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Opening Statement of Hon. Jeff Miller, a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida (Statement for the Record)

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The long-awaited release of the findings of the VDBC has finally arrived, and now Congress, the VA, and the veterans’ community have some serious consideration ahead of them.  Several years of careful research by the VDBC have led to their findings which can have an important impact on the future of veterans’ benefits. 

In the report issued by the VDBC, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a key contributor, concluded that the VA rating schedule has not undergone a thorough revision since 1945.  While change for the sake of change is not a good approach, this lengthy passage of time makes clear a need for careful review, and I applaud VDBC for having done so. 

While not all of the recommendations require legislative action by Congress, many of the ones that do already exist as bills in both the House and Senate.  I am proud to already cosponsor legislation that allows concurrent receipt of military retiree pay and VA benefit payments as well as legislation that eliminates the SBP/DIC offset. 

I look forward to the Commission’s testimony today that will give further detail on the research used and the recommendations put forth to Congress.  Today’s hearing will no doubt help this committee work toward ensuring that the VA benefit system serves our veterans in the best way possible.