Over the past decade, our Nation has been engaged in contingencies all over the world; most notably, Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Frequent deployments and training has put a significant strain on our brave men and women in uniform, veterans and their families. As the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs rebalances and works to build efficiencies, we must ensure that we care for those who dedicated their lives to protect our freedom.
Our veterans should have the finest healthcare our nation has to offer. However, well-documented cases reveal that our VA system has failed to provide the level of care our veterans deserve and the American people expect. To help guide the Veteran’s Health Administration into the right direction, I cosponsored H.R. 4810, which passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 426 to 0. If enacted, this measure will allow a veteran to seek medical care at a non-VA facility if the wait time for an appointment exceeds the goal or if they reside more than 40 miles from a VA facility. We need to ensure that those of us in Congress, tasked with the duty of oversight, practice our due diligence and keep our Nation's veteran hospitals in line with the highest standards.
Likewise, the Obama Administration’s attempt to cripple the TRICARE benefit system threatens the health care of our active duty, retirees and their families. As a member on the House Armed Services Committee, I worked with the Chairman Buck McKeon to fight against these attacks, which would unfairly increase enrollment fees and introduce Military Treatment Facility fees.
Additionally, other benefits like decreases in pay and allowances, use of the Commissary, and removal of quality of life programs have also come under fire by the Administration. These programs are critical to the morale and welfare of our troops and help to increase wellness and family readiness.
Brave men and women volunteer to serve in the military because they believe in America and her freedoms. They deserve, and we owe them, the highest level of respect and gratitude. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, I am committed to protecting and advocating for our active duty, retirees, veterans, and their families and proud to serve those who have sacrificed so much.
More on Our Veterans
Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) issued the following statement after Senator McCain announced he was diagnosed with brain cancer:
"My thoughts and prayers are with Senator John McCain and his family during this time. Senator McCain is an American hero, as evidenced by his service in Vietnam and in Congress.
"I always cherish our time together on the Conference Committee of the National Defense Authorization Act promoting peace through strength. Best wishes for a swift recovery."
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), along with U.S. Representatives Joe Wilson (S.C.) and Susan Davis (Calif.), yesterday introduced the bipartisan Military Family Stability Act. The measure would increase flexibility for military families by allowing them to either move early or remain at their current duty station for up to six months while their spouse begins a new assignment.
We have been given a chance to promote positive, conservative change with a unified government. I have been working on legislation that will promote jobs for hardworking families in South Carolina's Second Congressional District. Here is the legislation I've introduced this year:
Protecting American Families Retirement Act
Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) held a town hall at Aiken Technical College yesterday, answering questions on a range of issues, including national defense, health care, North Korea, and immigration. Congressman Wilson clearly outlined issues he’s consistently advocated for throughout his service in Congress for limited government and expanded freedom.
Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) testified before the House Budget Committee today, requesting resources for South Carolina’s critical national security and environmental cleanup missions at Fort Jackson in the Midlands and at the Savannah River Site in the Aiken-Barnwell area.
Remarks as prepared for delivery: