veterans-affairs

Trump Ties Sinema to Schumer Even Though She Says She Won’t Support Him
Sinema and McSally face off in Toss-up Arizona Senate race for Flake’s seat

President Donald Trump arrives with Arizona Republican Senate nominee Martha McSally for a rally in Mesa, Ariz., on Friday. (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump, rallying in Arizona on behalf of Republican Senate candidate Martha McSally, sought to tie her Democratic opponent Kyrsten Sinema, to Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer even though Sinema said she won’t support him.

A vote for Sinema is “dangerous” because “it’s for Schumer, crying Chuck,” Trump told rallygoers Friday night at an airport hangar in Mesa. 

Veteran Who Threatened Rep. Frank LoBiondo, Staff Is Convicted
Defendant was unhappy with VA care

Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A veteran with post traumatic stress disorder was convicted in federal court Wednesday on two counts of making threats to New Jersey Rep. Frank LoBiondo and his staffers, according to the Department of Justice.

Over the spring and summer of 2017, Joseph Brodie, 39, of Millville, New Jersey, sought assistance from LoBiondo’s office in receiving care from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Exchange Programs Aren’t Just for High Schoolers. Congressmen Do It Too
Nebraska and California congressmen trade views of their districts

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., left, visited Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., in his district in August. (Courtesy office of Rep. Salud Carbajal)

Say “exchange program,” and most people think of traveling teens.

That was true for Rep. Don Bacon, whose family hosted a German exchange student when he was 16. Mostly, the pair geeked out over American cars.

Tsongas and Turner Want VA to Answer for Sexual Assault Survivors Report
Internal watchdog report says roughly half of all benefit claims were incorrectly processed

Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass., and Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, sent a letter criticizing the Veterans Benefits Administration after an inspector general’s report revealed mishandling of sexual assault cases. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The bipartisan co-chairs of the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus want the Veterans Benefits Administration to answer for a recent report showing negligence.

A report released last week from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Inspector General found the VBA incorrectly processed 1,300 of 2,700 benefit claims related to sexual assault between April and September 2017.

Veterans Affairs Watchdog Finds Significant Problems in VA Caregiver Program
Report comes as caregiver program is set to expand

Senate Veterans Affairs ranking member Jon Tester, D-Mont.., said the inspector general report highlights the fact that the VA needs to get its act together on the caregiver program. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Family caregivers seeking help from the Department of Veterans Affairs encountered extended wait times and spotty aid from the agency, according to a new report from the VA’s Office of Inspector General.

The OIG investigation found that 65 percent of the more than 1,800 applicants between January and September 2017 were forced to wait longer than the required 45-day timeframe to be approved for the program. Fifty-five percent of the applicants waited between three and six months for approval, while 14 percent waited even longer, according to thereport released Thursday.

Trump Paris-Bound in November to Watch a Military Parade Instead
President blames city for postponing military parade he wanted in Washington

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron attend the traditional Bastille day military parade on the Champs-Elysees on July 14, 2017 in Paris (Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump plans to go to Paris in November to celebrate the Armistice Day, rather than hosting his own military parade in Washington, D.C.

Trump tweeted that he would also, “attend the big parade already scheduled at Andrews Air Force Base on a different date.”

America’s Largest Veterans Group Rains on Trump’s Parade
Trump appears to put blame for higher estimate on D.C. officials who ‘know a windfall when they see one’

President Donald Trump viewed a traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris — and apparently liked what he saw. (Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images file photo)

Opponents to President Donald Trump’s plans for a costly military parade in Washington now include the American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization.

“The American Legion appreciates that our President wants to show in a dramatic fashion our nation’s support for our troops,” American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan said in a statement Thursday night. “However, until such time as we can celebrate victory in the War on Terrorism and bring our military home, we think the parade money would be better spent fully funding the Department of Veteran Affairs and giving our troops and their families the best care possible.”

Artificial Intelligence May Help Match Veterans with Civilian Jobs
Software translates military job codes into relevant info for civilian employers

Artificial intelligence could help veterans find jobs in the civilian sector that make the most of their military training. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images file photo)

One of the problems military veterans have long faced is matching their skills learned in the armed forces to the needs of civilian employers, an issue Congress continues to grapple with in the fiscal 2019 spending bills.

Many military jobs translate perfectly into the civilian sector — repairing an Abrams tank is much like repairing any heavy piece of machinery, for example — but many combat and leadership skills do not, on the surface, directly transfer.

Ben Foster and Being Part of a ‘Continuing Conversation’ About Veterans
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 32

Ben Foster, left, discusses his latest movie "Leave No Trace," with Political Theater host Jason Dick. (David Banks/CQ Roll Call)

“For being an actor, being of the generation of the desert war, these questions are ever-present,” Ben Foster says about a body of work that has seen him portray veterans of America’s current conflicts. For the Boston native, veterans’ re-entry to civilian life is part of what he says is “a continuing conversation” he says is important. His latest movie, “Leave No Trace,” is the story of a veteran who is “slipping through the cracks.” For a country still at war and embroiled in extensive debate about veterans, and their well-being, it is a timely movie. Foster discussed the movie recently with Political Theater. 

7 Ways the Senate Can Spend the Rest of August
A few real problems have bubbled up while senators were away

There’s no shortage of things for senators to do while in town this month, Murphy writes. Above, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., arrives at the Capitol for a vote in April. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Welcome back to the grind, senators and staff. If you were only watching cable news over your abridged recess, you might have been lulled into the idea that the only messes in Washington you would come back to were Omarosa’s habit of recording conversations in the Situation Room and what we’ve learned so far about Paul Manafort’s choice of outerwear from his trial — ostrich. So gross.

But while some in the D.C. media were caught up in the Trump train wrecks of the day, a few real problems bubbled up while you were gone. Somebody has to deal with them, so as long as you’re here — why not you?