Long Branch – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today held a virtual roundtable on veterans issues with advocates and veterans in New Jersey. During the roundtable, Pallone discussed the COVID-19 relief package and how it would help the veteran community.
“I’m grateful to everyone who joined us today for my update on what Congress is doing to help the veteran community during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s important to hear from our veterans and their advocates in New Jersey directly. The American Rescue Plan will provide the funding we need to ensure our veterans have the care they deserve during this difficult time,” Pallone said. “This Congress, I also will introduce my bill to help alleviate homelessness and housing instability in the veteran community. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to strengthen and expand quality health care for veterans, modernize the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for the 21st century, and foster new education, training, and employment opportunities for servicemembers who served our country.”
The American Rescue Plan would provide:
- $13.5 billion in funding for health care services and $400 million for rapid retraining programs for veterans who are out of work because of COVID-19.
- $750 million for state run veteran homes throughout the country, including veterans’ homes in Menlo Park, Vineland, and Paramus.
- $500 million for construction and infrastructure and $250 million in emergency grants for state run veteran homes.
- $250 million for Nursing Home Strike Teams to help facilities manage COVID-19 outbreaks when they occur.
Pallone will also introduce his bill this Congress that will help end veteran homelessness and housing instability. Homeless Veterans Credit Repair, Enhancement, and Debt Improvement for Tomorrow (CREDIT) Act directs the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct a study of the effectiveness of credit and financial counseling services offered to homeless and housing unstable veterans.
The study will explore these services and the barriers to them, including the COVID-19 pandemic and other health challenges. The study would provide recommendations for improvements to credit counseling services. The bill will also require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide an interim and final report to Congress on the findings of the study. Credit and financial counseling services remain a top ten unmet need for our nation’s homeless veterans.
Video of the roundtable is available here.