Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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Veterans Issues

America’s obligation to our veterans is permanent and sacred. We must leave no stone unturned to ensure that the men and women who have put themselves in harm’s way to protect and serve us have the very best medical care, counseling, housing, job training, and educational opportunities a grateful nation can provide.

That’s why I continue to support and vote for legislation to:

  • Immediately improve the way Veterans Affairs (VA) delivers its services to our nation's heroes:

    • I voted for H.R.4810, the Veterans Access to Care Act, which would require the VA to provide outside care for veterans who live more than 40 miles away from the nearest VA facility, or who have been waiting too long for an appointment.

    • I also supported H.R.4031, the VA Management Accountability Act, to give the Secretary of the VA the power to fire VA executives who have failed performance standards.

  • Eliminate the notorious claims backlog at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs by providing all the funding and resources necessary to get the job done.

  • Boost veterans benefits and services by at least $156 billion over the next decade.

  • Greatly expand services for all veterans with mental health issues.

  • Establish a Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration to help vets return to the workforce.

  • Establish a Veterans Conservation Corps to put unemployed Vets in transition back to work – rebuilding our national, state and tribal forests, parks, costal areas, wildlife refuges, and cemeteries – while they seek permanent employment. 

  • Fully fund the National Guard, including vital training and equipment maintenance at Camp Ripley, and support the mission of the 148th Fighter Wing based in Duluth.

  • Grant full veterans status to National Guard members who have served 20 years or more.

In the battle to protect and serve America’s veterans, the lesson for Congress is the same one we’ve learned from all those who protect and serve our great nation. We keep fighting.


Standing up for our nation's heroes

I am currently working on several bills that would benefit veterans and their families:

Manufacturing Jobs for Veterans Act (H.R.4629) - Encourages manufacturers to hire returning veterans, and requires the Department of Labor to award $50 million in grants over the next 5 years to establish state pilot programs for job training & more.

HEALTHY Vets Act (H.R. 635) - Enables rural veterans to use local healthcare providers in their hometowns instead of travelling to the nearest big city for VA facilities.

Veterans Mental Health Accessibility Act (H.R.1725) - I am an original cosponsor of this bill, which would allow any veteran who served in a combat zone on any U.S. military operation to seek treatment for service-connected mental illness (including post-traumatic stress disorder), regardless of when the condition manifests itself. This would make services and treatment available to all veterans who have served in combat in previous military operations, such as WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam. Additionally, this bill maintains the role of the VA to treat only service-related disorders, and allows its health care professionals to diagnose mental disorders and illnesses according to established procedures.

Veterans Backlog Reduction Act (H.R.1739) - Automatically provides provision benefits to veteran disability claims if they have not been process in 125 days.

Veterans Claims Efficiency Through Automation Act (H.R.1805) - Simplifies VA work so that claims are processed in an efficient and timely manner.

Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act (H.R.921) –requires the VA to have a chiropractic physician on staff at all major VA medical facilities by 2016.

Helping Homeless Veterans Act (H.R.2485) - Revitalizes important programs that provide transitional housing, employment assistance, supportive services, and more.

21st Century Healthcare for Heroes Act (H.R.2950) - Improves efficiency between the Pentagon and the VA to reduce delays many veterans face.

SERV Act (H.R.3469) - Fights abuses in the veterans benefit system, and works to ensure that veterans are the ones getting the benefits they so rightfully deserve.


Since coming to office in January of 2013, I have voted for the following bills to benefit our nation's heroes:

Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act - provides the resources necessary to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), expand its health care services to rural vets, and eliminate the unconscionable benefits backlog. The bill, which is now law, addresses concerns I heard from veterans and their families at our numerous Veterans Round Tables throughout the 8th District – especially the need to obtain medical care close to home and expand programs to treat mental illnesses, suicide prevention, and PTSD.

The Veterans Access to Care Act (H.R.4810) - requires the VA to provide outside care for veterans who live more than 40 miles away from the nearest VA facility, or who have been waiting too long for an appointment.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act (H.R.4031) - a small but positive step toward addressing the widespread lack of accountability and negligence within the VA.

G.I. Tuition Fairness Act (H.R.357) - Improves veterans access to higher education by limiting tuitions, extending work-study programs, and lengthening vocational rehabilitation and training aid.

