The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Live from Capitol Hill: AMVETS testifies on House legislation

Yesterday afternoon, AMVETS Legislative Director Ray Kelley testified before the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity on seven key pieces of veterans' legislation.

The bills included:

H.R. 1037, the Pilot College Work Study Programs for Veterans Act of 2009.

H.R. 1098, the Veterans' Work Retraining Act of 2009.

H.R. 1168, the Veterans Retraining Act of 2009.

H.R. 1172, the Pat Tillman Veteran's Scholarship Initiative.

H.R. 1879, the National Guard Employment Act of 2009.

H.R. 1821, the Equity of Injured Veterans Act of 2009.

H.R. 2180, which would close gaps in care for members of the Guard and Reserve caught between DoD and VA.

AMVETS supports these bills, with some minor concerns, such as the delimiting period proposed in the Equity of Injured Veterans Act. While Kelley is encouraged that Congress hopes to extend the period of time for which service-disabled veterans would be eligible for vocational rehab programs, AMVETS would prefer to see Congress eliminate the time restrictions altogether.

Also, AMVETS would like to see the Veterans Retraining Act extended to cover vocational training beyond the proposed six month limit. While the legislation as-written is a marked improvement, allowing for more veterans to take advantage of valuable vocational training, AMVETS believes that veterans would be better served to have at least one year of eligibility to use their education benefits for vocational schools.

To read Kelley's testimony, Click Here.

To view a list of panelists from the hearing, Click Here.

(Photo: AMVETS Leglislative Director Ray Kelley testified before the House VA Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. Photo by Ryan Gallucci.)

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