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America's brave men and women in uniform are arguably our nation's greatest assets. They sacrifice their comforts and time with their families—and risk their lives—in order to protect the freedoms of their fellow countrymen. Their unrelenting sacrifice and sense of duty to their homeland are virtues that must be held in the highest regard.  Accordingly, our veterans deserve the finest medical care our country can provide. I am committed to working on behalf of all of veterans so that they receive the benefits and care they earned.

Arizona is home to one of the largest veteran populations in the nation—many of whom reside in rural areas.  During my time in Congress, I have taken steps to ensure our nation’s veterans and their families are treated fairly.  In particular, I am a member of the Rural Veterans Caucus, a group of legislators committed to addressing the unique problems, such as access to care, faced by our nation's heroes that are located in geographically remote areas.

In recent years, we have seen a number of troubling issues arise from the Department of Veterans Affairs.  From never-ending wait times to data manipulation, it has truly been a low point in this agency’s history.  Phoenix VA was, unfortunately, ground-zero for many of these injustices.  I have been leading the charge to improve care for our nation's veterans and to clean up the Phoenix VA. 

Mental Health

The scars of combat sometimes linger with our veterans after they return home.  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has become a common diagnosis among out vets, and we must do what we can to show the same support they have shown each of us.  I have offered multiple amendments to the Military Construction, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon/VA) Appropriations Acts to transfer funds from an increasingly large VA bureaucracy to more important mental health programs and suicide prevention efforts.  18 to 22 veterans a day are simply giving up on life.  Efforts must be improved on this front, because even one veteran suicide is too many.  CLICK HERE to read more.

Reducing Claims and Appeals Backlog

Ensuring our veterans receive care in a timely manner has been one of my top priorities as a member of Congress. With a sharp increase in veterans claims due to the wind-down in Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with incompetence and a culture of corruption at the VA, wait times for veterans care at the VA skyrocketed.  It has been common to see wait times on initial claims close to one year before any sort of decision is made—and the claims appeals process is even worse.  That is why I have offered and passed multiple amendments to reduce the disability claims backlog and lengthy wait times.  CLICK HERE to read more.

Veterans Treatment Courts

Veterans Treatment Courts are relatively new, but they have already shown promising results.  Many of our nation’s heroes returning from combat are traumatized due to the associated violence and pressure of war and often cope with such feelings with substance abuse.  Veterans Courts promote sobriety and recovery through coordinated local partnerships among community corrections agencies, drug treatment providers, the Judiciary, and other important community support groups.  Recidivism rates are significantly lower for veterans moving through these courts.  I have offered and passed numerous amendments to appropriations bills that provide important resources for these courts.  CLICK HERE to read more.

I will continue to push for increased accountability within the VA and do everything in my power to ensure our veterans receive the care they earned in a timely manner.  These heroes have dedicated their lives to serving a cause greater than themselves and have sacrificed so much in defense of this great nation.