U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, applauded the recent unanimous Senate passage of a package of 18 pieces of veterans’ legislation to improve veterans’ education and burial benefits, prevent veteran homelessness, and improve the transition process for veterans and their families.
“I am proud that the Senate has acted on this package of legislation to help our veterans,” said Isakson. “Today’s passage caps off a remarkable two years in Congress. We have passed significant reforms to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to improve the daily lives of our nation’s veterans. This legislative package will help improve veterans’ education and burial benefits, address veteran homelessness and help engage the community in providing a seamless transition for veterans and their families.”
The Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018, S.2248, includes 23 individual bipartisan provisions incorporating language from a number of previously introduced House and Senate bills.
Following Senate passage on Dec. 19 and a unanimous voice vote by the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 10, the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018 now heads to the president’s desk for his signature.
Specifically, S.2248, as amended, will:
· Help protect student veterans when the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is late making payments to schools.
· Improve burial access to national and tribal cemeteries for family members of active duty service members and veterans.
· Require the VA to provide standardized debt notices to veterans.
· Provide protection to Gold Star Spouses.
· Expand benefits and support to military spouses and families.
· Expand eligibility for the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program.
· Study best practices among community programs providing transition assistance for veterans.
The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 115th Congress. Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the armed services as well as more than 750,000 veterans.