GUS ON THE ISSUES
Supporting Military and Veterans
The Problem: Under Presidents Obama and Biden, Democrats have gutted funding for the United States Military. At a time when the world is seeing unprecedented aggression from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, this lack of support for our national defense and those who bravely serve in our Armed Forces is simply unacceptable. Additionally, our nation’s heroes face bureaucratic roadblocks when trying to access the medical care, benefits, and supportive services they were promised, which is also unconscionable.
What Bilirakis Has Done
Gus Bilirakis has a well-deserved reputation for being a champion of our nation’s heroes. He has spent his tenure in Washington fighting to ensure Veterans receive the care and benefits they deserve. While there is still important work to be done, Bilirakis has achieved meaningful results.
For several years as Vice-Chairman of the House VA Committee, he was instrumental in crafting legislation that overhauled the VA’s delivery of healthcare, modernized the benefits claims’ process, enhanced GI benefits, and improved its prevention services for suicide and homelessness.
- The rates of Veteran homelessness throughout the nation and here in the Tampa Bay area have plummeted.
- The transformation of homeless prevention services mirrors the homeless prevention model and is currently being implemented.
- In recognition that one size does not fit all when it comes to Veterans’ mental health, Bilirakis authored legislation signed into law that required the VA to begin implementing complementary and alternative treatments, such as service animal therapy. This has been a huge step forward in helping many Veterans.
Bilirakis also secured funding for local Veterans which culminated in the new VA Outpatient Clinic in New Port Richey scheduled to open in fall of 2022, the new Zephyrhills Outpatient Clinic scheduled for later in 2022, the new Countryside Outpatient clinic, and the new Bed Tower at James A. Haley Hospital in Tampa.
He has consistently supported increases in pay for active duty, restored funding for defense spending, and modernization of military readiness to meet emerging challenges
He is actively involved in addressing the following issues:
- Fix concurrent receipt
- Expand Veteran dental care
- Ensure those exposed to burn pit toxins receive care and benefits without fighting their government
- Improve the quality of base housing for military families