Opening Statement of Hon. Doug Lamborn, a Representative in Congress from the State of Colorado
Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
It is an honor to be here in my first veterans’ committee hearing among veterans and their families, and those who have, in turn, dedicated themselves to serving these great patriots who have secured our nation’s very freedoms.
Mr. Buyer, thank you for your service as ranking member of this committee and for your confidence in this freshman. I assure you that my service will be marked by energy, and a focus to ensure our veterans, their families, and their survivors that we have a system that makes timely and accurate decisions and efficiently delivers benefits to deserving beneficiaries.
Admiral Cooper, I was glad to have been able to visit with you briefly; this is a complex area and has profound impact on our veterans and their families.
These beneficiaries, we would all agree, shouldn’t have to grapple with the complexities, laws, regulations, and pressures generated from one side of Washington to another. They are already grappling with the pressures of illness, injury, the need for a pension, some college tuition, perhaps a life insurance policy or a home loan.
No veteran should wait six months for a claims decision or years for an appeals decision. We must – and we will – work together in a bipartisan fashion and with you in the administration to solve this problem.
We will welcome fresh ideas, make room for promising partnerships, and keep the end goal in mind: veterans who are well-served by their government.
Secretary Tuerk, I look forward to working with you. Your administration has a reputation for efficiency and customer satisfaction. More must be done so that all of our national cemeteries meet shrine commitment standards.
As we expand the number of national and state cemeteries, we should preserve if not accelerate our progress towards this vital commitment, which has enjoyed the Committee’s enduring support.
Much must also be done before we can offer our veterans a burial option in a national or state cemetery within a reasonable drive from their residence.
I look forward to the opportunity today to hear more on these and other issues of importance to our veterans and their families.
Mr. Chairman, I yield back my time.