Good news! On June 7, five important veteran-related bills were signed by the president and became public law.
The Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas SERVICE Act – named after Marine Corps Officer Kate Thomas, who served near a burn pit in Iraq and died of breast cancer – expands eligibility for VA mammography screening to veterans who served in locations associated with toxic exposures. (P.L. 117-133)
The Veterans Rapid Retraining Assistance Program Restoration and Recovery Act gives VA the authority to restore important education benefits to veterans who were unable to complete a course or program as a result of the closure of an educational institution or the disapproval of a program by the state approving agency or the VA. (P.L. 117-138)
The Making Advances in Mammography and Medical Options for Veterans Act (MAMMO Act) strengthens and expands access to high-quality breast cancer screenings and life-saving cancer care for veterans nationwide. (P.L. 117-135)
The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) Extension Act extends a program that compensates individuals who were exposed to radiation from atomic weapons testing, or uranium mining or processing, and who subsequently developed specified cancers or other medical conditions.
The Strengthening Oversight for Veterans Act gives the VA’s Office of Inspector General the authority to subpoena witnesses as necessary to carry out the duties of the office. (P.L. 117-136)
DAV supported all of these bills and is pleased that they have become public law.
In addition, on May 18, the U.S. House of Representative passed several other DAV-supported bills, which are now being considered by the Senate.
* H.R. 5738, the Lactation Spaces for Veteran Moms Act.
* H.R. 7335, the MST Claims Coordination Act.
* H.R. 6961, the Dignity for MST Survivors Act.
* H.R. 6064, a bill to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to seek to enter into an agreement with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for a review of examinations to individuals who submit claims for compensation for mental and physical conditions linked to military sexual trauma.
* H.R. 2724, the VA Peer Support Enhancement for MST Survivors Act; and
* H.R. 6052, the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General Training Act.
DAV is closely following these bills and will make efforts to ensure their passage by the U.S. Senate.