Standing Up for Our Veterans

Standing Up for Our Veterans

Wisconsin is the proud home of servicemembers, veterans, and military families who have made incredible sacrifices for our country. Tammy has worked across party lines to do right by our veterans and make sure they have the care, good paying jobs, and community support that they have earned and deserve.

Jason’s Law: A Family’s Tragedy Turned Into Hope For Others

Like too many of our veterans, U.S. Marine veteran Jason Simcakoski went to the VA to get help, but instead got hooked on prescription drugs. Tragically, Jason Simcakoski died in 2014 from mixed drug toxicity while receiving care at the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The Simcakoski family decided to turn their tragedy into hope for other military families. Working closely with Tammy, they crafted bipartisan legislation named in honor of Jason to reform the VA and help stop the overprescribing of opioids at the VA.

Tammy and the Simcakoski family worked together to get the job done, building support for the legislation from Republicans and Democrats, veterans service organizations, and medical professionals across the country. Following Tammy and the Simcakoski family’s hard work to see the bipartisan bill passed in the Senate and House, it was then signed by President Obama to become Jason’s Law.

Jason’s Law has strengthened opioid prescribing guidelines and implemented new oversight and accountability rules at the VA. It’s also helping provide safer and more effective pain management services for veterans across the country.

Tammy introduced additional bipartisan VA prescribing reforms. Their bipartisan Veterans Overmedication Prevention Act confronts the overmedication of veterans and would help prevent suicide deaths.

Improving Veterans’ Care In The VA And Their Communities

Tammy has met with veterans across Wisconsin to hear their ideas for improving their health care. For veterans facing incredible frustrations and delays while looking for care in their own communities through the VA Choice Program, Tammy developed a three-point plan to cut bureaucratic red tape, increase oversight of contractors like HealthNet, and streamline scheduling.

In VA facilities, whistleblowers hold the system accountable to our veterans. Joining a small coalition of Republicans and Democrats, Tammy pushed to pass the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. Signed into law by President Trump, these VA reforms will protect future whistleblowers and allow the VA Secretary to fire bad employees who put our veterans in harm’s way.

Veterans across America are stuck in limbo after the broken VA appeals process led to a massive backlog of thousands of unresolved cases. Working with a broad group of Republicans and Democrats, Tammy passed the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act. It was signed into law by President Trump to cut the VA’s unacceptable backlog and allow our veterans to get back to living their lives.

Creating Good Paying Jobs and Strengthening Support for Veterans

Tammy has worked across party lines to make sure that when our veterans return home, they have the good paying jobs and community support that they need. Joined by Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Tammy introduced the BRAVE Act — bipartisan legislation that reduces the unemployment rate for veterans and creates more full-time jobs for them.

When many veterans return home, they are targeted by shady credit card companies and financial scams that seek to cheat them. Tammy did right by our veterans and their families by pushing to create the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, which has put millions of dollars back into the pockets of scammed servicemembers. Tammy then introduced the Military Consumer Enforcement Act to protect our active duty servicemembers from unfair eviction, exploitative debt collection practices and other fraudulent schemes.

In 2017, the State of Wisconsin failed to qualify for funding for homeless veterans programs, jeopardizing the housing of more than 50 veterans throughout Wisconsin. Tammy quickly organized a bipartisan effort to reverse the cuts. Following the coordinated effort, Tammy successfully saved the homeless veterans programs and ensured our veterans in need had the support they deserve.