Veterans

My father was a highly decorated WWII veteran and Purple Heart recipient, and that is why I am so passionate about improving the way our nation treats its veterans. I’m proud to sit on the Veterans’ Affairs committee, where I advocate for the 400,000 veterans in Alabama and millions more across the country.

These men and women have sacrificed so much to protect our country, and they deserve to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

In 2019, veteran unemployment reached its lowest point in history at 2.3 percent. But we can — and must — do more to help our veterans re-enter the civilian workforce and society.

In 2020, Congress passed legislation to provide more mental health resources to veterans. The aim of this legislation was to combat the increasingly high rate of veteran suicide in America. As a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, I’m focused on oversight of the VA to ensure that these resources are used judiciously, so veterans receive the high-quality, specialized care, support, and job-training they need to make the transition back home and lead successful lives as civilians.

Making a Difference

I co-sponsored the SAVE LIVES Act, which Congress passed and President Biden signed into law, to increase accessibility to the COVID-19 vaccine for service members and their spouses.

  • The Strengthening and Amplifying Vaccination Efforts to Locally Immunize all Veterans and Every Spouse (SAVE LIVES) Act provides no-cost COVID-19 vaccination to all veterans, veteran spouses, caregivers, and Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs recipients at VA facilities.
  • The SAVE LIVES Act also instructs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to adjust vaccine allocation based on this increased accessibility and demand.

I co-sponsored the GHAPS Act, to improve veterans’ access to cutting-edge, high quality, and timely care.

  • While Congress has passed wide-sweeping comprehensive legislation in the VA health care space in recent years (e.g., MISSION Act and Hannon Act), veterans on the margins—such as rural, overseas or community care veterans—still face challenges in accessing care. To fix this problem, the Guaranteeing Healthcare Access to all Personnel who Served (GHAPS) Act would identify persistent gaps and craft innovative solutions to meet the unique needs of every veteran and to make certain all veterans receive quality and timely care.
  • The GHAPS Act would:
    • Codify MISSION access standards to protect current veteran eligibility standards for MISSION’s Veterans Community Care Program.
    • Create access standards for community care delivery to make certain veterans receive timely care in the community.
    • Direct VA to create a strategic plan to ensure the Department is addressing continuity of care issues amidst a changing VA footprint.
    • Direct VA to create a telehealth strategic plan to ensure the Department is deploying virtual care thoughtfully and utilizing innovative solutions to deliver telehealth to rural veterans.
    • Ensure all veterans with treatment-resistant depression have access to the necessary evidence-based care to put them on the path to recovery.
    • Cut the red tape for VA research by removing the burdensome Paperwork Reduction Act requirements; ensuring veterans benefit from more timely research-informed care.