Veterans

Veterans in the 36th District and all across the United States have served our country honorably and deserve our unwavering support. While we can never fully repay our veterans for their service to our nation, we have an obligation to work together as Democrats and Republicans to ensure they have access to the high-quality care and receive benefits they have earned and deserve. 

I am working aggressively with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to end the VA benefits backlog, expand and improve access to health care for veterans in the 36th District, improve educational and job opportunities for heroes returning home, and combat veterans’ homelessness.

We must act now to eliminate the backlog so our veterans can access the benefits they have earned. I introduced H.R. 1759, bipartisan legislation as part of a broader effort to end the VA backlog. My bill will help identify and eliminate red tape in the VA claims process so that veterans can get their benefits faster. I also joined 3 Democratic and Republican Congressmen to introduce the 21st Century Health Care for Heroes Act, which will improve the delivery of veterans’ health care by merging the electronic health records of the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense.

I voted in support the Fiscal Year 2014 Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs legislation. This bipartisan bill continues our commitment to America’s veterans and military personnel by providing the benefits they deserve and the resources necessary to maintain a strong national defense. It takes critical steps to address the unacceptable disability claims backlog and makes key investments in veterans’ health care, including much-needed resources to convert paper medical records to electronic medical records.

I am proud to be a member of the Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus, which is a bipartisan, bicameral group focused on reducing the unemployment rate of the nation’s nearly 800,000 veterans looking for work. This caucus is taking meaningful action to find work for our returning service members, and it’s a great example of what can be achieved when Members of Congress put partisanship aside and come together to support our nation’s veterans.

More on Veterans

August 7, 2020 In The News

For years, American soldiers serving their country abroad were exposed to toxins from so-called burn pits.

Now, even as they celebrate a win following an approval by Congress for new health data transparency and accountability, some are concerned their illnesses make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.

“I at first kind of panicked because I was like, ‘OK, I already have lung disease,’” Army National Guard veteran Cindy Aman said.

August 4, 2020 In The News

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee will consider legislation this week that would provide testing and health services to veterans sickened by exposure to hazardous chemicals in combat or garrison.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., introduced the bill last week. It also would expand research on toxic substances found on military installations and used in combat, and broaden training among Department of Veterans Affairs medical providers to screen for possible exposures.

July 22, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed four of Dr. Ruiz’s bills as amendments to address the military’s use of toxic burn pits. The four pieces of legislation, which passed as part of H.R. 6395, the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021, would expand the Burn Pits Registry, enhance medical training on the health effects of burn pits, increase reporting of burn pit exposure, and require a status update from the Department of Defense on all burn pits research.

July 16, 2020 Press Release

Washington DC – This week, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) introduced five new pieces of legislation to address the military’s use of toxic burn pits. Dr. Ruiz has consistently fought for legislation on behalf of servicemembers exposed to burn pits. This bill package follows Dr.

July 16, 2020 In The News

Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D., CA-36, who has consistently fought for legislation on behalf of servicemembers exposed to burn pits. this week introduced five new pieces of legislation to address the military’s use of toxic burn pits.

July 7, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) is calling on the Department of Defense Inspector General to conduct an investigation into the death of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillén. In a letter to Acting Inspector General O’Donnell, Dr. Ruiz and 86 other members of Congress urged a prompt and thorough review of the disappearance of Spc. Vanessa Guillén.

July 7, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressmen Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) and Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) introduced legislation to help disabled veterans access the needed benefits they deserve. H.R. 5995, the Major Richard Star Act, would allow veterans to receive their full disability pay and full retirement compensation that they have rightfully earned regardless of how long they served.

June 9, 2020 In The News

The men and women of today’s U.S. military are fighting battles and facing challenges long after they leave the battlefield and return home. We’re learning more every day about the long-term health effects of exposure to toxins, including large open-air burn pits that were used for waste disposal on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. We’ll hear from Senate Veterans Affairs member Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). and Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), who is also a medical doctor, on their legislative efforts to ensure veterans receive the highest quality of healthcare.

August 13, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-Palm Desert) announced the introduction of H.R. 4137, the Jennifer Kepner Healthcare for Open-air burn-Pit Exposure (HOPE) Act, legislation that would make veterans exposed to burn pits eligible for low-cost health care from the Veterans Administration. The bill is named after Cathedral City veteran Jennifer Kepner, a wife and mother who died from pancreatic cancer linked to her exposure to toxic burn pits during her military service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

August 10, 2018 Making Government Work for You
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