congress to provide better funding, programs, and guidance to the agencies responsible for troops' and veterans' services. I supported H.R. 1627, the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, which was recently signed into law. This comprehensive legislation extends health care to veterans and their families who lived at Camp Lejeune, expands critical health and housing programs, enhances comprehensive service programs for homeless veterans, improves the veteran's claims process, protects veterans from sexual assault and other safety incidents, and expands traumatic brain injury services.
Moreover, I have consistently voted with my colleagues to prohibit TRICARE fee increases; I am working to prevent increases to veterans' co-pays for prescription drugs and annual fees because I believe we should increase veterans' benefits, not their costs.
Again, thank you for contacting me regarding this important issue. Please feel free to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance on this or any other matter.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
I got this email response today. I am hoping for a more detailed response to some of my concerns via regular mail in future we shall see.
American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
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