WASHINGTON – On July 18, 2012, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed H.R. 1627, the “Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012.” This bill addresses several areas of concern for veterans, including health care, housing, education and benefits. Notably, the bill would reauthorize and improve several homeless veteran programs that are critical to the success of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)’s Five-Year Plan to End Veteran Homelessness.
In June 2011, NCHV submitted congressional testimony on Sen. Murray’s S. 1148, the “Veterans Programs Improvement Act of 2011.” Throughout the past 13 months, NCHV has regularly advised both House and Senate committees of jurisdiction. Many important homeless veteran provisions from S. 1148 were incorporated into the legislation passed by the Senate yesterday.
Among this bill’s highlights are as follows:
The “Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012” represents a comprehensive agreement between both parties in both the U.S. House and the Senate. NCHV’s most recent Congressional Leadership Award recipients – Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman of the Senate of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs – were at the center of this compromise.
“This legislation brings together nearly two years’ worth of work on behalf of America’s veterans, ” Rep. Miller said. An overview of the bill is currently available on his committee’s website; it can be accessed here.
“This bill will finally provide health care to veterans and family members exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, expand eligibility for housing adaptation grants to more seriously injured veterans, and make help for homeless veterans more widely available, ” Sen. Murray said in her press release.
For more information on policy and legislative issues that affect homeless veteran service providers, visit http://nchv.org/index.php/policy/ .