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The Daily Tar Heel
View from the Hill

Richard Burr delivers address on Veteran Support

On Saturday, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., delivered the Republican Party’s weekly address on supporting veterans.

Burr is the ranking member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and North Carolina has 570,000 veterans.

“Today all across this great nation of ours, military veterans are going about their lives with the expectation that their sacrifices will be honored and their services will be reciprocated,” Burr said.

Burr criticized the Veterans Administration for having a large backlog and inefficiencies which could harm many veterans.

“These delays have real-life implications for veterans,” Burr said. “Especially those at risk of lapsing back into or a downward spiral that can be difficult to stop.”

Burr also mentioned legislation he introduced regarding veterans.

Here’s a list of some legislation Burr has introduced and its status.

The Veterans Mental Health Treatment First Act of 2013

  • Action: Would have provided care for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety disorder and substance abuse they developed in combat.
  • Cosponsors: None
  • Actions taken: Hearings have been held. No vote.


  • What the bill would do: The bill would require states to recognize military experience for purposes of licensing and credentials. States would administer an exam for veterans for licensing and would allow veterans to not have to take an apprenticeship or training if they received a sufficient score on an exam or had at least ten years’ worth of experience in a military position similar to a civilian one.
  • Cosponsors: Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL, was a sponsor of the bill but withdrew his support four days after Burr introduced it
  • Actions taken: Hearings have been held. No vote.

Careers for Veterans Act of 2013

  • What the bill would do: The bill would have the federal government work to hire veterans, with 10,000 veterans employed within five years of the bill’s signing. It also created provisions similar to S.492
  • Sponsors and Cosponsors: Sens. John Boozman, R-AR, John Cornyn, R-TX, Johnny Isakson, R-GA, Marco Rubio, R-FL
  • Actions taken: Hearings have been held. No vote.

Veterans Pension Protection Act

  • What the bill would do: The bill was created in response to a Government Accountability Office report which showed a growing “pension poaching industry which convinced veterans to manipulate assets to receive need-based pensions. The Bill would create a three-year “look back” period for individuals who are applying for pensions.
  • Sponsors and Cosponsors: Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR, sponsored the bill with Burr cosponsoring along with Sens. Dean Heller, R-NV, Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, John Tester, D-MT, and Claire McCaskill, D-MO.
  • Actions taken: Hearings have been held. No vote.

Many of the rest of Burr’s pieces of legislation have not made had votes.

While Burr mentioned the amount of money that has been appropriated over the years by Congress, he did not mention cuts to military retirement benefits in the recent budget agreement.

The Senate voted today to advance a bill: that would repeal part of the cuts.

View from the Hill is a political blog by Daily Tar Heel staff writers. Any opinion expressed in it does not represent the Daily Tar Heel. Email the blog coordinator at

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