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Romney Campaign Press Release - Romney-Ryan Strategy For Restoring Faith With Our Veterans

August 29, 2012

As president, Mitt Romney will implement a strategy to get veterans working again, reform the VA system for the 21st century, and ensure that world-class VA health care is available to all veterans who need it.

Since 2008, veteran unemployment rates have been at unacceptable levels, the backlog for disability claims has doubled, and President Obama's devastating defense cuts threaten to strain the VA system even further by directly affecting VA funding and by shifting 200,000 troops out of service and into the VA system.  Mitt Romney believes we can do better for our veterans.

Get Veterans Working Again

Mitt Romney will unleash the American economy to grow again and create well-paying jobs. He will cut taxes, lift job-killing regulations, and slash debt to encourage job creators to invest and grow their businesses. He will reverse President Obama's defense cuts that could force 200,000 troops out of the service. Veteran unemployment rates—particularly for returning veterans—are at unacceptable levels. It is vital that veterans aren't sent from the front lines to the unemployment lines.

Ensure In-State Tuition For Veterans

  • The services veterans provide for our national defense benefit the entire country. Their educational benefits should reflect that dedication. To expand educational opportunities and employment prospects for returning warriors, Mitt Romney would ensure that in-state tuition rates are available to all veterans on the Post 9-11 GI Bill, regardless of their state of residency.

Ease Trade Credentialing For Skilled Veterans

  • Every year, the military trains a host of new mechanics, engineers, medical technicians, and other desirable skilled laborers. But when they leave service, they often must waste precious time and money going through unneeded training and credentialing processes to meet a patchwork of local and state requirements. Mitt Romney would work with the states to create a common credentialing and licensing standard in targeted fields for skilled veterans, and encourage organizations to recognize and grant credit for military training in order to become licensed or credentialed.

Make The VA System Work

Governor Romney will not allow an entire generation of veterans to lose faith in the VA. Because veterans strongly prefer to receive care within the VA system, focus will be directed towards improving and strengthening that system.

Create a Single Military Health Record

  • Our troops have two health records, one from active service and one used by the VA. This slows down disability claim processing and creates unnecessary red tape in an already overburdened system. Mitt Romney would create a single electronic medical record—from boot camp to retirement—to expedite and simplify a sluggish system. The Obama Administration talks about implementing this reform, but has failed to deliver. Mitt Romney will get it done.

Grant Veterans Access to Tricare's Network of Mental Health Care Providers

  • The VA is facing a backlog of veterans waiting for mental health evaluations and treatment.  Building up the VA's mental health care is a priority, but veterans should have the opportunity to access the Department of Defense's TRICARE network of mental health professionals to help alleviate the two-month waitlist.

Simplify Claims For Common Injuries

  • For disability claims that require less documentation to prove injuries, an expedited application process for disabilities commonly incurred or aggravated by military personnel should be created.

Make World-Class Health Care Available To All Veterans Who Need It

  • Mitt Romney will expand the reach of the VA health system to grant more access to the 41 percent of veterans who live in rural areas and speed-up the availability of Internet-based consultations, tele-homecare, and tele-monitoring. He will ensure that the VA health system can meet the unique needs of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with debilitating injuries.


Reverse President Obama's Devastating Defense Cuts

While growing the budget of every other federal agency, President Obama has saddled our military with devastating defense cuts that will total nearly a trillion dollars over the next ten years. Mitt Romney will reverse Obama-era defense cuts and prioritize preserving and protecting the proud Armed Forces that our veterans built. That means stopping cuts that could:

  • Force up to 200,000 troops out of uniform and onto an overburdened Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • Degrade training, equipment, and leadership needed by our deployed forces in Afghanistan.
  • Shrink the military to the smallest Navy since 1916, the smallest Army since 1940, and the smallest Air Force in our history.

Reprioritize our National Defense and Veterans as the Government's Highest Priority

President Obama's first term was marked by significant cuts to our wartime military, but expansive growth to the rest of the government. Mitt Romney believes that keeping the American people safe from harm is our Republic's most sacred responsibility. Defense and veteran spending is less than 20% of federal spending, but has absorbed over 50% of deficit reduction efforts to date. Governor Romney will rebuild, revitalize, and restore a military that has been worn ragged by ten years of war and President Obama's devastating defense cuts. Mitt Romney will:

  • Put our Navy on the path to increase its shipbuilding rate from nine per year to approximately fifteen per year and maintain a fleet of eleven aircraft carriers.
  • Modernize and replace the aging inventories of the Air Force, Army, and Marines, and selectively strengthen our force structure.
  • Add 100,000 active duty troops.
  • In the first 100 days, begin reversing Obama-era cuts to missile defense and commit to a robust multi-layered national ballistic-missile defense system to deter and defend against nuclear attacks on our homeland and our allies.

Mitt Romney, Romney Campaign Press Release - Romney-Ryan Strategy For Restoring Faith With Our Veterans Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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