Yesterday afternoon, AMVETS joined Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., for a press conference to announce the Veterans for Equal Treatment of Service Dogs Act, or VETS Dogs Act, which Carter introduced in the House of Representatives on Thursday morning.
Here is AMVETS' video of yesterday's announcement, which took place as part of AMVETS LZ:DC:
During the press conference, Carter said that in only two short days since issuing a "Dear Colleague" letter, seeking support for the bill, he had already signed on more than 30 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle--and he was yet to approach the Texas Congressional delegation, or the many caucuses to which he belongs.
"This is a bill whose passage I believe will draw very little debate," Carter said. "This is a rare opportunity to do a great thing for our disabled veterans that adds nothing to the federal deficit, simply by eliminating unneeded and unjustified regulations.
When Congress adjourned from its afternoon votes, random members--some of whom had already signed on to support Carter's bill--consistently stopped by the press conference on the House Triangle to thank veterans Kevin Stone and Sue Downes, who were on hand with their service dogs, Mambo and Lila, to discuss what the legislation will mean for veterans.
VetsFirst, a program from the United Spinal Association, and Paws With A Cause joined AMVETS to applaud Carter and Congressional cosponsors for submitting the bill, which would close a loophole in VA policy that has caused some veterans who utilize service dogs as prostheses to be denied care at certain VA health care facilities.
Stars & Stripes was on hand to cover the announcement. To read the Stripes' coverage, Click Here.
To read Military Times coverage of the bill, Click Here.
To read AMVETS' official statement on the bill roll-out, Click Here, and check back regularly with American Veteran for updates from the LZ.
(Images: Top: Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, discusses the VETS Dogs Act during a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol Building while cosponsor Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and AMVETS Sue Downes and Kevin Stone look on. Middle, Left: Kevin Stone pets his service dog, Mambo, while explaining his experiences and why the VETS Dog Act is important to him. Middle, Right: Sue Downes explains why the bill is important to veterans, with her service dog, Lila, by her side. Bottom: Rep. Michele Bachmann shakes hands with Stone and Downes, thanking them for their service and their advocacy for veterans. Photos by Luis Jimenez.)