Government affairs

Legislative Updates

House passes five bills supporting veterans

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted 397-29 to suspend the rules to pass several bills, including five bills that support veterans. Read more about these bills below.

Student Veteran Emergency Relief Act of 2022 (H.R. 7939)
This bill, introduced by Reps. Mike Levin (D-CA) and Nancy Mace (R-SC), would codify many Covid-related education provisions to ensure student veterans are not negatively affected by any necessary periods of remote learning. It would also expand the veteran readiness and employment program, providing more veterans access to self-employment training. Additionally, it would allow the VA to extend GI Bill flexibilities during any future emergency declared by the president.

Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2022 (H.R. 7846)
H.R. 7846 would require the VA to increase compensation rates for disabled veterans and dependency and indemnity compensation rates for surviving spouses and children. The rates would be increased at the same percentage as the cost-of-living increase in benefits for Social Security recipients that is effective on Dec. 1, 2022. The bill was introduced by Reps. Elaine Luria (D-VA) and Troy Nehls (R-TX).

Improving Access to the VA Home Loan Benefit Act of 2022 (H.R. 7735)
This bill, introduced by Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), would require the VA to update regulations, requirements and guidance related to appraisals for housing loans guaranteed by the VA. It would specify when an appraisal is required, how an appraisal is to be conducted, and who is eligible to conduct an appraisal for VA loans to help streamline to homebuying process for veterans.

Wounded Warriors Access Act (H.R. 5916)
Reps. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) and Chip Roy (R-TX) introduced this bill that would allow veterans to access their C-Files, which include service records, VA exam results, and more, through an online portal and receive a digital copy of their files. The VA would be required to fulfill all requests within 120 days, streamlining the process and allowing veterans to receive their benefits faster.

Faster Payments to Veterans’ Survivors Act of 2022 (H.R. 8260)
H.R. 8260 would shorten the time that the VA is authorized to designate, contact and pay primary or alternate insurance beneficiaries from two years to one year and from four years to two years, respectively. It would ensure that procedures for paying alternate beneficiaries are consistently applied between VA life insurance programs and require the VA to better publicize online tools that allow veteran families to search for payments they may be entitled to. This bill was introduced by Reps. Chris Pappas (D-NH) and Nancy Mace (R-SC).

The bills now need to be considered by the Senate. With only a few months left in the 117th Congress, it is unclear if they will receive consideration in the time remaining. NALC will update letter carriers on any future action. 

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