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

March 4, 2021 In The News

Enactment would allow some 42,000 veterans with disability retirement to receive full compensation, sponsors say.

Disabled veterans would get full military entitlements, under bipartisan companion measures now pending before both houses of Congress.

If passed, the bills would end the dollar-for-dollar offset of veterans’ disability pay from military medical compensation for service members who left the service after being medically retired with less than 20 years’ service.

February 11, 2021 In The News

The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs advanced a proposal Thursday that would allot more than $15 billion to the Department of Veterans Affairs under President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan.

February 11, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – This week, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) was appointed to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which conducts oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and advances legislation on matters pertaining to veterans, including medical care, veterans’ hospitals, treatment compensation, education, and more. An emergency physician and public health expert, Dr. Ruiz will also continue serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

December 7, 2020 Press Release

Washington D.C. – Dr. Ruiz’s bill, the Wounded Veterans Recreation Act, is now law. The legislation, which ensures free national parks passes for all veterans with a service-related disability, was signed by President Trump over the weekend. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the companion bill in the Senate. By increasing veterans’ access to national parks, the legislation will help engage them with nature, which can provide healing and promote physical and mental health.

November 17, 2020 In The News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Throughout his tenure in Congress, Rep. Raul Ruiz, CA-36, has been a champion of all veterans, particularly wounded and disabled veterans.

November 16, 2020 Press Release

Washington D.C. – On Monday, the House of Representatives passed the Wounded Veterans Recreation Act – a bill to guarantee free, lifetime national park passes for all disabled veterans to enjoy over 2,000 federal recreation sites. The legislation, introduced by Dr. Ruiz (CA-36) in the House and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in the Senate, ensures free national parks passes for all veterans with a service-related disability.

September 23, 2020 In The News

The United States is approaching nearly 20 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Global War on Terror and 30 years since the Gulf War. But the Department of Veterans Affairs is still denying close to 80% of all burn pit related claims veterans file.

 

September 23, 2020 In The News

A congressional hearing today about burn pits went up in flames for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). A large portion of the VA’s argument was clearly aimed at stonewalling efforts to pass new health care. Additionally, they claimed there was not enough science to link specific health issues to toxic exposure. If a Veteran could not prove emphatically that their illness was caused by burn pits, the VA would not treat them.

September 16, 2020 In The News

Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart returned to Washington D.C., Tuesday to lobby Congress on behalf of veterans and the families impacted by burn pits. 

 

Stewart compares the smoke from burn pits to the toxins released during 9/11. He is advocating for the passage of a new bill, the Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act of 2020. 

 

What You Need To Know 

September 16, 2020 In The News

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST: 

 

After comedian Jon Stewart retired from television, his most prominent work was for Sept. 11 first responders, people who got sick after working in the wreckage of the World Trade Center. Now Stewart has joined a similar fight for war veterans exposed to toxic burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq. NPR's Quil Lawrence reports. 

 

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