Veterans Affairs

Veterans Affairs

Why it matters: Serving our country in uniform is an extremely noble undertaking that all-too-often goes under-appreciated and unnoticed. Our nation has a responsibility to honor our promise to the men and women who selflessly place themselves in harm’s way.

Where I stand: As the son of an Air Force Master Sergeant, I learned at an early age about the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, as well as the unique challenges military families face. I brought these values with me to Washington where I am committed to enhancing the quality of life for both our veterans and their families.

Accountability must be restored at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in order to end the systematic, widespread problems at VA medical centers across the. This is why the CHOICE ACT [P.L. 113-146] was passed into law. Among other things, the law gives the VA Secretary the authority to fire or demote senior VA employees for poor performance, providing a mechanism to remove or demote managers who fail our veterans.

Ensuring access to health care services is another key reform in the CHOICE Act. Veterans must have the ability to seek care outside of the system when they live a distance from a VA facility or if their facilities fail to provide them with reliable, timely and high-quality health care services.

While the CHOICE Act is a good start to reforming VA’s health care system, more work remains to be done. Improving services for veterans struggling with mental illness is one area where lawmakers need to continue to focus our attention. We must continue to increase access to mental health programs, provide care for veterans struggling with opioid addiction and improve resources for members of the military transitioning to civilian life. We also must strengthen and improve the CHOICE program, taking into account lessons learned and ensuring the future viability of community care.   

Fighting for our veterans doesn’t start and end with their healthcare needs. In this particularly difficult economy, I remain committed to making sure veterans have all the economic opportunities they deserve. This means fighting for jobs and education benefits for veterans and improving programs that help homeless veterans find housing and a path forward to a stable life.

I am committed to working hard for the veterans in Arkansas and will use my assignment on the Veterans' Affairs Committee and my position as chairman of the Appropriations Committee’s Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee to find solutions to issues our veterans face and ensure funding for the benefits they have earned.

Key Bills I’m Supporting

*Denotes Lead Republican Sponsor

S.66—Retired Pay Restoration Act
Congress.gov
Sponsor’s News Release

S.493—Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability First Act of 2017
Congress.gov
Sponsor’s News Release

S.544—Veterans Choice Program Improvement Act
Congress.gov
Sponsor’s News Release

S.681—The Deborah Sampson Act*
Congress.gov
Sponsor's News Release

S.784—Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2017
Congress.gov
Sponsor’s News Release

S.844—GI Bill Fairness Act*
Congress.gov
Sponsor's News Release

S.882—A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the entitlement to educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs for members of the Armed Forces awarded the Purple Heart, and for other purposes.
Congress.gov
Sponsor’s News Release

S.925—VETS Act of 2017
Congress.gov
Sponsor’s News Release

S.992—Veteran Overmedication Prevention Act of 2017
Congress.gov
Sponsor’s News Release

S.1094—The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017
Congress.gov
Sponsor’s News Release

S.1759— Keeping Our Commitment to Ending Veteran Homelessness Act of 2017*
Congress.gov
Sponsor's News Release

S.2105—A bill to modify the presumption of service connection for veterans who were exposed to herbicide agents while serving in the Armed Forces in Thailand during the Vietnam era.*
Congress.gov
Sponsor's News Release

S.2174—Veterans Crisis Line Study Act of 2017
Congress.gov
Sponsor’s News Release

S.3089—Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2018
Congress.gov
Sponsor’s News Release

S.3130—SIT-REP Act of 2018*
Congress.gov
Sponsor's News Release

S.3201—The Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018*
Congress.gov
Sponsor's News Release

S.3419—The Keeping Our Commitment to Ending Veteran Homelessness Act of 2018*
Congress.gov
Sponsor's News Release

S.3501—Ensuring Quality Care for our Veterans Act
Congress.gov
Sponsor’s News Release