Fighting for our Servicemembers and Veterans | Congressman Tim Ryan
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Fighting for our Servicemembers and Veterans

Protecting our national security is imperative to the American way of life. Continuous wars have taken a toll on our military. I am dedicated to honoring our commitments and restoring the health of our military. We need smart acquisitions to restore our military strength; we need to care for our servicemembers and the families who are bearing the burden of war; we need to honor our obligations to our Veterans. Providing for our armed forces, service members and Veterans is essential to continue our American freedoms. 

Increasing Military Readiness

Being from the Mahoning Valley, I often think of the servicemembers at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp Ravenna who work tirelessly each day to keep our nation safe and the duty I have to ensure they have what they need to do their jobs. As a member of the House Defense Approprations Subcommittee and the House Military Construction and Veterans Appropriations Subcommittee, I am proud to play an integral part in the formation of funding legislation that help improve the equipment and services that are critical to our national security. Each and every day, the men and women of our military sacrifice for our safety; it is our job to give them the resources they need to succeed. 

Steady investments in our military is essential, especially prioritizing the recapitalization of the Air Force’s C130 Fleet. This modernization plan will provide hardworking airmen, including the 910th Airlift Wing at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, with overdue essential upgrades. Furthermore, I am pleased that we were able to reinvest $12M in the 13th District, providing essential upgrades to the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp Ravenna. This funding will give our Airmen and Soldiers the training facilities necessary to remain combat ready and complete their missions. I am proud to have supported our men and women in uniform and will continue ensure the vital upkeep of YARS and Camp Ravenna. 

Fighting for Our Veterans Healthcare

The health and well-being of our nation’s active servicemen, servicewomen, and veterans is extremely important to me. Unfortunately, military mental health patients around the country are still having trouble accessing quality treatment.  This is inexcusable. As Co-Chair of the Military Mental Health Caucus, I have worked closely with my Congressional colleagues to demand that military members and veterans suffering from mental illnesses receive the same standard of treatment. The price of not doing so is simply too high—as we are painfully finding out.

I have cosponsored multiple pieces of legislation designed to assist our service members and their families, including the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act, Post 9/11 GI Bill Reserve Component Eligibility Act, Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act, a bill to prohibit any hiring freeze from affecting the VA, the Expedited Hiring for VA Trained Physicians Act, Women Veterans Access to Quality Care Act, and the Sgt Brandon Ketchum Never Again Act. Additionally, I have supported the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on February 12, 2015. This legislation increases access to mental health care by creating a peer support and community outreach pilot program to assist transitioning service members, and mandating an annual evaluation of VA mental health and suicide-prevention programs. While this is an important step in the right direction, we must do more.

We need to change the VA system in a way that is going to fix this problem and heal our veterans, and we must work to rebuild the trust with veterans and their families. That is why I have introduced legislation that would help modernize and improve military health treatment both at the VA and at Veteran Services Organizations by incorporating integrative health techniques into their treatment for veterans. I believe these integrative approaches can help preemptively address these needs and ultimately create less expensive treatments for long-term veteran healthcare.  

Honor Our Commitment to Veterans

Through my position on the Appropriations Committee I intend to make sure our Veterans get the care they fought for and deserve. I have co-sponsored multiple pieces of legislation designed to guarantee we do not turn our back on the promises we made our Veterans. This legislation includes the Servicemember Retirement Improvement Act, Fair Treatment for Families of Veterans Act, Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act, Support the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act, Honor America's Guard-Reserve Retirees Act, Retired Pay Restoration Act, and Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act. If we are going to continue to rely upon our military to act when we require their assistance, we must act now to hold up our end of the bargain. The United States made promises to our Veterans and now owes faithfulness to our commitments. 

More on Fighting for our Servicemembers and Veterans

April 4, 2020 Press Release

Youngstown, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today called on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to reverse two recent policy changes that make it harder for veterans to access deserved disability benefits.

March 25, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Representatives Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Steven Palazzo (R-Miss), Co-Chairs of the House National Guard and Reserve Caucus, today sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting for President Trump to immediately mobilize America's military airlift, including Reserve and National Guard assets as needed to repatriate Americans abroad. Full text of the letter that was sent is included below and can also be downloaded here.

Mr. President, 

February 14, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – US Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH), Mike Levin (D-CA), and Steven Palazzo (R-MS) announced the introduction of the Guard and Reserve GI Bill Parity Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation to provide parity in GI Bill benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserves who increasingly conduct similar training and missions as other servicemembers, but do not receive equal benefits. The bill was also introduced by Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

February 13, 2020 Press Release

Youngstown, OH – Congressman Tim Ryan responds to the Trump Administration’s announced reallocation of $3.8 billion in critical defense funds to build a border wall. Many communities and military bases, in both Republican and Democratic-led states, will be harmed by this outrageous use of executive power. President Trump is revoking the following critical military funds to build his border wall:

February 11, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today co-led a bipartisan effort with thirteen members of the Ohio delegation urging the US Department of Defense and US Air Force to field its new C-130J jets with the 910th Airlift Wing at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio (YARS).

January 30, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today made the following statement on his vote to repeal the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF):

January 24, 2020 Press Release

Youngstown, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan announces that Youngstown Air Reserve Base is one of two finalists competing to receive four new C-130Js. Air Force Reserve today announced that they would place four new C-130J Super Hercules Aircraft within one of two Special Missions of the Air Force Reserve of which YARS is one. This falls in line with Air Force Reserve Commands previous testimony in response to Congressman Ryan at a hearing of the House Defense Appropriations Committee. Ryan secured funding for the four planes through his position on the Committee.

December 17, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13), a Member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, applauded the passage of the Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations combined spending packages which contain the Defense and Veterans Affairs funding, among other agencies and departments. The combined bills fund several of Congressman Ryan’s priorities which could end up being located in the 13th Congressional District.

December 10, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) praised the inclusion of several key priorities in the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including authorizing four C-130J aircraft, repealing the so-called Widow’s Tax, implementing paid parental leave, funding emergency recovery projects for military bases, and protecting DREAMer and immigrant veterans. Ryan also announced that he will vote for the bill when it comes to the Floor of the House of Representatives this week.