Congresswoman Lowey believes we must fulfill our commitment to those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces by ensuring veterans have access to high-quality health care and economic security. That’s why she has strongly supported:
- The largest funding increase in the history of the Veterans Administration (VA);
- A 6%, or $10 billion, increase in VA funding in 2015;
- Measures she wrote that reduced the VA’s shameful claims backlog by more than 75%;
- Increased veterans’ compensation cost-of-living increases for survivors and children; and
- The Post 9/11 GI Bill of Rights to expand education, health care, and job training.
In addition, Lowey has cosponsored a number of bills to ensure that America keeps its promises to our veterans by:
- Allowing those entitled to Survivor Benefit Plan and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation to receive payments under both programs without dollar-for-dollar offsets;
- Expanding programs for training and hiring wounded veterans;
- Establishing a center to research the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions for descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances like Agent Orange;
- Providing authorization and access to child care assistance to veterans while receiving medical care at VA facilities;
- Extending the homeless veterans reintegration programs into the labor force for veterans who are homeless, receiving rental assistance, and those transitioning out of incarceration; and
- Increasing programs to combat military sexual assault, improve the support and care for victims, and provide protection from retaliation.
Veterans Health Care
Congresswoman Lowey continues to fight to improve the quality of health care for our veterans.
She has secured millions of dollars to fund the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, which provides advanced research into various diseases and medical ailments, filling in the gaps from traditional research on technologies for various cancers, Gulf War Illness, and Traumatic Brain Injuries.
Her efforts also yielded increased funding for Advanced Prosthetic Research, including a focus on prosthetics specifically designed for the roughly 2% of female amputees.
Invisible Wounds of War
Congresswoman Lowey voted to require the Secretary of Defense to establish centers of excellence dedicated to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and military eye injuries. Congresswoman Lowey is also a member of the Invisible Wounds Caucus and works to promote awareness of, and solutions for, mental health challenges facing service members and veterans.
Congresswoman Lowey voted for the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act to implement and evaluate VA mental health care and suicide prevention programs. This includes a program to create a network of centers to assist transitioning veterans and increase access to mental health services and a loan repayment program for individuals in the Veterans Health Administration who practice psychiatric medicine.
Education and Training for Veterans
Congresswoman Lowey cosponsored and voted for the expansion of the G.I. Bill, which is making higher education more accessible for our veterans through increased annual benefits and eligibility and service revisions. She also supports federal government assistance to veterans returning from war who are re-entering the workforce through education, training, and job location services.
Legislation based on measures authored by Congresswoman Lowey was enacted in 2004 to increase punishment for those who deface veteran’s memorials.
Congresswoman Lowey has supported legislation to honor the service of veterans through memorials and special recognitions, including:
- Honoring the Tuskegee Airmen, who served bravely in Europe and North Africa during World War II.
- Awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP).
- Issuing commemorative coins to honor the distinguished service of those who have been awarded the Medal of Honor.
- Granting the congressional gold medal, collectively, to the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, United States Army, in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.
- Honoring the sacrifices and contributions made by members of the Armed Forces during the Cold War.
- Issuing a commemorative coin to honor those that have been awarded the Purple Heart medal to expand and renovate the New York National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.