National Legislative Service
The location of our Washington, D.C. office allows us to monitor all legislation affecting veterans, alert VFW membership to key legislation under consideration and to actively lobby Congress and the administration on veterans' issues. National Legislative Service advocates on veterans' behalves. By testifying at congressional committee hearings and interacting with congressional members, the VFW has played an instrumental role in nearly every piece of veterans' legislation passed since the beginning of the 20th Century. Everything we do on Capitol Hill is with the VFW’s Priority Goals and veterans' well-being in mind. With the strength of the more than 1.7 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary, our voice on the Hill cannot be ignored!
Among the VFW's most recent and important legislative victories was making college education affordable for military service members with the signing of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and ensuring America's service members and veteran receive the care they deserve by passing the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act.
Our 2017 Priority Goals:
- End budget sequestration and adjust outdated budget caps.
- Authorize VA to receive reimbursements from TRICARE and Medicare.
- Authorize public/private partnerships for VA’s infrastructure needs.
Work Force Development and Accountability
- Improve hiring authorities to recruit and retain a high quality workforce.
- Provide quality training programs for employees and managers.
- Quickly investigate, discipline and remove employees who underperform or endanger veterans’ lives.
- Conducting demand/capacity analyses in each community.
- Consolidating VA’s community care programs into a single, integrated system.
- Modernizing VA’s scheduling system.
- Expanding current caregiver benefits to veterans of all eras.
- Strengthening VA and DOD mental health programs.
- Expanding gender-specific programs and competencies.
- Providing care and benefits to veterans and family members impacted by toxic exposures.
- Improving research for Traumatic Brain Injuries.
- Improving the review process for veterans with Other-Than-Honorable discharges.
- Preventing the increase of pharmaceutical co-payments.
Compensation and Benefits
- Reform the appeals process.
- Accept private medical evidence when processing disability compensation claims.
- Require treatment of presumptive conditions as a claim for disability compensation.
- Extend presumptive conditions for hearing loss, tinnitus, TBI and toxic exposures.
- Expand nursing home eligibility for all veterans.
- Increase burial allowances, expand marker medal-lion eligibility, and include spouses’ information on all headstones
Education, Employment and Transition Assistance
- High quality and sustainable education benefits.
- Strong employment and training programs.
- Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment services throughout their lifetime.
- Small business development opportunities.
- Civilian credentials or academic credit for the professional training they receive during service.
- Government hiring and contracting opportunities.
- A national veterans treatment court advocate within VA.
- Homeless reintegration programs.
Defense and Homeland Security
- Halting the development and/or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
- Fully fund and deploy a U.S. missile defense system.
- Securing America’s borders.
Military Quality of Life
- Preserve the integrity of TRICARE.
- Protect and improve on-base quality of life programs.
- Pass full concurrent receipt of military retirement pay and VA disability compensation.
- Eliminate the Survivor Benefit Plan/Dependency and Indemnity Compensation offset for surviving military retiree spouses.
- Ensuring the POW/MIA Accounting mission is fully funded.
- Expanding partnerships with host nations and private/public organizations to achieve the fullest possible accounting of U.S. military personnel missing from all wars.