Ciscomani Leads Bill to Ensure Veterans' Surviving Families Receive Promised Benefits
Washington, January 29, 2024
Today, Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-Ariz.) introduced H.R. 7100, the Prioritizing Veterans’ Survivors Act, commonsense legislation which would rightfully ensure that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Survivor Assistance operates within the Office of the VA Secretary to ensure that VA prioritizes advocacy and services for veterans’ surviving spouses and families. Under the Biden administration, this office was unexpectedly moved to a different, larger department within the agency. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mike Bost (R-Ill.) joined Rep. Ciscomani in introducing the Prioritizing Veterans’ Survivors Act as an original cosponsor.
Tomorrow at 10:30am ET, the Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the work VA is doing to ensure America’s surviving military family community has access to the care, support, and services they have earned. Watch live here.
“Behind each of our men and women in uniform are military spouses, children, and families who have faced their own set of sacrifices while their loved ones serve our country,” said Rep. Ciscomani. “Our veterans’ surviving families deserve to have their needs prioritized within the VA, especially when it comes to accessing the benefits they are owed. The Prioritizing Veterans’ Survivors Act gives these families a voice when it comes to the policies and programs that affect them. The United States has a sacred promise to care for our service members, our veterans, and their families; this effort brings us closer to wholly fulfilling that solemn responsibility.”
“Survivors of the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our nation are owed a debt that can never be repaid. They deserve the utmost respect, care, and attention to their needs. This is why I am proud to see my friend Rep. Ciscomani introduce his bill, the Prioritizing Veterans’ Survivors Act,” said Chairman Bost. “This critical piece of legislation moves the VA Office of Survivors Assistance back to the Office of the VA Secretary, which it never should have been moved from in the first place. There is no group of people more deserving of a seat at the table, and this bill will guarantee that survivors get that, by ensuring VA prioritizes services for veterans’ surviving spouses and family members.”
“As a surviving spouse in Arizona, I am grateful that the move of the OSA directly under the Secretary’s office is considered,” said Jane Strain, an U.S. Army veteran and member of Rep. Ciscomani’s Arizona Veteran Advisory Council. “The needs of the surviving spouse population are compelling and growing as the men and women whose life situations change to this status cannot be pushed to the back of the office. This population is growing and needs attention in a variety of areas, from finance to housing concerns. These family members who cared for children, moved many times during a military career, compromised their careers and maintained home life while the service member deployed have earned and deserve attention when the spouse has passed. Placing the OSA directly under the Secretary will help to recognize the importance of this population.”
To learn more about H.R. 7100, click here. Full bill text of H.R. 7100, the Prioritizing Veterans’ Survivors Act, is available here.