Today, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform unanimously approved an amendment offered by Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) to exempt from the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act any rule or regulation related to the health or safety of United States service members and veterans.
The bill, proposed by Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, would impose a moratorium on all government rules and regulations until the national unemployment rate falls below 6 percent.
"By freezing regulations arbitrarily, Congress would be unable to provide any new benefits for our veterans and service members -- benefits they were promised and have more than earned," Yarmuth said.
"Over the next five years, more than one million veterans will come home. I do not believe that anyone here can argue in good faith that just because the economy has yet to fully recover, members of the military and veterans are not entitled to the best and most current health care," Yarmuth told the committee. "They deserve far better than this."
The Yarmuth Amendment specifically exempts the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration, both of which must use the regulatory process to implement critical benefit changes in a timely and responsive manner.
For example, the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act provides medical, travel, training, and financial benefits to caregivers of veterans and service members who were seriously injured in the line of duty after September 11, 2001. The bill was signed into law on May 5, 2010. Without regulations, the VA would not have been able to enact the policy. That holds true for every law Congress passes instructing the federal government to take action.