February 15, 2022
The Honorable Mark Takano Chairman House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs The Honorable Jon Tester Chairman Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs The Honorable Mike Bost Ranking Member House Veterans Affairs Committee The Honorable Jerry Moran Ranking Member Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs
Dear Chairmen Takano and Tester, and Ranking Members Bost and Moran:
In 2021, Frontiers of Freedom launched the Veterans Choice Initiative, a grassroots effort committed to supporting disabled veterans by protecting their right to choose how to best navigate the bureaucracy of the Veterans Administration and secure the disability benefits they rightly deserve.
Providing access to high quality disability benefits support is one of our most important obligations to the brave men and women who have served this country. Unfortunately, the current government-run and volunteer system is both confusing and under-resourced, leaving veterans at a disadvantage when seeking the benefits, they are ethically, medically, and legally entitled to.
As you look to set the Committee’s priorities for the New Year, we ask that you not repeat the mistakes of the past.
In 2021, Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act (S. 2141) was introduced in the Senate which in effect criminalized “unaccredited actors,” that wish to help veterans with their claims. This includes private consultants that provide necessary and life-changing assistance to millions of veterans around the country.
These proposed changes will limit a veterans’ choice and leave the initiation phase of the claims solely on the backs of VSOs or veterans themselves. While VSOs are filled with well-meaning and sometimes qualified individuals and volunteers, most of the organizations do not have the manpower or expertise to handle the massive inflow that is expected over the next few years.
This latest attempt built upon a 2019 bill that aimed to amend title 38 of the United States Code, to provide criminal penalties for individuals acting as agents or attorneys for the preparation, presentation, or prosecution of a claim. Thankfully, the initial bill was rightfully defeated.
Our veterans have earned the right to choose their consultation and representation, regardless of Accreditation status, as they navigate a confusing system.
As you consider reforms to the veterans’ benefits system in 2022, we ask that any legislation around this issue in Congress will ensure a veteran’s right to choose is not jeopardized.
Thank you for your consideration.
George Landrith, President Frontiers of Freedom Richard Manning, President Americans for Limited Government Charles Sauer, Founder & President Market Institute David Williams, President Taxpayers Protection Alliance Seton Motley, Founder & President Less Government James L. Martin, Founder/Chairman 60 Plus Association Andrew Langer, President Institute for Liberty Chuck Muth, President Citizen Outreach Saulius “Saul” Anuzis, President 60 Plus Association David Wallace, Founder Restore America’s Mission Judson Phillips, Founder Tea Party Nation Ryan Ellis, President Center for a Free Economy Governor Mike Huckabee Former Governor of Arkansas C. Preston Noell III, President Tradition, Family, Property, Inc. Gerard Scimeca, Chairman Consumer Action for a Strong Economy Nicholas Willis, President Americans for Liberty & Security Susan Taylor, President Strengthening America for All John Cooper, President Defending America Foundation Scott Vanandler, President The Last Best Hope on Earth Institute Mark Thomas, Founder Freedom & Prosperity Caucus U.S. Senator Larry E Craig (retired) United States Senate Retired Paul Caprio, Director Patriotic Veterans Steve Moore, Co-Founder Committee to Unleash Prosperity Horace Cooper, Director Project 21 Phil Kerpen, President American Commitment James Taylor, President Heartland Institute Morton Blackwell, President The Leadership Institute The Honorable George K Rasley Jr Managing Editor, ConservativeHQ.com Elaine Donnelly, President Center for Military Readiness Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council Martha Boneta, President Vote America First Becky Norton Dunlop, Director Reagan Alumni Association Bob Carlstrom, President AMAC Action Ed Martin, President Phyllis Schlafly Eagles Mario H. Lopez, President Hispanic Leadership Fund Bob McEwen U.S. House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs Former Member, Ohio Dee Stewart, President Americans for a Balanced Budget
Click here to see or download full letter.