As a Vietnam combat veteran and Co-Chair of the Military Veterans Caucus, I understand our nation’s responsibility to our men and women in uniform. No person who served honorably in our Armed Forces should have to fight for a paycheck, proper health care or a roof over their head.
Employment and Homelessness
Veterans are among our country’s most skilled workers and getting these individuals into civilian employment is a top priority of mine. For example, I’ve long-supported making the Work Opportunity Tax Credit permanent. This credit is available to businesses that hire workers from nine target groups, including veterans. I’ve also worked to ensure veterans can obtain civilian certification for skills they acquire in the military.
In addition, I’m a strong supporter of Department of Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program vouchers for our district and I cosponsored legislation to ensure the children of homeless veterans are included in benefit calculations for these grants. Veterans pay a heavy price in service to our country and they should never be forced to live on the streets.
VA Health Care
In 2018, Congress passed the VA MISSION Act, a major reform of our veterans’ health system. The law establishes a new, permanent community care program; expands comprehensive assistance for family caregivers; helps the VA recruit and retain specialists; and establishes a review commission to make recommendations on modernizing VA medical facilities.
While I was proud to vote for this important legislation, much work remains to ensure these reforms are put into practice. The Veterans Health Administration is currently in the process of implementing regulations. Congress must exercise appropriate oversight to ensure the VA MISSION Act functions as intended. Please know I’m committed to ensuring our veterans receive the superior care they deserve.
Surviving family members of a veteran killed in the line of duty, or as a result of a service-connected injury or illness, are entitled to survivor benefits under the Department of Veterans Affairs Dependency and Indemnity (DIC) program. Retired veterans may also purchase life insurance through the Department of Defense Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP). However, under current law, the Defense Department is required to deduct DIC payments from SBP annuities. This means surviving family members who receive DIC and SBP concurrently have their benefits reduced.
The DIC is an earned benefit that should have no impact whatsoever on SBP annuities that veterans pay premiums for out of pocket. That’s why I’ve cosponsored legislation to eliminate the offsets veterans or their spouses incur under concurrent receipt.
Our country owes veterans a great debt. Please know I’m committed to ensuring former servicemembers and their families receive the care and benefits they earned as they transition from active duty to civilian life.
More on Veterans
Vallejo – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration will formally begin the process of transferring the Mare Island Naval Cemetery from the City of Vallejo. This marks the start of important work to restore and maintain the cemetery. It follows specific authority under Thompson’s legislation passed last year as part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report. A statement from Thompson is below.
Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that his legislation to transfer control of the Mare Island Naval Cemetery to the Department of Veterans Affairs was included in the National Defense Authorization Act. This provision allows for the cemetery to be properly repaired and maintained as the final resting place for hundreds of our nation’s heroes.
Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, announced that the full committee has advanced his legislation to ensure health care coverage for wounded veterans, the Health Equity and Access for Returning Troops and Servicemembers (HEARTS) Act. This bill corrects a flaw in our Medicare and TRICARE systems that imposes an undue financial penalty on wounded veterans who return to work.
Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that three students from the Fifth Congressional District have been nominated and accepted offers to our nation’s military service academies. Students have been appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy Prep School, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Naval Academy.
Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced he has cosponsored the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act, a bill to help expedite immigration proceedings for the children of Filipino World War II veterans who are citizens. This bill will help those children to be more quickly reunited with their families, some of whom have been waiting decades.
Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), a Vietnam veteran, released the following statement marking Memorial Day.
“Today we honor our veterans, military members, and their families to whom we are forever indebted. Your sacrifice protected the freedoms and values we savor so dearly as a nation – liberty, justice, virtue and the pursuit of the American dream.
Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced plans to help Korean War veterans in Napa and Lake Counties receive a medal for their service and encouraged those former service members to contact his office. Thompson is again working with the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea to facilitate presentation of the Ambassador for Peace Medal, an honor given by the South Korean government to American veterans in recognition of their service.
Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that AMVETS (American Veterans) has endorsed his bipartisan bill to repair the Mare Island Cemetery. AMVETS has more than 250,000 members across our nation and has served veterans and their families for more than 70 years.
Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that The American Legion has endorsed his bill to transfer control of the Mare Island Cemetery in Vallejo to the Department of Veterans Affairs so it can be maintained for future generations. The American Legion is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization with over 2 million members at 13,000 posts across the globe.
Washington – Military veteran Members of Congress, including Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), Rep. Bobby Rush (IL-01), Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33), Rep Seth Moulton (MA-06), Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24), and Rep Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) released the following joint statement in reaction to the president’s public and social media discussion of military strategy in response to the apparent chemical attack in Syria over the weekend.