Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr applauded the signing of two bills by the President, S. 3202, the Dignified Burial and other Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2012, and H.R. 4057, the Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2012.
S. 3202 included two provisions sponsored by Senator Burr. The first will help ensure the long-term efficiency of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims by requiring all judges to live within 50 miles of the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.
"As anyone who has managed a business or office can tell you, things tend to run more smoothly when those people integral to the day-to-day operations are present," Senator Burr said. "If Veterans Court judges have to travel across the country to get to their offices, it could make it difficult for them to fully engage in their case work, manage their staff, and carry out their judicial functions. Our nation's veterans could suffer from these inefficiencies. By requiring judges to live near the court's office, we can help ensure that veterans receive the timely decisions from the Court that they deserve."
Another provision that Senator Burr sponsored will help ensure that every veteran receives a dignified burial by authorizing VA to furnish a casket or urn to a deceased veteran when they are unable to identify the veteran's next-of-kin and sufficient resources are not otherwise available.
"We owe a great deal to our nation's veterans and servicemembers, and our duty to them does not end when they pass away," said Senator Burr. "We must ensure that their remains are treated with dignity and respect and they are buried in a manner that reflects the honor they deserve."
"Additionally, I'm pleased to have worked with Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA), as well as our colleagues on the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, on passage the Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2012. This legislation, which will help provide increased information to veterans pursuing post-secondary education and better national outreach strategies for those populations, is the result of hard work during the legislative process, but also invaluable feedback from the higher education community that will play a critical role in the success of this legislation."