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Veterans' Affairs Committee votes out bill to ban VA executive bonuses

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The House Veterans' Affairs Committee approved six bills related to veteran affairs out of committee May 8, including one that would suspend Veteran's Administration executive bonuses for 5 years.

The ban on bonuses came in the form of an amendment from Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) to the GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act of 2013 (H.R. 357).

The amendment is in response to recent reports documenting how numerous VA senior executives have received sizeable performance bonuses despite a significant backlog of disability claims at the administration, Miller said in a statement.

Other legislation approved by the committee includes the Ruth Moore Act (H.R. 671) would allow sex assault victims to receive disability benefits. The bill would expand VA's range of physical and mental disabilities considered related to military sexual trauma and to treat people filing for claims the same as combat veterans filing for post-traumatic stress disabilities.

The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act (HR 602), which was voted out of committee, would allow mentally incompetent services to carry a firearm unless a judge ruled the person is a danger to himself or others.

The Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013 (H.R. 1412) would increase the availability of on-job training and apprenticeship programs carried out by the VA.

The American Heroes COLA Act (H.R. 570) would require that, whenever there is an increase in benefit amounts payable for disability insurance of the Social Security Act, the VA would increase by the same percentage the amounts paid out for veterans' disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled adult children and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children.

Another bill, H.R. 1405, would requre the VA to include in any benefit denial the forms needed to file an appeal when a decision on benefits is mailed out.

All bills were sent out of committee by voice vote.

For more:
- watch the House Armed Services Committee bill markup
- go to the THOMAS page H.R. 357
- go to the THOMAS page H.R. 671
- go to the THOMAS page H.R. 602
- go to the THOMAS page H.R. 1412
- go to the THOMAS page H.R. 570
- go to the THOMAS page H.R. 1405

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