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VA clinics, military retirees focus of legislation

Last Modified: Thursday, January 30, 2014 1:09 PM

Special to the American Press

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said Wednesday that she is backing a bill that would restore recently cut cost-of-living-adjustment benefits for some military retirees and would allocate money for two veterans clinics in Southwest Louisiana.

“One of our greatest responsibilities is to support the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country,” Landrieu said in a news release. “But, unfortunately, our veterans face unnecessary challenges in accessing convenient and quality health care and have suffered unfair cuts to their military benefits.”

COLA for military retirees under age 62 was slashed by 1 percent last month as part of a budget agreement between Congress and the president. The bill, called the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act, would rescind the cut.

The measure would also green-light construction for Veterans Affairs clinics in Lake Charles and Lafayette, along with 25 other sites nationwide.

Additionally, the bill would renew tax incentives for employers who hire veterans who have been looking for work for six months or more and would expand education, workforce development and transition programs.

“I would like to applaud Senator Landrieu for cosponsoring this important legislation,” Bill Detweiler, American Legion past national commander and a member of the Louisiana Veterans Affairs Commission, said in the news release.

“This bill addresses a number of needs of our Louisiana veterans,” he said.

No vote on the bill has been scheduled.

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