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Reforming VA's Fiduciary Program

Jun 22, 2012

Chairman’s Corner

The original intent of the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program was to give unemployed veterans the chance to acquire the skills needed to become more competitive in the work force. The majority of the feedback I have received has been encouraging. It was recently brought to my attention, however, that VA had no plans to include community colleges that also awarded Bachelor degrees in VRAP. This was viewed by the Committee as failing to comply with the spirit of the law, as this opportunity was designed to assist veterans in finding employment, not create more roadblocks. I congratulate and thank VA for rethinking its original position and making a smart decision to allow veterans who are eligible for VRAP to attend community colleges that also offer a very limited number of award bachelors’ degrees. VRAP is a tremendous tool to help reduce the unemployment rate among veterans. VA’s reversal serves as a step forward as we begin the implementation phase of the many components of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act. I would like to thank Committee Vice Chairman Rep. Gus Bilirakis for taking the lead on this issue to ensure veterans enrolled in VRAP get the full benefits promised. – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Veterans Fiduciary Reform Act of 2012

This week, Rep. Bill Johnson introduced the Veterans Fiduciary Reform Act of 2012 (H.R. 5948). To restore trust to a system that has long been abused, the Veterans Fiduciary Reform Act will mandate that VA fiduciaries go through a background and credit check, institute an appeals process for veterans and family members who lose confidence in a VA-appointed fiduciary, and ensure VA better protects a veteran’s savings. To learn more about the Veterans Fiduciary Reform Act, click here.

Good for Business

A new study confirms what we at the Committee already knew – hiring veterans is good business. Companies said that the leadership and teamwork skills brought to the workplace by veterans go a long way in helping their businesses. And, a majority of the participants in the survey said decisions to hire veterans were driven by “veterans’ character – trustworthiness, dependability, integrity and maturity.”

Badge of Courage

Last week, two Green Berets, Staff Sergeant Corey Calkins and Chief Warrant Officer Jason Myers, received that nation’s second-highest military award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross. In a ceremony held at Ft. Bragg, Admiral McRaven, head of Special Operations Command, pinned the medals on Calkins and Myers for their heroic actions in Afghanistan. To learn more about these brave warriors, click here.  

ICYMI: Stars & Stripes Heroes

Don’t miss Stars & Stripes’ Heroes Newspaper, out now! Recounting just a few of the hundreds of stories of the heroism, courage, and dedication of our U.S. Armed Forces, this edition takes the reader around the world featuring stories from Afghanistan to a Lieutenant Colonel in Colorado who provides a free summer camp for children of the fallen.

Social Media

In the coming weeks, you will see more of the Committee on new media, including Pinterest! We hope to make our Pinterest page engaging, informative, and interactive. If you have suggestions for what we should include on our Pinterest page, please email us at HouseVetAffairs@mail.house.gov. Also, you can always find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Be sure to recommend these pages to fellow veterans in order to keep up with the Committee every day of the year!  

Upcoming Committee Schedule

June 20: Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations - Legislative Hearing on H.R. 2985, H.R. 3730, H.R. 4481, H.R.5948. 10:00 AM 334 Cannon House Office Building.

June 21: Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity - Legislative Hearing on H.R. 4115, H.R. 4740, H.R. 3860, H.R. 5747. 10:00 AM Room 334 Cannon House Office Building.