President BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion The Fed has a clear mandate to mitigate climate risks Biden says Roe v. Wade under attack like 'never before' MORE on Tuesday signed four bipartisan bills that are aimed at helping veterans and military families by addressing disparities in benefits, creating recruiting programs, reducing education costs for surviving families and by addressing the maternal health crisis among veterans.
“We have many obligations but we only have one truly sacred obligation, mind you, and that is prepare those we send into harms way, care for their families when they’re gone and care for them and their families when they’re home. That’s a lifetime commitment, a lifetime commitment the nation owes to every one of our veterans,” Biden said at the White House.
The president remarked that the full room of senators and House members that joined him for the bill signings made it seem there was a quorum present and that he missed having quorums from his time as a senator. Vice President Harris and Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughWe have a golden opportunity to restore and reform VA hospitals The Hill's Morning Report - Biden to make voting rights play in Atlanta Schwarzenegger donates 25 tiny homes to homeless vets in LA MORE also attended.
A bill spearheaded by Sen. Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockDemocrats torn over pushing stolen-election narrative These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Perdue proposes election police force in Georgia MORE (D-Ga.) will require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study to assess whether there are disparities associated with race and ethnicity in the veteran benefits system.
Biden congratulated Warnock and called him a “moral leader in the U.S. Senate since he got here.”
“The weapons of war and the nature of injuries they inflict don’t differentiate based on race and the types of disabilities our veterans carry with them don’t differentiate based on race, so the claims approved and the benefits delivered should not differentiate either,” Biden said about the legislation.
Warnock; Sens. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSchumer opted for modest rules reform after pushback from moderates The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Democrats' filibuster gambit unravels MORE (D-Mont.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Overnight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Eight senators ask Biden to reverse course on Trump-era solar tariffs MORE (R-Kan.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 CDC leader faces precarious political moment Schumer ramps up filibuster fight ahead of Jan. 6 anniversary MORE (D-Wash.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Senate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products Former US attorney considering Senate run in Vermont as Republican MORE (D-Vt.); and Rep. Mark TakanoMark Allan TakanoThis week: Democrats set for showdown on voting rights, filibuster Key House chairman wants to lead official trip to Taiwan in January Biden signs four bills aimed at helping veterans MORE (D-Calif.) joined the president for the signing.
“Hey big John, you’re going to be here all afternoon,” Biden quipped to Tester, who is the chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
A second bill, the Hire Veteran Health Heroes Act, directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to create a program to recruit military medical personnel who have less than a year left in their service to work in federal health care occupations.
“This new program will build upon existing efforts to create a pipeline for former military health professionals. For both our veterans, our military medical personnel, service isn’t just what they do, its who they are,” the president said.
Tester, Moran, Takano and Sen. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanDemocrats torn over pushing stolen-election narrative These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Kelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race MORE (D-N.H.) joined for the signing.
The Colonel John M. McHugh Tuition Fairness for Survivors Act aims to help reduce the out-of-pocket education costs for surviving spouses and children of members of the military.
Kelly McHugh Stuart, the daughter of McHugh who advocated for the legislation, was on stage with the president for the signing along with Tester, Moran, Hassan, Takano and Rep. David TroneDavid John TroneNebraska Republican tests positive for COVID-19 in latest congressional breakthrough case The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Voting rights week for Democrats (again) Maryland Democrat announces positive COVID-19 test MORE (D-Md.).
“Part of keeping our commitment to them means helping survivors get the education they need and to fulfill their need,” Biden said about the legislation.
Lastly, the Protecting Moms Who Served Act, spearheaded by Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans We must learn from the Afghanistan experience — starting with the withdrawal MORE (D-Ill.), will commission the first-ever comprehensive study on the scope of the U.S. maternal health crisis among veterans with a focus on the effects of racial and ethnic disparities on maternal health outcomes.
Duckworth, Tester, Moran, Takano, Sens. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsSunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion Coons opposes sending US troops to Ukraine: 'We would simply be sacrificing them' On The Money — Labor chief touts efforts to promote job growth MORE (D-Del.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden clarifies his remarks on Russia Effort to overhaul archaic election law wins new momentum Bipartisan lawmakers announce climate adaptation bill MORE (R-Maine) and Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowMichigan Republican John James 'strongly considering' House run Updated reconciliation text includes electric vehicle tax credit opposed by Manchin Stabenow calls for expansion of school mental health services MORE (D-Mich.), and others joined for the signing. The bill was also a favorite project of Harris’s when she was a senator and Biden said Harris has led the fight to address maternal mortality in the U.S.
“It’s an important step in making sure we meet the needs of American mothers who have served,” Biden said.
It authorizes $15 million for the VA maternity care coordination programs to help ensure effective coordination between VA facilities and non-VA facilities in the delivery of maternity care, facilitate access to resources, and offer childbirth preparation classes in parenting, nutrition, breastfeeding, lactation and breast pumps.
“Tammy!” Biden said to Duckworth when she got on the stage. “You did it.”
“You said you were going to do this, remember?” Biden added. “You did.”