America's overseas combat operations are extremely important to our national security. I am the proud father of an Army Infantryman who was wounded in combat during his 2008 tour in Iraq. After being elected, I was fortunate to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan, to further learn from the experiences of these brave men and women. From this fact finding mission, I believe that it remains critical that Congress continue to adequately provide resources for our troops serving in harm's way. Similarly, all veterans deserve our greatest respect and thanks for their many sacrifices and honorable service. Supporting the military and our veterans will remain among my highest priorities in Congress.
During May of 2011, I held a Veterans Outreach Week
consisting of a series of events designed to offer local area Veterans direct contact with and support from federal agencies through a series of informational seminars and town hall meetings in locations across the Fifth District. During the events, representatives from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) were be available to offer information for Veterans on health care benefits, readjustment benefits, continuing education, new programs, and housing assistance programs. Those who’ve served our nation with dignity have earned and deserve these services and I intend to honor this commitment by providing the best care and support possible for our Veterans.
Over the last two years, I’ve been busy working on several initiatives to ensure our veterans and servicemembers receive the care and support they deserve. In 2011, I was proud to introduce H.R. 1832, the Servicemembers’ Telemedicine & E-Health Portability (STEP) Act
, which passed Congress and was signed into law by the president on December 31, 2011. The STEP Act, now Public Law 112-81, Section 713,
will expand the current Department of Defense (DOD) state licensure exemption to allow credentialed health care professionals to work across state borders without having to obtain a new state license. This legislation removes out-dated requirements under current law so that geographic location is no longer an obstacle to the delivery of care for our servicemembers. The law will also allow more licensed professional to treat veterans and servicemembers, and gives them the ability to also use new telemedicine and e-health technologies for quicker and more efficient help.
As your Member of Congress, I will continue to work to provide the best care and services for our service members and veterans. For more information concerning my work and legislative inititatives in this area, please click on the links below and to the right, or feel free to contact my Washington, DC office.
I look forward to your feedback.