Senator Pat Toomey is proud of our men and women in uniform who are currently serving to protect the United States. The son of a former U.S. Marine and representing a state with one of the largest veteran populations in the country, he is also acutely aware of the nation's commitment to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed to preserve our freedom. He understands how important it is that we continue to provide quality medical care and other benefits to all veterans, both to those who served a generation ago and to those just returning from fighting in the war against terrorism.
Since joining the Senate, Senator Toomey has been constantly working to help Pennsylvania's veterans obtain the services and benefits they rightfully deserve and welcomes the opportunity to be of assistance. He also looks forward to working with his Senate colleagues on additional ways to help ensure the welfare of our veterans and their families.
His hard work for veterans has included the following:
- Developed a budget each of his first two years in the Senate that increased total spending for veterans by almost $40 billion
- Voted to repeal a COLA reduction for military retirees
- Gained enactment of a bill, endorsed by the American Legion, to protect VA patients and staff from sexual assault
- Gained enactment of a bill to provide clothing left at TSA checkpoints to homeless veterans
- Obtained Senate Finance Committee approval of an amendment expanding a tax credit for employers who continue to pay their employees called to active duty
- Helped to implement a veterans-only job fair with the South Eastern Pennsylvania Area Transit Authority
- Sponsored a bills to:
o Help separating service members to connect with county veterans service offices. This bill has been endorsed by the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers.
o Help recover thousands of unclaimed veterans cremated remains in mortuaries and inter them with honors
o Rename the Philadelphia VA Medical Center after Corporal Michael Crescenz, the only Philadelphia native who earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam
o Allow veterans to sue VA employees who falsify or destroy health care related records
· Convinced the U.S. Department of Labor to improve its job search website for veterans and employers
· Joined the Senate VA Backlog Working Group
Senator Toomey is deeply concerned about the backlog of veterans' disabilities claims which has soared since 2005. He has asked the VA to inform him about how VA will accomplish its strategic goal to reduce the backlog. He also signed a letter to President Obama asking for his direct personal involvement in resolving this issue.
Senator Toomey is outraged by reports that VA employees falsified appointment records causing the deaths of veterans awaiting care. He is equally angered by the deaths of six veterans from Legionnaire's disease while patients at the Pittsburgh VA medical center. He has introduced the VA Accountability Act of 2014 (S. 2419). This measure allows veterans to hold VA employees accountable by suing them if they falsify or destroy information relating to a veteran's health care. His legislation would also authorize the firing of VA employees who engage in such activity.
Senator Toomey will continue to support sensible legislation protecting the welfare of our veterans. He also welcomes veterans to contact him for help with federal programs and services.