Indiana is home to over a half million veterans, and my district is home to the Marion VA Medical Center. It is important to protect, compensate and care for those men and women who bravely defend our freedoms.
In recent years, the Veterans Administration has failed to provide timely, high-quality care to too many veterans across the country. In 2013, steps were taken by the VA, the Obama Administration and Congress to clear the unacceptably high backlog of VA benefits claims. These steps moved the backlog to the appeals process, a challenge that we are continuing to work to remedy today. I am committed to ensuring that Americans who have selflessly served to protect us receive the care, benefits and services they’ve earned.
Too many of our veterans become homeless, addicted to harmful substances, or suffer from untreated mental illnesses or addictions. I am working to improve the circumstances facing our veterans with more efficient systems and resources to help them and their families.
Unemployment and underemployment continue to be a concern for young veterans in particular. In 2017, I introduced H.R. 1104, the Veterans TEST Accessibility Act, which will give our veterans the tools they need to compete in the job market and help address veteran underemployment and unemployment. Under the bill, veterans would only pay for the cost to take a certification, liscensing or national test and can still utilize the remaining eligibility they have to cover other educational expenses incurred that month. Given the relatively low cost of many tests, it often simply isn’t worth it for veterans to pay for one of these tests and lose potential reimbursement for an entire month of other education expenses, like tuition.
Hundreds of licenses, certifications and tests are available for coverage under the bill and have been previously approved by the Veterans Administration. For example, licenses are required for veterans to become athletic trainers, real estate agents and fire fighters. If veterans are interested in careers as mechanics, IT professionals, computer programmers, electrical engineers and medical technicians, for example, they must be certified. Lastly, in order to pursue undergraduate or graduate studies in a variety of fields including law, medicine and business, veterans must take a national test like the SAT, LSAT, MCAT or GMAT. Veterans have the skills and experience that colleges, universities and employers are looking for, but face challenges that their civilian counterparts do not, including a lack of licensure or certification.
To read an op-ed I wrote about the failures of the Veterans Administration, click here.
More on Veterans
WASHINGTON, DC – Today Congresswomen Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) and Kathleen Rice (D-NY04) introduced H.R. 7441, the Hire Veteran Health Heroes Act of 2020 to ensure the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs collaborate to recruit medical personnel leaving the armed services to work for the Veterans Health Administration. Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Mike Braun (R-IN).
A resolution by Rep. John Garamendi, D-Solano, to award a Congressional Medal of Honor to American Merchant Mariners who provided supplies to the armed forces during World War II has passed in both chambers of Congress. It now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk for a signature.
During World War II, Merchant Marines had the job of transporting supplies to Allied Forces. According to American Merchant Marine at War, approximately 1 in 26 Merchant Marines died during the war, potentially the highest per capita ratio of casualties of any branches of service during that time.
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Merchant Marines were a vital part of the Allied forces that won World War II, yet they never got the recognition they deserved, said Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) She’s working to fix that by helping to get a bill passed in Congress, to award them the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor that can be awarded to civilians.
WASHINGTON, DC – This week, the House of Representatives passed H.R.550, Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019, a bill Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (IN-05) co-sponsors and previously introduced.
On July 23, Senators Mike Braun and Todd Young, and Representatives Pete Visclosky (Ind.-01), Jackie Walorski (Ind.-02), Jim Banks (Ind.-03), Jim Baird (Ind.-04), Susan Brooks (Ind.-05), Greg Pence (Ind.-06), André Carson (Ind.-07), Larry Bucshon (Ind.-08) and Trey Hollingsworth (Ind.-09) introduced legislation honoring the 50th anniversary of the return of the Indiana Rangers.
“The Indiana Rangers valiantly fought in the Vietnam War with grit and honor protecting our state and country, and we honor their sacrifice on the 50th anniversary of their return,” said Braun.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senator Mike Braun, Senator Todd Young, Representative Pete Visclosky (IN01), Representative Jackie Walorski (IN-02), Representative Jim Banks (IN-03), Representative Jim Baird (IN-04), Representative Susan Brooks (IN-05), Representative Greg Pence (IN-06), Representative André Carson (IN-07), Representative Larry Bucshon (IN-08), and Representative Trey Hollingsworth (IN-09) introduced legislation honoring the 50th Anniversary of the return of the Indiana Rangers.
INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Walter Murphy survived the Battle of the Bulge and other bloody engagements of World War II. And, as an Army medic he helped other soldiers survive too.
U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) introduced a bipartisan bill to improve the physical security at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities, among several provisions.
Rep. Brooks on Feb. 8 was an original cosponsor of the Accountability for Quality VA Healthcare Act, H.R. 1125, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA). The colleagues are co-chairs of the Bipartisan Working Group, an organization of members from both political parties who seek to find solutions to mutually identified policy issues.
Representatives Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA), co-chairs of the Bipartisan Working Group, have reintroduced a bipartisan package of fixes to ongoing challenges faced by the Department of Veterans Affairs in delivering quality care to veterans.
The solutions stem from a series of Government Accountability Office studies that uncovered problems at the Veterans Health Administration.
WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA), co-chairs of the Bipartisan Working Group (BPWG), have reintroduced a bipartisan package of fixes to ongoing challenges faced by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in delivering quality care to veterans. The solutions stem from a series of Government Accountability Office (GAO) studies that uncovered problems at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).