National Legislative Service

Carrying the Voice of 22 Million Veterans

Our nation made a promise to those who serve, and we fight to ensure it's kept.

Legislative Priorities

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 establishes the VFW's legislative priorities and advocates on veterans' behalf. 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 1.6 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary, our voice on Capitol Hill cannot be ignored!


Among the VFW's most recent and important legislative victories was expanding college education benefits for military service members with the signing of the  Forever GI Bill, and ensuring America's service members and veterans receive the care they deserve - whenever and wherever they need it - by passing the VA MISSION Act.

 

Our 2019 Priority Goals:

 

  • Budget

    • Reform the dysfunctional federal budget process and end sequestration.
    • Authorize VA to receive reimbursements from TRICARE and Medicare.
    • Ensure the POW/MIA Accounting mission is fully funded.
    • Never reduce one veteran’s benefits to pay for another.
  • Health Care

    • Properly implement the VA MISSION Act of 2018.
    • Reduce the number of service members and veterans who die by suicide.
    • Preserve the integrity of TRICARE. 
    • Modernize VA and DOD health IT systems.
    • Strengthen health care and research for mental health and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
    • Expand gender-specific programs and competencies. 
    • Research and effectively treat health conditions associated with toxic exposures. 
    • Prevent the increase of pharmaceutical copayments and remove copayment requirements for preventive medicines.
    • Research the efficacy of medical cannabis.
    • Expand telehealth services.
    • Make nursing home eligibility part of the VA health care benefits package.
    • Keep community care reimbursement rates competitive with private health insurance.
     
  • Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs

    • Properly implement the modernized appeals process.
    • Consider treatment of presumptive conditions as a claim for disability compensation.
    • Establish presumptive disability compensation benefits for hearing loss, tinnitus, TBI, and for health conditions associated with toxic exposures. 
    • Increase burial allowances to account for inflation and include spouses’ information on all headstones.
    • Authorize more than one adaptive automotive grant for disabled veterans.
    • Reform the Gulf War Illness Disability Benefits Questionnaire.
    • Transfer the control of the Mare Island Naval Cemetery to NCA.
    • Update regulations and laws governing claims to account for digital claims processing.
    • Expand VA wartime benefits to early Vietnam veterans.
  • 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 military training.
    • Hiring preferences in the civil service and with large government contractors.
    • National veterans treatment court advocates.
    • Education and training in new and expanding career fields.
    • Timely and improved transition assistance including access to programs for veterans after they leave military service.
    • Affordable housing and wraparound services to avoid homelessness.
    • Equitable education benefits for dependents regardless of where they live.
    • Improved character of discharge review and appeals procedures.
     
  • Military Quality of Life

    • Increase military base pay comparability with private sector wages.
    • Protect and improve on-base quality of life programs.
    • Ensure that military housing is safe and free of toxic substances.
    • End the military retirement pay and VA disability compensation offset.
    • Eliminate the Survivor Benefit Plan/Dependency and Indemnity Compensation offset.
    • Increase the government’s Thrift Savings Plan contribution.
    • Eliminate sexual assaults in the military.
    • Establish the Armed Forces University.
    • Improve stability and support for military families.
     
  • National Security, Foreign Affairs and POW/MIA

    • Expand partnerships with host nations and private/public organizations to achieve the fullest possible accounting of U.S. military personnel missing from all wars.
    • Secure America’s borders.
    • Preserve the all-volunteer force.
    • Maintain a substantial military presence in the Republic of Korea.

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