The U.S. House of Representatives passed bills May 21 that will impact Native veterans. It's a fitting time to move on this legislation, as May is National Military Appreciation Month.
The Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013, HR 1412, directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a public relations campaign, advertising in national media outlets, to promote VA on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs available to veterans as highly efficient and cost-effective ways of obtaining jobs.
The American Heroes COLA Act, HR 570, requires that whenever there is an increase in benefit amounts payable under title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) of the Social Security Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall increase by the same percentage the amounts payable as veterans' disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled adult children, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children.
The Helping Heroes Fly Act, HR 1344, directs the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (Transportation Security Administration) to develop and implement a process to provide expedited passenger screening services for severely injured or disabled Armed Forces members and veterans.
On May 20, the House also passed the latest version of the Stolen Valor Act, HR 258, a law that will make it a crime to don the medals and ribbons that soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen are awarded for combat actions.
All four bills now head to the Senate. It's hoped that they will be signed into law by or on Memorial Day, May 27.