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 1.7 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 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 veterans receive the care they deserve by passing the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act.

 

Our 2018 Priority Goals:

 

  • Budget

    • End budget sequestration and adjust outdated budget caps. 
    • Authorize VA to receive reimbursements from TRICARE and Medicare.
    • Never reduce one veteran’s benefits to pay for another.
    • Ensure the POW/MIA Accounting mission is fully funded.
     
  • 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.
  • Health Care

    • Consolidate VA’s community care programs into a single, integrated system.
    • Modernize VA’s health IT systems.
    • Expand current caregiver benefits to veterans of all eras. 
    • Strengthen VA and DOD health care and research for mental health and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
    • Further expand gender-specific programs and competencies. 
    • Provide care and benefits to veterans and family members impacted by toxic exposures. 
    • Prevent the increase of pharmaceutical copayments.
    • Conduct medical research on the benefits of medical cannabis.
    • Extend telehealth services.
    • Make nursing home eligibility part of the VA health care benefits package.
  • Compensation and Benefits

    • Require treatment of presumptive conditions as a claim for disability compensation.
    • Extend presumptive conditions for hearing loss, tinnitus, TBI and for veterans exposed to toxic substances. 
    • Increase burial allowances to account for inflation and include spouses’ information on all headstones.
    • Reform the Gulf War Illness Disability Benefits Questionnaire.
    • Address veterans’ homelessness by increasing the availability of affordable housing.
    • Adjust Grant and Per Diem Program rates for inflation.
    • Prohibit VA compensation and non-service-connected pension from being considered countable income for homeless programs.
  • 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 military service.
    • Government hiring and contracting opportunities.
    • A national veterans treatment court advocate within VA.
    • Education and training in new and expanding career fields.
    • Proper knowledge and training in transition programs.
  • Defense and Homeland Security

    • Halt the development and/or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
    • Fully fund and deploy a U.S. missile defense system.
    • Secure 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.
  • 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.

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