“With our National Guard, Reserve, and active duty troops fighting a war in Afghanistan and supporting missions around the globe, it is critical we have a well-trained military ready to meet the challenges of any future conflicts. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, I have fought for resources to keep our military strong, our nation secure, and ensure our troops have the equipment they need to stay safe and effectively do their jobs.
I strongly believe Congress must act as a watchdog to ensure our servicemembers are getting the assistance, benefits, medical care, and family support they have earned, especially as thousands of troops return from battle suffering from devastating physical and psychological injuries. I have pushed the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs to update their mental health care and suicide-prevention services. I helped lead the fight to improve conditions and services at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other military hospitals. And I fought hard with my Senate colleagues to update education and training benefits for returning servicemembers by passing the most sweeping changes to the G.I. Bill in 40 years. “
- Ensuring that servicemembers have the training, equipment, services, and benefits they deserve, both in the field and at home.
- Taking care of military families by guaranteeing access to critical support services and benefits.
- Making sure that our wounded warriors receive the quality health care and benefits they need when they return from battle.
- Investing in Washington state military installations and fighting for the interests of the National Guard and Reserve members nationwide.
- Worked as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee to increase funding for equipment for our troops in the field.
- Fought to increase funding for medical research and medical care, including for mental health conditions.
- Helped pass the Dignified Treatment of Wounded Warriors Act to improve coordination of care for service members transitioning from the military to the VA.
- Opposed TRICARE fee increases, worked to expand TRICARE coverage for Guard and Reserve members, and fought for increased pay for servicemembers.
- Fought for legislation requiring military medical facilities – including Madigan Army Medical Center – to meet minimal standards of care for returning servicemembers.
- Helped pass a new G.I. Bill that improves education benefits for troops and veterans who have served since Sept. 11, 2001.