Advocacy Update: #SheWhoBorneTheBattle, #CannabisForVets, & More!

Congress was out for their October recess this week but that didn’t stop IAVA from having another successful week on Capitol Hill. We met with numerous Congressional offices and attended a few roundtable discussions and panel events.

IAVA’s current focus is to meet with House offices in order to discuss and bring greater awareness to our #Big6. This will allow us to spread our message with offices that may not be as familiar with our priorities as some of our big supporters are. A large focus was put on the closing the 90/10 loophole and creating awareness for the separate Deborah Sampson Act bills that have been introduced in the House.

IAVA’s VP of Government Affairs Tom Porter and Government Affairs Associate, Kaitlynne Hetrick attended the Women’s Veteran Task Force (WVTF) Roundtable Discussion on the Stop Harassment and Sexual Assault at VA Act (H.R. 4554). This meeting focused largely on the bill’s provisions and staffers sought out any recommendations from the VSOs. IAVA is committed to combating harassment in all forms and ensuring that VA is a place where all veterans feel comfortable to receive care.

IAVA’s Government Affairs Associate Ryan Britch and Intern Melanie Escobar attended the “National Service: Rebuilding America’s Civic Fabric” event at The Brookings Institute on Wednesday. The event featured panels made up leaders from the Commission for Military, National, and Public Service, Service Year Alliance, and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). A second panel discussed a recent report that Brookings released on American’s feelings towards national service. Findings from the report were that a majority of Americans are in favor view creating more service opportunities with organizations like Habitat for Humanity or City Year. However, a majority of Americans are not supportive of mandatory service requirements.

On Friday, IAVA Director of Government Affairs Travis Horr attended a monthly Cannabis Working Group meeting with Congressional offices and other supporting organizations. This was a great opportunity to continue IAVA’s #CannabisForVets campaign and stay informed to what is happening outside of the veteran space that may still affect veterans.

New Cosponsors on IAVA-Backed Legislation:

IAVA has 6 new cosponsors for the House’s separate Deborah Sampson Act provisions. They are: Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA), Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL), Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH), Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL) and Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX).

Huge thanks to all of our #SheWhoBorneTheBattle supporters throughout Congress!

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