There has been great news stories for veterans the week of March 13-17, 2017.
Two of the most significant: the U.S. House of Representative passed two important bills.
The first was H.R.1181 – Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act:
(Sec. 2) This bill prohibits, in any case arising out of the administration of laws and benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs, any person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness from being considered adjudicated as a mental defective for purposes of the right to receive or transport firearms without the order or finding of a judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.
So why was this bill needed? It’s an almost unbelievable story.
In a sucker-punch to veterans, Obama’s Department of Veterans Affairs and their sorry VA Secretary Bob McDonald decided in 2012 to send personal medical and financial information of veterans directly to the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which can seize their guns in home raids.
The Daily Caller obtained a memorandum that outlined the entire scenario. The bottom line was that veterans could be prevented from buying weapons or have theirs taken away from them base upon an adverse medical opinion by any VA doctor. And the problem was there was no method for anyone to contest the result and the 4th Amendment for veterans was immediately taken away.
Well, that’s now fixed and an estimated 257,000 veterans can get their guns back!
The second bill was H.R.1259 – VA Accountability First Act of 2017 which amends
Title 38, United States Code, to provide for the removal or demotion of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs based on performance or misconduct, and for other purposes.
In other words, Dr. David Shulkin, our new VA Secretary now has official permission from congress to get rid of the VA employees who have brought of VA healthcare system to its knees. And the VA swamp can be drained.
Tom Porter, Legislative Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) said in an email message to their members,
“It has been nearly three years since the scandal in Phoenix alerted the country to the outrageous state of the VA health care system, and yet not enough has been done to ensure that the VA is equipped with the necessary authorities to address workforce accountability. The large majority of VA employees serve veterans with distinction, but there are employees whose poor performance or, at worst, gross negligence, put veterans at risk. They need to immediately be removed from the VA to restore trust within the VA system.
And finally, a story about which veterans will be cheering.
President Trump started bringing jobs back to America while he was still a candidate and he has continued to do so. But now, veterans are being included in that plan.
IBM President and CEO Ginni Rometty will announce plans to hire 2,000 U.S. military veterans during a meeting Friday with President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to a report.
Over a four-year period, the veterans will be hired as part of a software training and certification initiative.
Hey, it’s only just past mid-March and the news so far has been great for our nation’s veterans!