Veterans Issues


Fair Shot Agenda: Better Government

As a Marine, I’ve seen firsthand the dedication of our men and women in uniform, and I’ve learned just how much sacrifice is required of our troops and their families. We must never stop working to support our veterans. This includes ensuring our veterans receive the care they are due after they return home. We have made significant strides for our veterans in recent years, but I will always keep striving to do more.

What I've Done

As an outspoken advocate for veterans, I successfully secured improvements to the way our veterans receive health care with the VA MISSION Act (S. 2372) passage.

I’m working hard to ensure all disabled, blind, and paralyzed veterans receive TSA Pre-Check for free. Working across the aisle, I’ve put forth the Veterans Expedited TSA Screening (VETS) Safe Travel Act (S. 1881) to help 70,000 amputees, 100,000 paralyzed, and 130,000 blind veterans who are currently subjected to a rigorous and demeaning screening process when traveling.

Started in 2011, the Crisis Line is a key resource for veterans, but it needs help. I fought for veterans’ mental health by introducing the bipartisan Veterans Crisis Line Study Act (S. 2174), which aims to ensure the Veterans Crisis Line is actually serving the needs of veterans. 

I worked to properly honor the perseverance, bravery, and service of our World War II veterans by helping introduce the bipartisan USS Indianapolis Congressional Gold Medal Act (S. 2101), which would commission the design and production of a gold medal honoring the crew of the USS Indianapolis.

I sought better care for Vietnam veterans by cosponsoring the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 (S. 1195), which would expand eligibility for service-connected care due to exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.

Building a new career is a barrier many veterans face following military service. I cosponsored the bipartisan American Law Enforcement Heroes Act (S. 583) to incentivize state and local jurisdictions to use existing federal grant money to hire veterans as new law enforcement officers.

As more servicemembers come home from preserving America’s security from terrorist threats, it is more and more necessary to ensure they are properly honored. I supported honoring veterans of the Global War on Terror by co-sponsoring the Global War on Terrorism War Memorial Act (S. 926), allowing the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation to establish a memorial in the District of Columbia. 

New medical options have the potential to greatly increase patient health. I led efforts to provide veterans access to emerging medical techniques by cosponsoring the No Hero Left Untreated Act (S. 514), which requires the VA to carry out a pilot program to provide access to EEG/EKG-guided resonance therapy. 

Seeking accountability in the federal government is a challenge when many employees are shielded from discipline by overly protective agreements.I fought for accountability in the VA by co-sponsoring the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability First Act of 2017 (S. 493), authorizing the VA to remove, demote, or suspend VA employees for poor performance or misconduct.

Even though only about five percent of separating service members receive an Other-than-Honorable (OTH) discharge, they make up a quarter of the total homeless veteran population. I fought to expand support for homeless veterans by helping introduce the Veteran Housing Opportunities and Unemployment Support Extension (HOUSE) Act (S. 2061), which allows veterans with OTH discharges to participate in the Department of Housing and Urban Development - VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program.

Cutting-edge solutions should not be held hostage by poor technology. I worked to modernize VA digital infrastructure as an original cosponsor of the Department of Veterans Affairs Information Technology Restructuring Act of 2017 (S. 1452), establishing a new Chief Information Officer position within VA to modernize outdated software and update VA’s systems for the 21st century.

Currently, unethical service organizations face no accountability when assisting disabled veterans with claims. I am working to protect vulnerable veterans from unethical disability claims practices with the Protect Our Disabled Heroes Act (S. 1718), which reinstates criminal penalties for any person or organization that charges unethical and unauthorized fees during the processing of a disability claim.