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Washington Update for week of January 22, 2019

TREA Washington Congressional Update #1

TREA’s Legislative Affairs Office continues to work with the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs and Armed Services, as each continue oversight, consider program modifications and new initiatives for veterans and military service members. TREA looks forward to advocating with both returning and new Members in the 116th Congress.

With Democratic Majority -- New Chairman Named for House Committees on Veterans’ Affairs and Armed Services in 116th Congress

Representative Mark Takano (D-CA) was named the new Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for the 116th Congress. Chairman Takano is a strong supporter of veterans and already reintroduced H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, legislation supported by TREA. He is joined in the Majority by Julia Brownley (CA), Kathleen Rice (NY), Conor Lamb (PA), and newly elected Mike Levin (CA), Max Rose (NY), Anthony Brindisi (NY), Gil Cisneros (CA), Susie Lee (NV), Lauren Underwood (IL), Joe Cunningham (SC), Elaine Luria (VA), Chris Pappas (NH), Colin Allred (TX), Collin Peterson (MN), and Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands)

 

Former Chairman Representative Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), was named the Ranking Member. Roe was instrumental in securing passage of 25 bills to improve benefits and services to veterans in the last Congress. Roe has pledged to seek swift passage of H.R. 203, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, legislation supported by TREA. He is joined in the Minority by

Gus M. Bilirakis (FL), Amata Coleman Radewagen (American Samoa), Mike Bost (IL), Jim Banks (IN), Jack Bergman (MI), Dr. Neal Dunn (FL), Andy Barr (KY), and newly elected Dan Meuser (PA), Steve Watkins (KS), Chip Roy (TX), and Greg Steube (FL).

 

Representative Adam Smith (D-WA) was named the new Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services for the 116th Congress. Smith, previously served as the Ranking Member and has served on the Committee since 1997. He is well versed in Department of Defense issues and said he will continue to be a strong advocate for military personnel.

Former Chairman Representative Mac Thornberry (R-TX), was named the Ranking Member. Thornberry has reiterated his strong support for military readiness a strong military budget for the Pentagon.

Full Committee Rosters are still pending and will be furnished once finalized.  

TREA will continue to work with the Leadership of both House Committees to protect the care and benefits of veterans and active members of the uniformed services.

Leadership on Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Provides for Continuity

Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) continues in his 3rd term as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for the 116th Congress. Isakson, a veteran himself, has worked tirelessly to reform VA and ensure veterans receive the care and benefits they deserve. He is joined in the Majority by returning Senators Jerry Moran (KS), John Boozman (AR), Bill Cassidy (LA), Mike Rounds (SD), Thom Tillis (NC), Dan Sullivan (AK), and newly elected Senators Marsha Blackburn (TN), and Kevin Cramer (ND).

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), continues in his 2nd term as the Ranking Member. Tester pledged to continue to work in a bipartisan manner to build on the progress made and ensure VA implements reforms to provide quality services to veteran. He is joined in the Minority by returning Senators Patty Murray (WA), Bernie Sanders (VT), Sherrod Brown (OH), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Mazie K. Hirono (HI), Joe Manchin (WV), and newly elected Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ).

TREA will continue to advocate for its members by supporting initiatives that improve services, increase oversight and enhance care and benefits to veterans.

Leadership on Senate Committee on Armed Services Provides for Continuity

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) continues as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services for the 116th Congress. Inhofe, became Chairman in August 2018, strongly supports military spending and readiness for the troops. He is joined in the Majority by returning Senators Roger Wicker (MS), Deb Fischer (NE), Tom Cotton (AR), Mike Rounds (SD), Joni Ernst (IA), Tom Tillis (NC), Dan Sullivan (AK), David Perdue (GA), and newly elected Senators Kevin Cramer (ND), Martha McSalley (AZ), Rick Scott (FL), Marsha Blackburn (TN), and Josh Hawley (MO). McSalley is an Air Force combat veteran and previously served on the House Armed Services Committee.

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), continues as the Ranking Member. Reed is a long-time advocate of military personnel and believes it is critical that service members continue to have access to quality benefits, assistance programs and medical care. He is joined in the Minority by returning Senators Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Kristen Gillibrand (NY), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Mazie K. Hirono (HI), Tim Kaine (VA), Angus King (ME), Martin Heinrich (NM), Elizabeth Warren (MA), Gary Peters (MI) and new to the Committee Joe Manchin (WV), Tammy Duckworth (IL), and Doug Jones (AL). Duckworth is a veteran Army combat pilot who survived several war injuries.

TREA will continue to work with both the Majority and Minority Leadership of the Senate Armed Services Committee to support a strong military budget, assure military readiness and protect the services and benefits of active members of the uniformed services.

TREA Members: The Washington Office wants to hear from you. Please provide feedback and share comments on Congressional or legislative actions to legislativeinfo@trea.org.

 

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