Pat is fully committed to making sure our soldiers and our veterans always come first. Our veterans and soldiers risk their lives to keep our country safe and protect our freedom; they deserve the best in return. When Pat was in Congress, he voted to make sure our veterans and their families had the resources and services they needed, including educational, counseling, and employment aid. As your senator, Pat will commit all the resources needed to provide the personnel, training, intelligence, and equipment required to support the missions necessary to protecting our national security and our soldiers’ safety. He will dedicate the same level of priority and support to the families of our volunteer active regulars and citizen soldiers.
Pat will make passing the Military Voting Protection Act a priority in the U.S. Senate. This legislation will make sure our soldiers’ votes are counted in our elections. Right now, many soldiers stationed overseas have trouble requesting absentee ballots, and have trouble submitting those ballots on time. The Military Voting Protection Act will require the Department of Defense to lay out clear procedures for making sure our soldiers’ votes are counted.
America is the greatest country in the world and we will continue to be great if we remember that our strength and security come from our soldiers who fight to preserve our freedom.
Pat's Record of Supporting Veterans:
• Voted to make it easier for veterans to get the health care they need, like eliminating the 90-day requirement for former prisoners of war to qualify for VA outpatient dental care (RC #658, 2003).
• Voted for a bill that would raise the GI Bill’s educational benefits for military veterans pursuing full-time study (RC #166, 2001).
• Voted for bill to expand and increase funds for several Veterans Affairs Department programs, including those relating to veterans educational, retirement, life insurance and death benefits. It would also expand counseling services for those leaving the military; increase automobile and housing allowances for the disabled; raise funeral-related benefits, and promote educational initiatives on veterans’ overall benefits (RC #63, 2001).
• Voted for a bill to implement a cost-of-living increase for disability compensation and survivors of certain disabled veterans. The bill would also authorize $100 million for the Labor Department’s Homeless Veterans Reintegrating Program and begin a comprehensive assessment of national cemeteries (RC #257, 1999).
• Voted to increase disability compensation for veterans and to increase dependency and indemnity payments for their survivors (RC #408, 2004).
• Voted for new construction and renovation projects at VA facilities (RC #576, 2003).
• Voted for a bill that implemented a number of tax cuts for military families (RC #451, 2002). For example:
o It would make the cash payment given to survivors of military members killed in the line of duty fully exempt from taxable income.
o It would exclude from taxable gross income amounts received under the Homeowners Assistance Program and allow military personnel to temporarily suspend filing and paying taxes and meeting other IRS requirements while participating in “contingency operations.”
o It would permit descendants of military members to belong to tax-exempt veterans organizations.
• Voted for a bill that would implement an awards program to encourage states to improve employment placement programs for veterans (RC 184 #2002).
• Voted for a bill that would implement a cost-of-living raise for various veterans benefits and expand disability compensation for veterans of the Persian Gulf War with undiagnosed illnesses (RC #301, 2001).
• Cosponsored a bill that allowed veterans to claim service-connected disability payments in addition to their retirement payments (H.R. 303, 108th Congress).