Making Quality Health Care More Convenient for Our Rural Veterans
Congressman Kline chats with Carver County World War II veterans on April 25, 2007, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. The Waconia Lions Club organized the one-day trip for more than 100 Carver County World War II veterans to visit the World War II Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown soldier.
While election season always intensifies the discussion about partisanship and polarization in Congress, much of the business we do in Washington is conducted in a bipartisan, cooperative manner. Earlier this week, I was pleased to help steer to passage two important bills on behalf of America's veterans.
The "Rural Veterans Access to Care Act," which I co-sponsored with Congressman Collin Peterson, is bipartisan legislation designed to enhance access to health care for the thousands of Minnesota veterans who live far from a VA Hospital or medical facility. This legislation allows a veteran from a highly rural area who is enrolled in the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) system to elect to receive covered health services through a non-VA health provider. To read more about this bill, click here.
I also am proud to have voted for the "Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2008," which will adjust veterans' compensation rates to keep pace with inflation. The increase will benefit nearly 3 million veterans and more than 300,000 surviving spouses receiving dependency and indemnity compensation.
As the husband of a career Army nurse, the father of a son who has served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a 25-year Marine Corps veteran myself, I consider it one of my greatest duties in Congress to ensure we keep our promises made to our veterans of today and tomorrow. To read more about legislation Congress has passed on behalf of our veterans, including the "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" bill which I championed, and an unprecedented GI Bill which I co-sponsored, click here.
Minnesotans Have Waited Too Long For Relief From High Gas Prices
While Congress was on a five-week vacation from Aug. 2-Sept. 8, I was pleased to join 134 of my colleagues who conducted an unprecedented revolt on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. We protested on behalf of all Americans because of majority leadership's decision to adjourn Congress on Aug. 1 without allowing a vote on the "American Energy Act." The American people were here, my Republican colleagues and I were here, but sadly, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and majority leadership decided not to participate in this critical discussion on how to make America more energy independent.
For five weeks, my colleagues and I heard from constituents that the number one issue on their minds was the need for relief from the high cost of gasoline, diesel fuel, and natural gas. Unfortunately, upon returning to Washington earlier this week, our first order of legislative business was to name two courthouses. On Tuesday, rather than giving the American people what they want by voting on comprehensive energy legislation that provides an "all of the above" approach - including expanded offshore drilling - majority leadership plans to introduce a bill that includes massive tax hikes and more of the same, failed energy policies.
Including today, we have only 12 legislative days left in this session of Congress. All we are asking for is a vote on the "American Energy Act," which would lower gas prices by increasing production of American energy, promote more conservation and efficiency, and encourage the use of more alternative and renewable fuels. Minnesotans have waited long enough. Americans have waited long enough.
9/11 Anniversary: A Day America Will Never Forget
Seven years ago this morning, Islamist Extremists attacked American soil on a day we will never forget. We continue to honor the memories of those Americans who died and grieve with the family and friends of those whose lives were lost in this tragedy. And we remain thankful for those emergency responders who answered the call to help their fellow citizens in a time of tragedy. We also are grateful for the 1.7 million heroes, the men and women of our Armed Forces, who have courageously fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and ensure we remain the land of the free and home of the brave.