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• Jeff Miller (FL-01), chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, has expressed frustration with the release of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implementation plan for veteran caregiver assistance, required by Public Law 111-163.

“Family caregivers often drive the recovery of our wounded warriors, and have already waited way too long for the comprehensive assistance Congress provided in the law,” Mr. Miller said.

The Obama Administration has yet to provide the complete array of caregiver supportive services enacted in the law to assist family caregivers of veterans severely wounded in the War on Terror. Just yesterday, the Obama Administration submitted a report to Congress that was due last November outlining its plans to implement the law.

“President Obama signed this legislation last May with a tremendous amount of goodwill from caregivers and veterans’ advocates. It troubles me that the first public plan the administration has put forward has been met with serious concern from those same advocates,” Mr. Miller said. “We must work together moving forward and I will listen to all views, but I pledge to these veterans and caregivers that we will get this right.”

“Caring for the severely wounded returning from combat and their loved ones is the reason for VA’s existence. Within a budget of $125 billion, funding for this core group must be a top priority,” he said.

• Subsequent to the recent committee hearing on mortgage-related violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), Ranking Democratic Member Bob Filner (D-CA) called on Congress to make current protections against foreclosures permanent.

“The shocking actions of JP Morgan Chase overcharging military families and improperly foreclosing on some highlight the need for Congress to make permanent the foreclosure protections found in the SCRA and look to ways to improve the protections we provide to the men and women who defend us,” Mr. Filner said. “How many other military families have been harmed by financial institutions that refuse to follow the rules?”

The SCRA provides vital financial protections to enable service members to answer the call to service without worrying about some of the financial effects of that service. The SCRA protects against evictions, foreclosures, default judgments and high interest rates.

“I applaud the recent action by Elizabeth Warren to create an Office of Servicemembers Affairs within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and I look forward to working closely with Holly Petraeus to make sure our service members get all the protections that are available to them under law,” Mr. Filner said. “The tragic stories of those who have been adversely affected by the failure of our financial institutions to play by the rules further highlight the necessity of effective legal and regulatory protections for our service members and veterans.”

“I’m proud of the work we did in the 110th and 111th Congresses to strengthen the SCRA, including strengthening the 6 percent interest rate cap protections and extending the mortgage foreclosure protections from 90 days to 9 months. One of the last acts we did last year was to continue this period through 2012, and my legislation will provide this nine-month protection permanently.”

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or e-mail sgtshaft@bavf.org.