News Center

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Back to Washington

Dear friends,

Last week, the Senate was in a state work period as Americans all across the country joined together to celebrate America’s independence. Many took time to honor our veterans and the men and women of our U.S. armed forces who protect and defend the values and freedoms that make America the greatest country on the face of Earth. I wrote an op-ed to thank and remember these brave volunteers. The column, which appeared in many of our Georgia newspapers, also shared how we’re working in the Senate to ensure that we strengthen our national defense and fulfill our promise to the brave men and women serving in uniform.

When we returned to Washington this week, I introduced the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation to increase the disability benefits that veterans receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, my top priority is to ensure that veterans and their families receive the benefits they earned while serving our country. This bill would increase the rates of VA disability compensation, dependency compensation for surviving children and spouses, and the clothing allowance for veterans based on rising costs of living. I’m proud to join every member of the Senate VA Committee in cosponsoring this important legislation.

In Other News

  • This week, the Senate confirmed four judges to our nation’s district and circuit courts. We also confirmed Robert L. King to be assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the Department of Education, John Pallasch to be assistant secretary of labor for employment training and administration, and Peter Wright to head the Office of Land and Emergency Management at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • I recently joined Senator Perdue and 14 other senators in a letter to the Trump administration to encourage officials to reach consensus with congressional leaders on a two-year budget deal to fully fund the military. We’re concerned that a one-year “continuing resolution” to fund our armed forces at the same level as this year would handcuff our military. It would prevent planned pay raises for our troops, stop needed new hires and delay rebuilding efforts at a time when we must be prepared to deter threats or confront them if needed. Americans rightfully expect their representatives in Washington to put aside political differences and do their jobs.
  • I was glad to welcome Matthew Beiger of Dunwoody, Ga., to Washington this week for the U.S. Senate Page Program. Matt is a rising senior at Dunwoody High School and is serving as a Senate page for the second summer session, which runs from July 8 through August 2. During his time in D.C., Matt will learn about the functions of the federal government, and I’m confident that he will represent Georgia and our office well as a page.


  • On June 28, I introduced legislation to ensure that veterans who were totally and permanently disabled in service to our country will automatically receive forgiveness of outstanding student debt. This is a commonsense way to ensure veterans receive the student loan relief they deserve, and I hope the Senate will be able to act quickly on it.

What’s On Tap?

Next week, the Senate is expected to consider four important tax treaties between the U.S. and Spain, Switzerland, Japan and Luxembourg, respectively. These treaties were approved in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in June.