(Congressman Joe Heck) – This week, I supported the defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2013 which funds critical national security needs while decreasing total spending over last year, and provides the resources needed to support our troops and advance the nation’s military efforts abroad. This bill also provides essential funding for health and quality of life programs for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces and their families.
Recently, I introduced a bill that would help reduce homelessness in our veteran community. Some severely disabled veterans qualify for aid and attendance benefits to pay for assistance with daily activities such as bathing, feeding, and dressing. Many of these veterans also qualify for housing assistance, but current law requires that any aid and attendance benefits be counted towards their income. The result is that our veterans who are most in need are not receiving adequate resources to stay in a home because of inflated income amounts.
My bill eliminates that provision, thus allowing those veterans who most need assistance to qualify for maximum housing resources and reducing incidents of homelessness among veterans. For more information on what I am doing for our veterans, click here.
After the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction in 2011, which was tasked with finding $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction, we are left facing $500 billion in automatic cuts to defense spending over 10 years. According to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, cuts of this magnitude “would do real damage to our security, our troops and their families, and our military’s ability to protect the nation.” In addition, these defense cuts could lead to as many as 4,000 job losses in the state of Nevada alone.
I spoke on the House floor to highlight these concerns as I work with my colleagues on a plan to replace these devastating defense cuts. The House has already passed a bill to replace the first year of defense sequester cuts by eliminating wasteful, autopilot government spending. As Nevada’s economy struggles to get back on track, I am working hard to enact responsible federal policies and provide access to resources and opportunities that will get people back to work. To that end, I am hosting a job fair on August 10, and you can contact my district office at 702-387-4941 for more information.
For more information on my work on your behalf, I encourage you to visit my website Heck.house.gov. For the latest updates, LIKE my Facebook page and FOLLOW me on Twitter. It is an honor to serve you and your family in the House of Representatives.