A member of the Congressional Military Veterans Caucus, Scott Peters stands up for veterans, working to ensure that the United States honors its commitment to the men and women who volunteered to fight for our freedom and security. He has taken steps to ensure veterans receive the benefits they deserve, to make sure that veterans have a place to live, to improve the transition from service to civilian life, increase veterans’ access to health care, to increase employment opportunities for veterans, and to improve veterans’ access to continuing education.
Scott's Veterans Plan
Since coming to Congress, I have helped pass the VA Accountability Act to improve services and care for our veterans, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act to improve mental health care, and the Veterans Choice Act to let our veterans access care outside the VA if their local VA is not sufficient. Even with this progress, there is more work to do for our veterans.
Getting Every Veteran a Job
Our veterans are hard-working, well-trained, and possess the management skills that many employers are seeking in employees. In Congress, we need to help veterans transfer their skills from the military workforce to the civilian workforce.
- Allow veterans to use education benefits for apprenticeship programs.
- Reduce the recertification burden for veterans.
- Expand hiring opportunities for veterans at solar and renewable energy companies.
- Allow homeless veterans to be eligible for job training programs through the Department of Labor.
- Veteran Employment Transition Act, which incentivizes small businesses to hire veterans by giving tax credits for hiring recently discharged veterans.
- H.R. 2551, the Veterans’ Entry to Apprenticeship Act
- H.R. 344, Manufacturing Jobs for Veterans Act
- H.R. 3286, HIRE Vets Act
- H.R. 3312, Benefits Network Act
Honoring the Earned Benefits Promise
We owe it to the men and women of our Armed Services to follow through on the commitments made to them. We must also review and make improvements to benefit programs that are not providing appropriate support for servicemen and women, veterans, and their families.
- End the “Widow’s Tax” which unfairly penalizes military surviving spouses.
- Make veteran cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) permanent.
- Allow service-disabled veterans to receive both military retired pay and disability compensation.
- H.R. 303, Retired Pay Restoration Act
- H.R. 507 American Heroes COLA Act (113th)
- H.R. 333, Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act
- H.R. 315, Filipino Veterans Promise Act
- H.R. 483, Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act of 2015
- H.R. 915 Voices for Veterans Act
- H.R. 1594, Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act
- H.R. 1598, Veteran Spouses Equal Treatment Act
- H.R. 1384, Honor America’s Guard-Reserve Retirees Act
- H.R. 1845, Military Family Leave Act
- H.R. 1948, Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act
- H.R. 3278 Veterans Dignified Burial Act
Supporting Quality Education for Veterans and their Families
Part of ensuring that our veterans are able to find gainful employment and pursue the American Dream is making sure that they and their families have access to high quality education. Veterans education benefits should be improved to expand the number of schools veterans can attend and schools can take steps to better incorporate veterans into their communities.
- Provide in-state tuition to veterans on the GI Bill.
- Promote student veteran resource centers on college campuses.
- Address the broader need needs of being a student veteran.
- H.R. 182, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to permit the centralized reporting of veteran enrollment by certain groups, districts, and consortiums of educational institutions.
- H.R. 456, Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act of 2015
- HR. 2008, GI Education Benefit Fairness Act
Ending Veterans Homelessness in San Diego
San Diego is home to one of the nation’s largest populations of homeless veterans. This is unacceptable. We must do more to ensure that our veterans have safe, stable places to live and build a life after completing their service.
- Advocate for more HUD-VASH vouchers that are appropriate for San Diego’s housing market and work with the San Diego housing stock to ensure they can be used as intended.
- Support local pilot programs for permanent, non-transitional housing.
- Improve transition services between active-duty and veteran status.
- Get San Diego its fair share of funding to address homelessness by making changes to the Department of Housing and Urban Development funding formula.
- Ensure that veterans have fair access to housing assistance through the Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Expand home foreclosure protections for veterans and their families.
- Shelter our Service Members Act to provide senior veterans permanent, non-transitional services through local non-profit organizations.
- H.R. 252, Comprehensive Homes for Heroes Act of 2015
- H.R. 501 Veterans and Servicemembers Employment Rights and Housing Act of 2015
Ensuring Veterans Access to Quality Healthcare
Recent scandals have rocked the VA and have brought to light the need for substantial oversight and reform. I am committed to improving VA service and holding the VA accountable. We must do everything in our power to restore trust and confidence in the VA and to ensure that our veterans are receiving the highest level of care possible.
