Senator 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 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. On a bipartisan basis, 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:
• Writing a budget each of his first two years in the Senate that increased total spending for veterans by almost $40 billion.
• Voting to repeal a cost-of-living adjustment reduction for military retirees.
• Gaining enactment of a bill to protect VA patients and staff from sexual assault.
• Gaining enactment of a bill to provide additional mental health resources at the VA.
• Voting for enacted legislation to increase funding for the VA and expand veteran's health care choices.
• Supporting enacted legislation which incentivizes businesses to hire veterans.
• Successfully renaming the Philadelphia VA Medical Center after Corporal Michael Crescenz, the only Philadelphia native who earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam.
• Gaining enactment of a bill to provide clothing left at TSA checkpoints to homeless veterans.
• Gaining Senate Finance Committee approval of an amendment expanding a tax credit for employers who continue to pay their employees called to active duty.
• Sponsoring bipartisan legislation to reduce the backlog of VA benefits claims.
• Sponsoring a bill to help separating service members to connect with county veterans service offices.
• Sponsoring a bill to help recover thousands of unclaimed, cremated veterans remains in mortuaries and inter them with honors.
• Supporting legislation to hold senior VA leaders accountable for poor performance.
• Convincing the U.S. Department of Labor to improve its job search website for veterans and employers.
• Helping to implement a veterans-only job fair with the South Eastern Pennsylvania Area Transit Authority.
As a member of the bipartisan VA Backlog Working Group, Senator Toomey is deeply concerned about the logjam of veterans' disabilities claims which has caused severe delays since 2005. In addition to introducing legislation to address the issue, Senator Toomey has asked the VA to inform him about how the department will accomplish its strategic goal of reducing the backlog. He also signed a letter to President Obama asking for his direct personal involvement in resolving this issue.
Working with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, Senator Toomey will continue to support sensible legislation protecting the welfare of our veterans. He also encourages veterans to contact him at (610) 434-1444 for assistance with federal programs and services.
Letter of support for SOLVE Act from VFW National Commander Dale Barnett.