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In His First Year, Tillis Focuses On Reaching Across The Aisle, Supporting Our Military And Veterans:
* Tillis explains to WRAL why he broke with his own party on some key votes, including supporting the recent budget agreement to avert a government shutdown: “We all know the problem. We’ve got to step up as leaders and some of us have to be part of the solution. That means you have to be willing to take tough votes and then come back to your state and look your constituents in the eye and explain to them why you did.”
* The Asheville Citizen-Times highlights Tillis’ success in finding common ground with Democrats: “…Tillis has had kind words for Obama's secretary of veteran's affairs, former corporate executive Robert McDonald, and said he has had success pushing some initiatives with Democratic members of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, which Tillis serves on. The Senate passed Tillis' bill to exclude compensation given to victims of state eugenics programs when considering their eligibility for federal benefits. Tillis-backed provisions in a highway bill that became law designate two Interstate highway corridors in eastern North Carolina, and Tillis has had some luck in at least slowing plans to close an Air Force unit at Fort Bragg.”
* The Wilmington Star reports on Tillis’ committee work and his prioritization of providing constituent services to North Carolinians: “U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, meanwhile, said he was pleased with his work on the Armed Services and Veterans Affairs committees. That work included globetrotting to numerous countries and meeting several dignitaries, such as King Abdullah of Jordan. He said his office also focused on constituent services, fielding more than 300,000 constituent letters and handling thousands of cases -- primarily focused on issues for veterans.”
* The Fayetteville Observer highlights Tillis’ efforts to champion Fort Bragg: “Sen. Thom Tillis promises to be a familiar face on Fort Bragg. And he plans on bringing powerful friends with him. North Carolina's junior senator is on a mission to educate Congress on the unique role of Fort Bragg….He promises a truly unique sight for senators, governors and others on the national political landscape who get a close look at Fort Bragg, its leaders and its troops. And if the time comes for more cuts to be made, hopefully they'll remember what they learn here.”
* Tillis tells WNCN he will remain focused on the need to improve the quality and access of care for our veterans: “There are a lot of fundamental changes that have to happen in the VA. Otherwise, we’re just taking the pressure off momentarily but the same problems will persist. We’ve got to be able to provide veterans the choice when a VA facility can’t see them, to provide another option so that they can get the care that they deserve.”
* Tillis outlines the progress of his eugenics compensation legislation in an op-ed published by the Wilmington Star: “Several weeks ago, the Senate unanimously passed my bipartisan bill to assist living eugenics victims by excluding their payments from state eugenics compensation programs — including North Carolina’s — from consideration in determining federal benefits. Without this legislation, many eugenics victims who receive compensation payments could see their federal benefits reduced or even have their eligibility eliminated, which simply is not fair. The good news is that the House has already moved my bill through committee, and final passage is expected early next year, when it will then head to the president’s desk for his signature.”
* During an interview with TWC News, Tillis stresses the need for Washington to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past: “I didn’t like the fact that we did like other Congresses have done and go to a budget bill the last couple weeks of session. We need to put a priority on the budget and appropriations process for the first six months of this year so we’re not repeating the mistakes that were made by Republicans and Democrats in the past.”
* Most, if not all, persons represented by our Council may have already received a legislative alert or participated in this MOAA sponsored survey...however, for those who have not yet had an opportunity to complete the survey, please do so at the link provided.
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COL Jeri Graham, USA (Ret.) attended the fall conference as a member of the Veterans Advisory Group. The group meets with the Veterans Affairs Commission. Pictured here are Glenn Batten, Deputy Director (L) and Ilario Pantano, Division Director (R).
The current NC4VETS Newsletter is available to open and read here.
* Presented here are a medley of service songs (music only, no pictures - Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force and Navy) played by the Watauga Community Band at today's Memorial Day celebration at the Boone Mall hosted by the High Country Chapter, Military Officers Association of America. Thanks to all our Armed Forces Veterans - those in attendance, those not in attendance and those who've made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our nation...
* THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE!
* The North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs produces an excellent resource for all NC veterans in the form of a bi-monthly newsletter.
* Director Ilario Pantano of the Department is committed to providing timely and relevant information to all North Carolina veterans through a variety of publications.