- Integrate DOD and VA healthcare information.
- Reform the culture of complacency and acceptance of poor performance at the VA.
- End the stigma around mental health care and reduce the rate of veteran suicide.
- Allow treatments to follow the patient from DOD to VA healthcare facilities.
- Increase NIH research funding to study mental health.
- Allow veterans and their families who were exposed to toxins to get the health care they deserve.
- 21st Century Care for Military and Veterans Act, to increase access to telehealth and remote health services in TRICARE and the VA.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Awareness Month, designating the month of June 2015 as National Post- Traumatic Stress Awareness Month and June 27, 2015 as National Post-Traumatic Stress Awareness Day – noting the stigma that comes with calling it a “disorder.”
- Marriage and Family Therapists for Veterans Act, to expand veteran access to mental health professionals at the VA by opening hiring practices to all accredited Marriage and Family Therapists
- H.R. 1735, National Defense Authorization Act of 2016
- H.R. 421, Classified Veterans Access to Care Act
- H.R. 203, Clay Hunt SAV Act (mental health)
- H.R. 572, Veterans Access to Community Care Act of 2015
- H.R. 1101, Viral Hepatitis Testing Act of 2015
- H.R. 1247, Improving Veterans Access to Quality Care Act
- H.R. 1356, Women Veterans Access to Quality Care Act
- H.R. 1496, To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the access to child care for certain veterans receiving health care at a facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- H.R. 577, To require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to use existing authorities to furnish healthcare at non-Department of Veterans Affairs facilities to veterans who live more than 40 miles driving distance from the closest medical facility of the Department that furnishes the care sought by the veteran.
- H.R. 1602, Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient Safety and Quality of Care Act
- Veterans Choice Act (113th)
- HR 1994, VA Accountability Act
- H.R. 2104, America Cures Act
- H.R. 2123 Enhancing Veterans’ Access to Treatment Act
- H.R. 2894, CARE for All Veterans Act (9/11 related injuries and mental health)
- H.R. 2974, Veteran Continuity of Care Act
- H.R. 969, Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2015
- H.R. 1769, Toxic Exposure Research Act
More on Veterans
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) was recognized for his leadership on veterans issues in Washington and selected to serve on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in the 115th Congress. The committee has jurisdiction over the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA hospitals, veterans cemeteries, and legislation in Congress that effects veterans and their families.
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) helped pass three bills that will increase accountability at the VA, improve the quality of care veterans receive at VA hospitals, and expand and update certain benefits to better serve veterans and their families.
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) helped pass the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act, which pays back heroes who had taxes wrongly deducted from benefits related to their injuries. Due to incorrect accounting by the Department of Defense, more than $78 million has been improperly withheld from veterans who received severance packages because of injuries sustained during combat. Federal courts have ruled that such benefits should not be taxed.
Includes land exchange at Port, funding for San Diego military construction projects
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) helped approve new sanctions on the Syrian government and its supporters and encourage negotiations to end the civil war that is now in its sixth year. The measures include sanctions on individuals who do business with the Syrian government, its state-owned transportation and telecom sectors, or its energy industry. After the House passed the new sanctions, Rep. Peters released the following statement:
San Diego - Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) released the following statement on the ongoing crisis regarding the recoupment of unauthorized bonus payments made to National Guard members:
“I applaud yesterday’s decision from Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to cease the collection of unauthorized bonus payments. While a congressional fix may be needed, I urge Secretary Carter to use his existing authorities and resources to repay veterans and their families who have been wronged.
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52), co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Special Operations Forces Caucus, released the following statement on the death of Navy Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan, a Coronado-based Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician who was killed outside Mosul, Iraq yesterday:
Washington, D.C.– Yesterday, Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) helped pass a series of bills to improve medical services at the Department of Veterans Affairs, including emergency and mental health care. These measures will improve the quality of treatment veterans receive at the VA and provide prompt access to emergency services when veterans need it most.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) voted to pass the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act, a package of reforms to improve the quality of treatment veterans receive at the VA. The bill gives the Secretary of the VA more authority to fire poorly performing or convicted employees, reduces perks for senior VA employees, and increases protections for whistleblowers that identify negligent or criminal behavior in a VA facility.