Homes for Heroes Act (H.R.384) - Ensures that veterans have access to housing and homeless assistance programs.

American Heroes COLA Act (H.R.570) - Provides annual cost-of-living increases for veterans disability and dependency and indemnity compensation.

Helping Heroes Fly Act (H.R.1344) - Improves airport security screening procedures for wounded and disabled veterans.

VA Expiring Authorities Extension Act (H.R.1402) - Works to ensure veterans continue to receive the best possible care.

Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act (H.R.1742) - Amended the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 to ensure that veterans were not adversely affected.

Veterans Advisory Committee on Education Improvement Act (H.R.2011) - Reauthorizes VA committee on Education to ensure the highest quality of education and training programs for veterans and their dependents, servicepersons, reservists, and guard personnel.

To Improve the Processing of Disability Claims by the Department of Veterans Affairs (H.R.2189) - Improves veterans claims processing by providing training for claims processors, increasing departmental coordination, and mandating regular reports on the status of claims processing functions.

Veterans Economic Opportunity Act (H.R.2481) - Establishes the Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration, which provides assistance to veterans on economic issues such as vocational rehabilitation and employment programs.

Hire More Heroes Act (H.R.3474) - Incentivizes small businesses to hire more veterans.

Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R.3547) - Increased funding for the Veterans Administration (VA) by $1.4 billion

Department of Defense Survivor Benefits Continuing Appropriations Resolution (H.J.Res.91) - Ensured that the survivors' benefits remain in place during the 2013 government shutdown.

Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act (S.893) - Increased rates of veterans disability compensation, as well as added additional compensation for dependents.


More on Veterans Issues

May 14, 2018 the Monday Report

Military Veterans Are Still Waiting for the President to Keep His Promises

President Lincoln defined the mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs more than 150 years ago. Now it’s time for the current President to step up and fulfill
Lincoln’s mandate.

Dear Friend, 

Apr 2, 2018 the Monday Report

VA’s Mission Must Serve Our Heroes – Not Corporate Profits

Like those who attended our 8th District military Veterans roundtables, these Veterans want nothing to do with Republican plans to undermine their health care by privatizing the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dear Friend,

Mar 7, 2018 Press Release

[WASHINGTON D.C.] U.S. Rep Rick Nolan today introduced legislation, H.R. 5152, to fund positive psychology “reconditioning” programs that help veterans lead healthier and happier lives. The three-month reconditioning model was developed by 23rd Veteran, a Minnesota nonprofit whose mission is to help Veterans readjust to civilian life and combat PTSD and related conditions. Rep.

Mar 7, 2018 In The News

Legislation based on a Duluth veterans organization’s work was introduced in the U.S. House on Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan introduced legislation to direct the secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a grant program for eligible nonprofit organizations to carry out reconditioning programs for veterans at a recommended funding level of $15 million. The three-month reconditioning program model was developed by 23rd Veteran in Duluth, which helps veterans readjust to civilian life through “positive psychology.”

Jan 10, 2018 Press Release

[WASHINGTON D.C.] U.S. Rep Rick Nolan this week called on President Donald Trump and Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin to provide military Veterans with their long-overdue Veteran’s Identification Cards.


Jan 2, 2018 the Monday Report

Happy New Year! America Gets Ready for 2018

Fireworks over the U.S. Capitol are a joy - now hopefully we’ll see fewer fireworks and more cooperation inside the Capitol and the halls of Congress here in 2018. 

Dear Friend,

Dec 4, 2017 Press Release

U.S. Rep Rick Nolan today praised the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ announcement of the rollout of an application process for the national Veterans Identification Card (VIC) and pledged to assist Veterans of Minnesota’s 8th District with their applications. This announcement follows the letter sent to the VA in October by Rep. Nolan and ranking Member on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee Tim Walz, which requested an update on the implementation of the rollout of the Veteran’s Identification Card program.


Nov 14, 2017 the Monday Report

Rural Military Veterans Deserve a Better Health Plan

Oct 23, 2017 Press Release

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan and Rep. Tim Walz, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today met with local military Veterans from the International Falls and Koochiching County area to discuss issues with the implementation of Veterans Choice and the future of VA Community Care.