Veterans Benefits

Our veterans should receive the care and the benefits they have earned and deserve. This is why I have co-sponsored bipartisan legislation that would provide for increased flexibility in establishing rates of reimbursement for State Veterans Homes by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for nursing home care provided to service-connected disabled veterans. State Veterans Homes should be reimbursed adequately and accurately for their role in the long-term care of our veterans, and this legislation would provide for the lasting financial viability of our State Veterans Homes. The Idaho Division of Veterans Services operates three Veterans Homes in Pocatello, Boise and Lewiston, and I am committed to doing everything I can in Congress to assist these homes in their mission of providing exceptional medical and supportive care to our veterans.

I strongly support measures to help our service members transition back into their daily lives and successfully enter the civilian workforce.

I supported the Post 9/11 Troops to Teachers (TTT) Enhancement Act to expand the TTT program, which has successfully sent about 12,000 military veterans into classrooms over the last 15 years. TTT offers financial assistance for military personnel to obtain their teaching certification and teach for at least three years, with additional funding going to those who agree to teach in schools with the most need. Apart from offering an excellent career option to departing military members, TTT directly targets major shortcomings identified by leaders in the education community: a shortage of male teachers, a shortage of minority teachers, and a shortage of math, science and special education teachers. Eighty percent of the program participants are male, 35% are minorities and many veterans are well suited to teach science and math because they worked highly technical jobs in the military. Many students have also benefited from the military philosophy of hard work and sacrifice that former soldiers bring to the job. I also cosponsored the Veterans Training Act which would enable veterans to use their benefits for qualifying technical and vocational education programs as well as traditional university programs.

As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to use my position to support continued funding for our veterans programs. I am proud to support our nation’s military men and women and veterans who fought so valiantly in defense of our nation. Veterans have made tremendous sacrifices to preserve our way of life, and the American people are indebted to the men and women who have served our nation. Rest assured, I will keep working to ensure that veterans programs receive adequate funding so that our nation’s veterans receive the treatment and care they deserve.