One of my top priorities while serving Nevadans in the U.S. Senate is ensuring the brave men and women who serve our country are properly taken care of when they return home after service.
Every day when I drive to work in Washington, I pass by the Iwo Jima Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. These monuments and grave sites serve as a testament to the sacrifices of our Armed Services and constantly remind me of our responsibility to care for these men and women.
One of the greatest privileges of serving Nevada is the opportunity to sit on the Senate Veterans Affairs’ Committee, where I fight to hold the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) accountable for its promises to our veterans. With Nevada being home to over 300,000 veterans, and with approximately 27,000 of those being women veterans, I remain committed to advocating on behalf of the issues facing our veterans locally and nationwide.
Chief among them is the VA disability claims backlog. I took the lead on the Veterans Affairs’ Committee to reduce the average wait time for Nevada veterans’ benefit claims by spearheading the Senate VA Backlog Working Group. While the wait time has improved from 478 days to 257 days, it is still far from the 125 days that the VA has promised, and it remains one of the longest wait times in the nation. This is unacceptable, and until the backlog is eliminated, I won’t back down.
I also believe the VA must look to the future and better prepare for the rise in number of women veterans. Today, nearly 2.3 million women are veterans of military service. As I mentioned, here in Nevada we have 27,000 of them. That’s why I teamed with Senator Patty Murray of Washington, a Democrat, on legislation to make sure privacy and security in VA medical facilities are up to par and that each facility offers a full range of services to ensure female veterans are receiving proper care.
While I work hard to make these goals a reality, I want to be of help to any Nevada veteran facing difficulties in working with their local VA services. Either my staff or I would be happy to assist you. To reach my Las Vegas office, please call (702) 388-6605. I will continue to fight for our veterans until they receive the care they deserve. +