STEUBENVILLE, OH – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) Chief of Staff traveled to Steubenville today to meet with southeast Ohio veterans. Veterans from Jefferson, Belmont, Columbiana, and Harrison Counties attended the roundtable. Brown’s office will take the veterans’ priorities back to Washington, where the Senator sits on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“Our men and women in uniform answered the call to serve, and we have a responsibility to make sure they have everything they need to support their families, care for their health, and land good-paying jobs as they transition to civilian life,” said Brown.
As a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Brown has long fought to improve the lives of Ohio veterans. Some of his recent actions include:
- Securing provisions to improve healthcare for Ohio veterans and support for the people who care for them. Brown secured these provisions in the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Network (MISSION) Act. The bill was signed by President Trump last month. This legislation would:
- Expand caregiver benefits to veterans of all eras. Previously, comprehensive caregiver assistance and benefits were provided only to veterans injured on or after September 11, 2001, leaving family caregivers and veterans injured during World War II, the Korean, Vietnam and 1990-1991 Gulf War ineligible for this critical support (learn more)
- Give specific training to doctors outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system on how to address veterans’ unique medical needs (learn more)
- Ensure safe opioid prescribing practices for doctors and healthcare providers outside the VA system (learn more)
- Passing a provision as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act to better connect servicemembers with resources to secure quality education and good-paying jobs as they transition from military service to civilian life.
- The NDAA included a version of Senators Brown and Mike Rounds’ (R-SD) bipartisan legislation, the Better Access to Technical Training, Learning, and Entrepreneurship for Servicemembers Act (BATTLE for Servicemembers Act. Currently, the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) training covers a curriculum that includes sessions on veterans’ benefits, financial planning, and post-service employment. The comprehensive improvements to the TAP training will prepare servicemembers with the specific information they need related to employment, education, vocational training, or entrepreneurship.
- Securing a commitment from Secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie, during his nomination process that he would oppose any efforts to privatize VA.
- In addition, Brown secured a commitment from Wilkie to work with his office regarding Agent Orange presumptive conditions, Blue Water Navy veterans’ eligibility for benefits, and establishing a process to diagnose constrictive bronchiolitis, a condition cause by burn pit exposure at VA.
- Passing an amendment to the Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act to track overpayments to veterans, which leads to veteran debt
- This legislation was inspired by a meeting with Massillon veteran James Powers concerning a VA overpayment mistake. This provision was based on his bipartisan bill, the Veterans’ Debt Fairness Act; Brown said he would continue fighting for full passage of this bill.
Brown is the longest-serving U.S. Senator from Ohio on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.