As Senator Murray moves to Budget, IAVA applauds her leadership on the Senate Veterans Affairs CommitteeCONTACT: Zack Baddorf (212) 982-9699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, Nov. 16, 2012
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As Senator Murray moves to Budget, IAVA applauds her leadership on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee
NEW YORK (Nov. 16, 2012) -- Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America applauds Senator Patty Murray of Washington for her leadership supporting veterans as they come home from war.
Senator Murray announced today that she intends to move on from her position as chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to chair the Senate Budget Committee in the 113th Congress. Senator Murray has chaired the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee since January 2011; she is the first woman to hold the post.
“Senator Murray has been an extraordinary advocate for new veterans and their families,” said IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff. “As the daughter of a disabled WWII veteran, Senator Murray has fought for our country’s veterans. She is a strong and vocal leader, steadfastly committed to supporting our vets through the challenges of transitioning home. We are incredibly grateful for her service over the last two years.”
Under Senator Murray’s leadership, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee made enormous strides for new veterans on challenges ranging from unemployment and education to health care and suicide. Last year’s Vow to Hire Heroes Act was a landmark achievement for Senator Murray and for our country’s fight against veteran unemployment. With her partner in the House, Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida, Senator Murray led efforts to pass this comprehensive bill that provided tax credits for businesses that hire veterans, expanded career counseling and training services, and started the work of translating military skills to their civilian equivalents. Senator Barry Sanders of Vermont is expected to become the new chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
"As the chair of the Budget Committee, we know Senator Murray will continue to be a dedicated advocate for veterans. We need more members of Congress to follow her lead as tens of thousands of troops return from Afghanistan in the years ahead,” Rieckhoff added. “We look forward to working closely with Senator Murray’s successor, expected to be Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Senator Sanders’ past work on veterans issues has done a great service to our community, and we are confident that together we can make great progress."
Senator Sanders has pushed to expand veterans’ programs, most notably health care. He opposes budget cuts that would trim military retirement and veterans’ disability cost-of-living allowances. He also co-sponsored the new Post-9/11 GI Bill, which dramatically expanded educational benefits for new veterans, and worked to ensure that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans get proper care for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Senator Murray, meanwhile, will continue to have a key role in fighting for the New Greatest Generation in her new role as chair of the Senate Budget Committee by determining the funding provided for veteran benefits through the Veterans Administration. With a million veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan within the next five years, it is more critical than ever that funding is secured for programs to fight veteran unemployment, protect the New GI Bill, combat suicide among troops and veterans, and improve care at the VA and for women warriors.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the nation's first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, has more than 200,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. IAVA recently received the highest rating -- four-stars -- from Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator.
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