W ASHINGTON, DC (October 29, 2015) — Today as Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin was elected the 54th speaker of the House just two weeks before Veterans Day, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s largest organization representing veterans from the post-9/11 wars, welcomed his remarks calling on members of the House to work collaboratively across party lines on behalf of the American people. The announcement comes two days after the veterans organization released its Policy Agenda, a blueprint for lawmakers to support the nation’s 2.8 million veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff released the following statement:
“We call upon the new Speaker to make veterans a priority on day one. Veterans issues have united Congress and are the perfect place for Speaker Ryan to start his plan of action in service to the American people. We hope the new Speaker will hold fast to his words today and work across the aisle to support and prioritize legislative action for veterans in particular. We have given him the perfect playbook for doing just this with our comprehensive Policy Agenda, an 11-point plan addressing the pressing issues veterans deal with on a daily basis.
We suggest Speaker Ryan make our policy agenda his own. Today’s vets are looking to Congress to support reform at the VA, prioritize women, crack down on for-profit schools taking advantage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and implement the critical measures of the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act created and led by IAVA.
The passage of the Clay Hunt SAV Act showed what can happen when Congress works together. Unfortunately there hasn’t been much progress in Washington since that bill passed in February. We call on the Speaker to meet with members of The Military Coalition prior to Veterans Day to charter a path forward and demonstrate his commitment to our community.”
Note to media: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 12th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 7,300 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.