On Thursday September 8th the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs is expected to hold a mark-up to consider a number of bills. One of the bills that will be voted on is H.R. 2349, the Veterans' Benefits Act of 2011, which is being offered by Congressman Jon Runyan. The bill is being used as a vehicle to move forward a number of other initiatives, beyond Rep. Runyan's original program, that are important to veterans.
"I am very excited that the committee has decided to pursue this legislation that would make great strides in making the process of dealing with the VA much easier, "stated Rep. Runyan. "This bill, among other things, specifically directs the Secretary of Veterans' Affairs to create a pilot program that would assess the skills of employees and managers who process VA compensation and pension benefit claims. This pilot program will hopefully lead to long lasting changes to how the VA processes claims."
"In my short time in Congress representing a District with a large population of veterans, I have heard a number of complaints from veterans who are having a difficult time getting the benefits they earned. It is one of my priorities in Congress to help those who have sacrificed to keep our country safe and secure. I firmly believe that this bill will help make our veterans lives just a little easier."
"The VA has been too focused on the number of claims that every employee and manager completes --not the quality or correctness of the claim. This ill-advised focus has resulted in a backlog of claims which severely delays veterans in getting their benefits. This legislation takes the first step in resolving the problem by making sure that employees are trained to do their job right the first time. This is only the first step in a long journey and Congress must continue to work for a better claims process for veterans."
The full House Committee on Veterans' Affairs is scheduled to vote on whether to send H.R. 2349 to the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday September 8th 2011.