U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, voted Tuesday and Wednesday in favor of several bills that will provide crucial support and services to our nation’s veterans. Several bills were considered and passed in the House, in particular: H.R. 2433 –The Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011; H.R. 2349 – The Veterans’ Benefits Training Improvement Act of 2011; and H.R. 1263- Amending the Service Members Civil Relief Act to Provide Surviving Spouses with Certain Protections Relating to Mortgages and Mortgage Foreclosures.
H.R. 2433, The Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, will: provide access to education and training funds for up to 100,000 unemployed veterans between the ages of 35 and 60 in high-demand occupations; improve the transition assistance program to assist departing service-members in finding civilian employment; and establish new reporting requirements in order to ensure proper evaluation of the effectiveness of federal programs that assist veterans in finding employment.
H.R. 2349,The Veterans Benefits Training Improvement Act, will: modify the eligibility requirements for veterans’ pension awards; require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to undertake a pilot program to assess the skill level of claims processing personnel, and would make several other administrative changes to veterans’ benefits programs; improve accountability and expertise of VA claims processors; and give veterans the option to determine the best methods to send, receive, and save documents related to their claim and circumstances.
H.R. 1263, Amending the Service Members Civil Relief Act to Provide Surviving Spouses with Certain Protections Relating to Mortgages and Mortgage Foreclosures, will protect surviving spouses of service members who die on active duty, or whose death is service-connected, from foreclosure and will better protect service members, veterans, and their families from the stress of unlawful foreclosures, especially during times of deployment.
“I am committed to fighting for our veterans and their families,” said Congressman McKeon. “Our veterans, many of them offering a lifetime of service to our country, deserve a lifetime of commitment from us in Washington. They should be treated with a hero’s welcome upon their return from service. It is important that we honor our promises to the brave men and women who have selflessly answered our nation’s call to duty. These important bills will help ensure that our veterans will obtain the services they need and deserve.”
McKeon represents California’s 25th Congressional District and serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.