WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Gary Peters (D-MI), announced the introduction of the Veterans Assistance Helpline Act, bipartisan legislation that would create a simple, easy-to-remember helpline for veterans to use in order to obtain information and assistance with all VA services. This legislation is the sixth bipartisan bill that Senator Rosen has introduced specifically to help support veterans or servicemembers.
“Our veterans have provided so much to our communities and devoted their lives to our country, and when in need, they deserve a simple way to navigate the VA assistance available to them,” said Senator Rosen. “The Veterans Assistance Helpline Act would create a short, simple phone number that would allow veterans to easily seek help and access all the critical services the VA provides. I will continue working with my colleagues on bipartisan, commonsense legislation to benefit the brave men and women who have defended our nation.”
“Our veterans have put their lives on the line to make sure we are able to enjoy the many freedoms we have today,” said Senator Capito. “We owe it to these brave men and women to make sure they are aware of and can easily access the resources provided by the VA that they may need. This legislation will help accomplish that by creating a hotline for veterans to access important services and connect them to the proper entity within the VA, without having to call multiple phone numbers.”
“Our veterans should be able to easily access the benefits they have earned fighting for our freedoms,” said Senator Fischer. “I’m proud to help introduce the bipartisan Veterans Assistance Helpline Act, which will help ensure the brave men and women who served our country can connect to the resources available to them through the VA.”
“We must ensure veterans in Michigan and across the country can easily access the VA benefits they have earned,” said Senator Peters, a former Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I am proud to help introduce this bipartisan legislation that would establish an easy-to-remember, three-digit number to connect veterans with VA resources and services.”
BACKGROUND: The bipartisan Veterans Assistance Helpline Act would direct the Federal Communications Commission and the VA to designate a simple, easy-to-remember three-digit dialing code for veterans to use to obtain information about the benefits and services provided by the VA, to include services available to them locally. This is intended to create a one-stop-shop for veterans to be able to have an easy to remember hotline where they can get directed to the appropriate people for information and assistance.
Last year, Senator Rosen announced the launch of her office’s 2020 Veterans Resource Guide to provide Nevada’s veterans with access to information on federal, state, and community resources to assist them and their families.
Over 225,000 veterans call Nevada home.
This Congress, Senator Rosen has introduced over twenty bipartisan pieces of legislation. The other five bipartisan bills specifically aimed at empowering our veterans and servicemembers include:
• The bipartisan Veterans Jobs Opportunity Act – legislation that would provide a 15% tax credit on the first $50,000 of startup costs for veterans who open a small business in underserved communities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in Nevada, 1 in 8 small businesses are veteran-owned.
• The bipartisan Access to Affordable Housing for Veterans Act of 2019 – legislation that would ensure that veterans are proactively made aware of their VA home loan options, including providing them information about whether or not such an option is more affordable than a conventional loan.
• The bipartisan Hire Student Veterans Act – legislation that would expand the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to ensure that all student veterans using their GI benefits can take advantage of valuable paid internships or work opportunities while in school. This was the very first bill Senator Rosen introduced in the United States Senate.
• The bipartisan GI Bill Planning Act of 2019 – legislation that would provide military enlistees additional time to pick their preferred GI Bill education benefits plan, instead of having to do so at arrival at Basic Training, which is a deliberately chaotic environment with little opportunity for recruits to make an informed decision about their future. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation is endorsed by Student Veterans of America, VFW, and Veterans Education Success.
• The bipartisan JROTC Cyber Training Act – legislation that would direct the Secretary of Defense to carry out a program to enhance the preparation of students in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) for careers in computer science and cybersecurity.