Blaine’s Bulletin, by U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer

 Posted on Friday, August 22, 2014 at 9:02 am

U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer

U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer

When I drive around the 3rd District, there is nothing that moves me more than seeing our nation’s flag waving from a business, a home or a school.

The American flag represents so much, but freedom always comes to mind first.

With that in mind, we must always remember the freedoms we are so fortunate to have come from the brave men and women who selflessly serve our country.

For much of the summer, the House and the Senate discussed long-term funding solutions to combat the horrific issues surrounding the Department of Veterans Affairs.

And during a time when it is next to impossible for a bicameral, bipartisan agreement – politics were put aside for our nation’s veterans and a solution was agreed upon.

Last week, I was pleased to hear the president signed into law the bill that Congress passed, which marked an important step by beginning to repair and improve our VA system.

This law makes several reforms, including provisions which would allow veterans to receive care at non-Department of Veterans Affairs facilities and a requirement that the VA provide a

Veterans Choice Card for eligible veterans to receive care provided by non-VA providers.

Eligible veterans are those who are enrolled in the VA health system as of August 1, 2014, newly discharged veterans who are unable to secure an appointment at a VA facility within 30 days or veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility.

Additionally, this law authorizes the VA to fire or demote Senior Executive Service employees for negligence and poor performance and reduces funding for bonuses available to VA employees by $40 million each year through Fiscal Year 2024.

It is so important for members of Congress and for the president to meet with family members and veterans who have been affected by the VA scandal in order to prevent history from repeating itself.

In order to ensure this problem won’t happen again, we must ensure that administration officials do not ignore the signs so we can ensure proper health treatment and care for all of our nation’s veterans.

Last week, the president said “This will not and cannot be the end of our effort. Implementing this law will take time.”

This is just another statement from the administration buying time and keeping with its own agenda.

Our nation’s veterans deserve more than waiting around on an administration that has been much too slow to act on this important piece of legislation.

I will continue to hold Veterans Workshops throughout the 3rd District and my office has helped answer questions and solve cases for hundreds of veterans in the district.

The workshops provide a forum for you to get information and ask questions.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the impact of the law on you or in Missouri or if you have stories you would like to share, please give one of my offices a call or email me by going to www.luetkemeyer.house.gov.

As a member of Congress, I have a duty to care for those who fought for our freedom and I will continue to fight for the needs of veterans.

CONTACT US: As always, for those of you with Internet access, I encourage you to visit my official website.

For those without access to the Internet, I encourage you to call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) Washington, Mo. (636-239-2276), or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns.

If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube site, Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter and Instagram.

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