WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) and U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR) Colin Allred (D-TX) and Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-American Samoa) announced their bipartisan legislation to let Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) work study students work in congressional offices was included in the veterans legislative package signed into law on January 5.
“Increasing valuable hands-on work experience opportunities for veterans while they earn an education is a win. I’m pleased this bill was signed into law so more veterans will be able to welcome veterans into congressional offices,” saidBoozman, a member of the Senate VA Committee.
“This is a long-overdue, common-sense correction to help veterans that Senator Boozman and I have pushed for years,” Wyden said. “Working to ensure veterans receive the care and benefits they’ve earned is among my highest priorities. I hosted work study recipients before and with passage of our law, I will proudly welcome them back to my office to boost the difference I can make for Oregon’s veterans.”
“I cannot think of a more appropriate way to simultaneously serve our constituents and to honor our nation’s veterans than by bringing this work-study program back to congressional offices so those who have served can help others access the benefits and services they deserve and earned,” said Rep. DeFazio. “This legislation ensures that every dollar spent on the program improves our efforts to help our nation’s veterans, and will cut through pointless government bureaucracy to revive this successful program.”
“North Texas veterans should have every opportunity to continue serving our nation, including the chance to serve their communities and fellow veterans in congressional offices,” said Rep. Allred. “I’m proud that this bipartisan bill was signed into law and will make an immediate difference in ensuring our veterans have access to job training and work study programs that can help them succeed.”
“Our veterans have so much to offer in leadership and practical knowledge,” said Rep. Radewagen. “This is a great way to strengthen the careers of some veterans while adding their valuable input to congressional offices. This has lasting benefits, and is in the spirit of our commitment to veterans.”
In 2009, the VA’s legal office decided that allowing work studies in congressional offices was a misinterpretation of the law and ended the practice. The VA had considered service in a congressional office permissible before the 2009 decision and a number of congressional offices had hosted work study recipients for years.