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

September 28, 2021 In The News

Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz honored the life of fallen Marine Corporal Hunter Lopez on the House floor Tuesday morning.

"Corporal Lopez was a selfless young man with an infectious smile who truly lived his life with a larger purpose in mind. That purpose was serving our country and contributing to something greater than himself," Ruiz said.

Lopez, a 22-year-old Indio resident, was one of 13 United States service members killed during a suicide bombing during evacuations at an airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26.

September 27, 2021 In The News

Congress is taking another step toward helping veterans exposed to toxic burn pits.

Democratic Rep. Raul Ruiz of California pushed to have measures addressing the military’s use of toxic burn pits in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. Those measures will expand eligibility to those that serve in Egypt and Syria, enhance training about health effects, increase exposure reporting and help in the pursuit of alternatives to military burn pits.

September 23, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed three of Ruiz’s bills to address the military’s use of toxic burn pits as part of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022. Ruiz’s bills would expand the Burn Pits Registry, enhance medical training on the health effects of burn pits, increase reporting of burn pit exposure, and pave the way for waste disposal alternatives to military burn pits. 

August 26, 2021 In The News

La Quinta resident James Bailey spent 5 years in Afghanistan protecting American diplomats for the U.S. Department of State from 2009 to 2014.

Speaking exclusively to News Channel 3's Jake Ingrassia, he said Thursday's deadly ISIS suicide bombing at the Kabul airport that killed 13 Marines was a preventable tragedy.

"I'm still trying to process everything that’s happened," Bailey said. "It's been a crazy, crazy week for me. I think it's been a crazy week for our country.”

June 24, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) advanced his priorities to get veterans who have been exposed to burn pits and toxic exposures the benefits and care they have earned and deserve in today’s House Veterans’ Affairs Committee markup of H.R. 3967, the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2021, or the Honoring our PACT Act.

May 31, 2021 In The News

Four life-size bronze statues of Tuskegee Airmen now stand in front of the Palm Springs Air Museum, unveiled Monday morning to a crowd that included relatives, veterans and loved ones of those killed while serving their country.

As World War II got underway in 1941, discrimination and segregation kept African Americans out of the United States armed services. But through the efforts of civil rights activists and historic Black colleges and universities, President Franklin D. Roosevelt formed the first Black military aviator group in the U.S. Army Air Corps later that year.

May 27, 2021 In The News

The Veterans Administration would have to cover more veterans who were exposed to poisons during their service under a sweeping bill sponsored by leaders of the House of Representatives Veterans Affairs Committee. 

The bill would provide coverage for as many as 3.5 million veterans who were exposed to toxic substances. 

“We have to do more for these veterans,” said Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Norfolk, who is chair of the committee’s disability assistance subcommittee and one of the sponsors of the bill. 

May 26, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, veteran advocate Jon Stewart, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36), House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano (CA-42), Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02), Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), 9/11 activist John Feal, and several Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) unveiled new legislation to get veterans who have been exposed to burn pits and other toxins the health care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.  

May 26, 2021 In The News

Congress may be on the verge of passing the most comprehensive legislation dealing with military toxic exposure issues in 30 years, potentially granting new health care and disability benefits to one out of every five living American veterans. 

Or they could be headed to another round of legislative gridlock and advocacy heartbreak in the effort to full recognition of the danger of burn pit exposure and other military contaminant hazards. 

May 7, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a legislative hearing on Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D.’s (D-CA) comprehensive burn pits legislation, H.R. 2372, the Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act. The bill, which Dr. Ruiz introduced alongside Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), would streamline the process for obtaining VA benefits for burn pit and other toxic exposures.

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