Congressman Scott Peters

Representing the 52nd District of California

Veterans

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.

Bills Introduced

Bills Cosponsored

  • 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.

Bills Cosponsored

  • 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.

Bills Cosponsored

  • 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.

Bills Introduced

Bills Cosponsored

  • 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.

 

Bills Introduced

  • 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

 

Bills Cosponsored

  • 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

 

See what I'm working on in San Diego for our veterans here.

 

 

Arizona Republic - Parents of veteran who killed self attend Obama speech

The parents of an Arizona combat veteran who committed suicide after struggling to get treatment from the Phoenix VA Health Care System attended the State of the Union on Tuesday as guests of U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and a California congressman.

Jean and Howard Somers have been outspoken supporters of Sinema since she worked with them in 2013 to introduce a bill that would make it easier for veterans to receive mental-health treatment.

Sinema re-introduced the bill this session.

Arizona Capitol Times - Arizonans get front-row seats as guests at State of the Union

WASHINGTON – Jean and Howard Somers’ work to increase awareness of veterans’ mental health issues has made them regulars in Washington, but the former Arizona residents were still surprised to get an invitation to the State of the Union.

“We didn’t even know how you got invited or that there were people other than the congressional reps there,” Jean Somers said. “We were shocked, surprised and very excited and honored.”

Rep. Peters Participates in White House Ceremony to Sign Vets Suicide Prevention Bill Into Law

U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) participated in a ceremony at the White House where the “Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act” was signed into law by President Obama. Peters was among several lawmakers invited to the White House East Room for the bill signing because of his strong advocacy for America’s veterans, and his particular focus on ending the upward trend in veteran suicides.

Times of San Diego - Tax Reform Among Peters’ 10 Resolutions for Congress

Chris Jennewein - As the 114th Congress convened on Tuesday, Rep. Scott Peters issued a list of 10 New Year’s resolutions ranging from creating jobs and supporting the military to comprehensive action on immigration.

The Democrat from La Jolla, who narrowly won a second term by beating challenger Carl DeMaio in November, was sworn in by House Speaker John Boehner.

Rep. Peters Praises President’s Call for Greater Investments in Science, Research, and College Affordability

“I was encouraged to hear President Obama engaging on issues of importance to San Diego and the country, and calling for bipartisanship on economic growth. Despite the recent good economic news, there are still too many families who are working harder than ever yet are still unable to get ahead. Fair wages and tax breaks for working families are a good first step, but the real answer lies in providing greater opportunities for prosperity for all." For the speech, Congressman Peters joined with his colleague from Arizona Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema to bring Dr. Howard and Jean Somers to raise awareness on the tragic problem of veteran suicide.

UT - San Diego County congressmen invite parents of dead soldier

Jeanette Steele - At Tuesday's State of the Union address, two San Diego County congressmen brought guests to draw attention to issues.

Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, invited the parents of a military veteran who committed suicide following service in Iraq.

Howard and Jean Somers of Coronado have been advocating for change to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs system since the June 2013 death of their son, Daniel.

Daniel Somers, a 30-year-old former Army sergeant, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injury after his time in combat.

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