The Second Congressional District is home to more than 75,000 veterans, including many veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of my most important responsibilities as a member of Congress is to ensure that the men and women who served our country get the resources they need and deserve. I strongly support programs to help veterans have a smooth transition to civilian life through education, job opportunities, housing and health care.
- Championed veterans interests by opposing an increase to TRICARE fees, and supporting cost-of-living increase for veterans benefits,
- Worked with Senator Patty Murray, the VA, and local veterans to establish a Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Mount Vernon, which now provides routine vision, and audiology medical care and counseling to veterans in Skagit County,
- Secured a federal rule to ensure that critical access hospitals, including Whidbey General Hospital, will receive increased TRICARE payments, ensuring that service members, military families and retirees continue to have access to needed medical care,
- Fought hard to lower the unemployment rate among veterans by co-sponsoring by the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which provides all veterans and departing servicemembers with robust job-skills training, and the Veteran Employment Transition Act, which provides business owners a tax credit to hire veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars,
- Strongly support efforts to strengthen the GI Bill, including cosponsoring the Post 9/11 GI Bill, to expand GI Bill benefits for more recent veterans, and cosponsoring the Payment Restoration Act to make it easier for veterans to accommodate going to back to school by allowing them to take reasonable breaks between terms,
- Requested full funding for the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program to prevent homelessness among veterans and assist veterans struggling with homelessness,
- Co-sponsored the Retired Pay Restoration Act to allow disabled veterans to immediately get concurrent receipt of retirement benefits and disability pay so retirees can get the full benefits they have earned,
- Strongly support fair compensation for military surviving spouses so surviving spouses can receive the full amount of survival assistance they are entitled to.