Congress Member Anthony Brindisi has just enjoyed seeing his work rewarded … he had his first bill signed into law by the president.
“It’s very exciting, and a chance to work with one of my colleagues on the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, congressman Mike Bost, from Illinois, who’s a republican, and we saw these programs in danger of expiring. We’re able to work in a bipartisan way on the committee and get it passed swiftly.” said Brindisi.
The measure extends funding help for veterans who are homeless to find permanent housing; it also includes support for travel to help veterans and family members get to medical services. A third provision includes loan assistance to help veterans purchase a home. Brindisi finds the reason many are in need of assistance is their combat time in the war on terrorism.
“With the increases that we’re seeing in post-traumatic stress disorder, or traumatic brain injuries, or other mental health conditions that many veterans who are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, did not have these conditions before going into combat. And now are suffering with these conditions and we need to make sure as a country we’re doing everything we can to assist them” said Brindisi
His 22nd district includes Utica, Cortland and Binghamton, and is home to more than 50,000 veterans. He adds a number of other bills have passed the house with bipartisan support but are being held up in the Senate – including one to increase front-line counselors for veterans considering suicide.
Brindisi passed the Support for Suicide Prevention Coordinators Act through the house this May. The bill would help address veteran suicides, by reducing Veteran Affairs’ caseload, which gives them more time to go into the community.
The bill passed with overwhelming support through the house, and Brindisi says there’s no reason why it shouldn’t pass through the senate as well. He adds the country owes it to their veterans, who fought for their country, to do what they can legislatively to address the crisis.