from the inbox, The [Patrick] Murphy Report: Working for Veterans:
One of my top priorities is making sure that our veterans are given the respect and support they have earned through their service to our nation. Having just honored the sacrifice of so many service members on Memorial Day, I am proud to share with you some of the things I have fought for during my time in office to increase benefits and access to services for veterans:
* A $23.1 billion increase to the VA’s budget, which will ensure the proper resources are available to effectively serve our veterans.
* An addition of 8,300 claims processors, resulting in a 31% increase in claims processed—from 774,378 claims processed in 2006 to 1,015,475 in 2010.
* The Post 9/11 GI Bill, which will provide for tuition assistance, educational materials, and housing assistance for our service members and veterans. It also eliminates the current Montgomery GI Bill’s costly $1,200 buy-in, extends to 15 years the amount of time veterans have to use their GI bill benefits.
* A 55% increase to the Veterans Health Administration that has resulted in an additional 3,384 doctors, 14,246 nurses, 145 Community-Based Outpatient Clinics, and 92 new Vet Centers.
* Under current law, schools must cancel up to 100% of a Perkins Loan if the borrower has served a full year on active-duty in a combat zone. I have offered an amendment which lowers that threshold to six months - as opposed to a full year - to ensure that servicemembers whose normal tour lengths are shorter (ie. Marines, who generally serve seven month tours) still qualify. This change has been included in the House version of the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act.
* The new Vet Center in Bucks County, which will help combat veterans and their family members with readjustment counseling.
* The Washington Crossing National Cemetery, which will ensure Southeastern Pennsylvania’s veterans now have a final resting place worthy of their service to our great nation.
* $1.2 million for the Coatesville VA Medical Center and $100,000 for the Philadelphia VA Medical Centers, which will help homeless veterans by providing new residential care beds and ensuring that these facilities can care for all the veterans who come to them for help.
Congressman Murphy represents the 8th district in Pennsylvania, Bucks County, and a small portion of Montgomery County, and a small portion of Philadelphia