News Center

Friday, June 21, 2019

Looking out for America

Dear friends,

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, ensuring our veterans have the benefits and support they’ve earned is a top priority for me. On Wednesday, I spoke on the Senate floor to highlight the implementation of the new Veterans Community Care Program just one year after my landmark VA MISSION Act was signed into law. Our goal is to make it easier for veterans to get the care they need in a timely manner, and I remain committed to working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure that they do.

Also on Wednesday, I chaired a Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing with the VA and community organizations to hear about ongoing efforts to reduce suicide in the veteran community. The loss of even one veteran’s life to suicide is unacceptable. As the VA continues making positive strides in improving accessibility of care in the community, I am hopeful that our discussion on Wednesday will lead to greater collaboration between the VA and veterans-oriented community groups to make mental health care more accessible for our veterans.

In Other News

  • I sat down with Kelly Craft, President Trump’s nominee to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on Tuesday to discuss her qualifications and outlook for this crucial role. Craft is our current ambassador to Canada, and she previously served as an alternate delegate to the United Nations General Assembly under President George W. Bush. Tensions are high in many areas of the world, and it is imperative that we have the right ambassador in place to represent the United States. The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a nomination hearing for Craft on Wednesday, and you can watch my line of questioning for her here.


  • On Tuesday, I attended a Senate Finance Committee hearing with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. I was interested to hear his responses as we seek to move forward with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and ensure a level trade playing field with our neighbors. I will continue to work with the administration on this front to make sure our fruit and vegetable growers in Georgia are protected from unfair trade practices.
  • In honor of the 75th anniversary of the G.I. Bill, I introduced a resolution on Wednesday with U.S. Senators Tom Carper, D-Del., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., designating the week of June 17, 2019, as “National G.I. Bill Commemoration Week.” Since its creation in 1944, the G.I. Bill has helped millions of veterans go to school, buy a house, and achieve their dreams. I am so grateful for the sacrifices our service members make, and I’m proud to recognize the impact the G.I. Bill has had on the veteran community and our entire nation for the past 75 years.
  • Also this week, the Senate confirmed Sean Cairncross to be Millennium Challenge Corporation chief executive officer, Rita Baranwal to be assistant secretary of energy, and four judges for district courts in Texas, Florida and Louisiana.

What’s On Tap?

Next week, the Senate will vote on whether to begin debate on the National Defense Authorization Act, which oversees our defense department resources and has implications for our national security strategy, Georgia military installations and all-volunteer force of service members.