Thursday, June 15, 2017

Senior Disabled Veterans No Longer Threatened with Comp Cuts

VA backs off budget proposal to cut benefits for disabled, unemployable vets
STARS AND STRIPES
By NIKKI WENTLING
Published: June 14, 2017

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs is backing off a proposal in President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget to cut billions of dollars from a program that provides compensation to the country’s most disabled veterans.

VA Secretary David Shulkin told the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Wednesday that he was willing to work with lawmakers to find an alternative to the proposed $3.2 billion cut to the VA Individual Unemployability benefit. The announcement came after the country’s six largest veterans service organizations condemned the proposal.

“As I began to listen to veterans and their concerns, and [veterans service organizations] in particular, it became clear that this would be hurting some veterans and a takeaway from veterans who can’t afford to have those benefits taken away,” Shulkin said. “I’m really concerned about that. This is part of a process. We have to be looking at ways to do things better, but I am not going to support policies that hurt veterans.”
Letter signed by 57 congressmen to Sec. David Shulkin
read more here

Read this letter and then if your member of Congress is on it, thank them! Stephanie Murphy is on it, so a huge public thank you for fighting for our veterans!

The bad news is "rounding down" is still on the table.
Trump’s budget also proposes to reapply a practice at the VA to round down veterans’ cost-of-living adjustments, which would save approximately $20 million in 2018. That savings would also be used for the new Choice program.

UPDATE
Here are some of the names we have to thank!

O’HALLERAN, GALLEGO LEAD LETTER TO SECRETARY SHULKIN OPPOSING VETERAN PROGRAM CUTSJune 12, 2017 Press ReleaseWashington, DC - Today, Congressmen Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) and Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) sent a bipartisan letter, signed by 55 additional members of Congress, to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin opposing the proposed cuts to the Individual Unemployability (IU) program within President Donald Trump’s budget proposal.
Congressman Ruben Gallego is the son of Hispanic immigrants, a veteran, and a community leader. He was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Harvard University with a degree in International Relations. He later joined the Marine Corps, serving in Iraq with the well-known combat unit Lima 3/25.
Congresswoman Dina Titus Dina grew up in the small town of Tifton, Georgia, with her parents, Joe and Betty Titus, and her younger sister, Dr. Rho Hudson, who is a professor of special education and founding faculty member of Nevada State College. Dina is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, holds a Master's degree from the University of Georgia, and earned her Doctorate at Florida State University. 
Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez is currently serving her thirteenth term as Representative for New York’s 7th Congressional District. In the 115th Congress, she is the Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee and a senior member of the Financial Services Committee. 
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, now in her fourteenth term as the Congresswoman for the District of Columbia, is the Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. She serves on two committees: the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Congresswoman Jacky Rosen represents Nevada’s third District and was sworn into the 115th Congress after winning in the 2016 election. Rosen has been an active member of Southern Nevada’s community.
As the first member of her family to graduate from college, Rosen worked two jobs and took out student loans to make ends meet. Over summers, Rosen waitressed in Las Vegas and was a proud member of Culinary Workers Union Local 226. 
Congressman Tom Suozzi, a CPA and attorney, is the Congressman representing the Third Congressional District in New York. He serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee, is Vice-Chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus and Co-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus. 
Congressman John Lewis Despite more than 40 arrests, physical attacks and serious injuries, John Lewis remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. After leaving SNCC in 1966, he continued his commitment to the Civil Rights Movement as Associate Director of the Field Foundation and his participation in the Southern Regional Council's voter registration programs. Lewis went on to become the Director of the Voter Education Project (VEP). Under his leadership, the VEP transformed the nation's political climate by adding nearly four million minorities to the voter rolls.