IAVA Daily Brief 2.5.10
Posted by Terrell Frazier on February 4
Here are some of today's top stories and happenings at IAVA. Prefer to receive real-time updates about major stories and legislation that IAVA is tracking? Follow us on Twitter @IAVAPressRoom or subscribe to receive the brief in your inbox each morning at www.iava.org/dailynewsbrief.
1) OPINION: What Veterans Need from the Prez
In a new editorial in the New York Post, IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff highlights the plight of thousands of veterans who have had to put tuition bills on their credit cards, borrowed money from parents or simply had to drop out of school because of the VA's failure to timely process GI Bill benefits. "Since 9/11, more than 2 million veterans have answered America's call to service," Rieckhoff writes, calling on the White House to intervene. "It's time America called us back. President Obama, you can start this process by getting the VA to pick up the phone."
President Obama signed the “Veterans’ Emergency Care Fairness Act” into law. The Department of Veterans Affairs can now reimburse veterans enrolled in VA health care for the remaining cost of emergency treatments if the veteran’s outside insurance only covers part of the cost. Previously, the VA only reimbursed veterans or paid outside hospitals if the veteran had no outside health insurance.
Representatives from a range of veterans organizations, including IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff, testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee Thursday to discuss the 2011-2012 budget. Click here to read his testimony.
The deaths of three American soldiers in a Taliban suicide attack on Wednesday lifted the veil on United States military assistance to Pakistan. The soldiers were among at least 60 to 100 members of a Special Operations team that trains Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps in counterinsurgency techniques.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal believes that the security situation in Afghanistan remains serious, but is no longer deteriorating. Although he said the situation is improving, he “is not prepared to say we’ve turned a corner.”
Afghans would rather be farmers than fighters, the U.S. agriculture secretary said on Wednesday, highlighting a U.S. focus on farming jobs to lure people from the battlefield and curtail the opium trade.
Despite the absence of ice in Afghanistan, Canadian troops there are keeping one Canadian tradition alive – hockey.
The court ruling overthrowing the ban of 500 officials from the March elections in Iraq has thrown preparations into disarray.
The American military is stepping up the delivery of bomb-sniffing dogs to Iraq with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government under pressure for using equipment that may be ineffective in finding explosives.
The Pentagon will require military bases worldwide to offer emergency contraception or the so-called morning-after pill, following a recommendation by a panel of doctors and pharmacists in November.
The U.S. military is sending a soldier accused of making a threatening rap song to Kuwait for a court-martial. Military charges claim Specialist Marc A. Hall posted a rap song criticizing the Army for its "stop loss" policy.
The Pentagon is enhancing its cyberwar capabilities and strategy, investing in programs to develop an offensive cyber capability and using those capabilities to mislead and infiltrate enemies.
An investigation requested by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee found that the VA is unable to sufficiently monitor whether veterans are being wrongly charged for care related to military sexual trauma.
The Senate is not in session
SENATE FLOOR ACTIVITY of INTEREST
No issues today
COMMITTEE HEARINGS of INTEREST
No issues today
FUTURE COMMITTEE HEARINGS of INTEREST
February 10, 2010 Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing on VA’s FY 2011 Budget 9:30 a.m.; 418 Russell
February 16 - 17, 2010 SVAC will conduct field hearings in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska, on benefits and health care issues, to be conducted by Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)
THE HOUSE of REPRESENTATIVES
The House convenes at 9:00 a.m. for a pro forma session
HOUSE FLOOR ACTIVITY of INTEREST
No issues today
HOUSE COMMITTEE HEARINGS of INTEREST
No issues today
FUTURE HOUSE COMMITTEE HEARINGS of INTEREST
February 10, 2009 House Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Health Hearing: The Veterans Health Administration’s Fiscal Year 2011 Budget 2:00 p.m.; 334 Cannon HOB
February 11, 2010 House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies hearing: VA’s budget requests for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012. Time and Location: TBD.
A wide-range of views, positions, and publications are represented in these articles. These views, positions and publications are not endorsed by nor do they necessarily represent the views of IAVA .
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