Weekly Columns

I am honored to serve Arkansas in the United States Senate. A critical part of that responsibility is casting votes on the Senate floor, but another key component that often falls below the radar is helping bridge gaps between Natural State residents and the federal government. Interacting with federal officials can be overwhelming and time consuming, but my staff and I are here to help make that process easier for constituents in need of answers regarding critical benefits and services. 

From the IRS to Social Security, Medicare, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), international adoption, visas and many other issues, our office has successfully helped navigate the roadblocks with government agencies and we continue working on behalf of Arkansans all across our state with our time and resources.

In the first quarter of 2024, we received more than 700 requests for assistance with federal matters. Annually, the top issues Arkansans seek our support on are veteran-related, with frequent inquiries about Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability, benefits claims and health care.

One veteran’s spouse reached out when her husband needed urgent medical care. My staff alerted the proper Little Rock VA officials about this emergency and medical center employees worked with the family to deliver the care and treatment he needed. 

Already, 342 requests have been made this year for help with military records and service medals.

The daughter of a Korean War veteran ran into dead ends trying to get her father’s military records and learn if he was eligible for the Purple Heart. My office was honored to help obtain his records and get the Purple Heart verified in time to honor his service and sacrifice as part of his 95th birthday celebration.

I’m pleased we were able to cut through that red tape for this Arkansan and thousands of others who have served in our nation’s uniform, and I look forward to helping many more.

But our assistance extends beyond the VA. We recently aided a constituent experiencing a social security problem when, even after filing the correct paperwork, the result was an unreasonably long processing time. My team contacted the agency and asked employees to look into the delay, which generated quick action to resolve the problem. This is hardly an isolated incident, as this year we’ve received 90 requests for assistance with Social Security issues.

These and numerous other examples of constituent service don’t make headlines, but they do make a real difference in the lives of individual Arkansans. In the coming days I’ll be sharing on social media testimonials of how our outreach has helped facilitate, expedite or correct veteran’s benefits, emergency passports, Social Security Disability Insurance, military service medals and many others.

My highest priority is making sure the federal government is working for Arkansans. That means providing the best possible constituent service and helping get answers for Natural State residents. I’m proud of the work of my staff as they use their years of experience in these matters to advocate for the people of our state. Can we help you? Consider reaching out to us if there is a matter you’re trying to resolve involving the federal government.