Supporting returning Oregon National Guard troops. With 2,700 Oregon National Guard troops recently returned from deployment in Iraq, Greg Walden teamed with the Oregon congressional delegation to introduce bipartisan legislation to assist them upon their return home. The bill, H.R. 3358, would:
* Allow Guard and Reserve troops to remain on active duty for up to 90 days, collect pay, and access reintegration and counseling services for those 90 days.
* Expand the employer tax credit for hiring a veteran who works at least 10 weeks full time to $5,000 (from $2,400 currently) if the veteran is from a county with 12 percent or greater unemployment in the last six months and works 20 weeks full time.
Expanding GI Bill benefits for today's veterans. Greg helped equalize GI Bill benefits for today's veterans with what veterans received after World War II. Those who have served on active duty since Sept. 11, 2001 qualify for this program, including Guard and Reserve members who have served on active duty. For more information, visit http://www.gibill.va.gov/.
Preserving vital VA centers. Greg led the movement to oppose the closure of the VA's Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics in White City and to prevent the closure of the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center in Walla Walla, WA, which provides care to thousands of Oregon veterans.
Improving access to health care for rural veterans. Working with Sen. Ron Wyden, Greg is helping lead on legislation (H.R. 668) to ensure veterans are never denied care at 25 rural Critical Access Hospitals that are subject to daily patient limits imposed by the federal government.
Better health care services for women veterans. Greg helped pass the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act (H.R. 1211) to better VA health care services for women veterans, including PTSD and newborn care. The bill helps ensure the services offered by the VA reflect the rising percentage of women veterans by prioritizing their unique health care needs.
Advanced funding of VA medical accounts. Greg strongly supported a new law funding VA medical accounts one year in advance to allow the VA to plan in advance how best to care for veterans that rely on their services.