United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
United States Senate
|Formed||October 26, 1970|
|Chair||Jon Tester (D) |
Since February 3, 2021
|Ranking member||Jerry Moran (R) |
Since February 3, 2021
|Political parties||Majority (10)
|Oversight authority||Department of Veterans Affairs|
|House counterpart||House Committee on Veterans' Affairs|
The United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs deals with oversight of United States veterans problems and issues.
The committee was created in 1970 to transfer responsibilities for veterans from the Finance and Labor committees to a single panel. From 1947 to 1970, matters relating to veterans compensation and veterans generally were referred to the Committee on Finance, while matters relating to the vocational rehabilitation, education, medical care, civil relief, and civilian readjustment of veterans were referred to the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare.
Congressional legislation affecting veterans changed over the years. For the members of the armed forces and their families in the nation's early wars – the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War and the Spanish–American War – the response of the federal government had been essentially financial. This was clearly the legislative mission of the Senate Committee on Pensions which was created as one of the Senate's original standing committees in 1816 and continued until its termination in the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946.
During World War I the nature of the congressional response to veterans' needs changed towards a more diversified set of programs. A war risk insurance program, which was referred to the Senate Finance Committee, changed the consideration of veterans benefits in the Senate. The Finance Committee was the Senate standing committee most responsible for veterans programs from 1917 to 1946. After World War II, the Finance Committee handled the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, the GI Bill of Rights, which extended to servicemen and their families, a number of benefits including unemployment assistance, education, vocational training, housing and business loan guarantees, as well as the traditional medical and pension benefits of previous times. Many experts believe this law was one of the most important elements in the expansion of the middle class following World War II.
The Veterans' Affairs Committee had nine members in its initial congress, the 92nd Congress (1971–73). It now has a total of 19 members.
Members, 118th Congress
According to committee members' official online biographies, two of the eighteen members are veterans: Richard Blumenthal and Dan Sullivan.
Chairs of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 1971–present
|Vance Hartke||Democratic||Indiana||1971 – 1977|
|Alan Cranston||Democratic||California||1977 – 1981|
|Alan K. Simpson||Republican||Wyoming||1981 – 1985|
|Frank Murkowski||Republican||Alaska||1985 – 1987|
|Alan Cranston||Democratic||California||1987 – 1993|
|Jay Rockefeller||Democratic||West Virginia||1993 – 1995|
|Alan K. Simpson||Republican||Wyoming||1995 – 1997|
|Arlen Specter||Republican||Pennsylvania||1997 – 2001|
|Jay Rockefeller||Democratic||West Virginia||2001 – 2003|
|Arlen Specter||Republican||Pennsylvania||2003 – 2005|
|Larry Craig||Republican||Idaho||2005 – 2007|
|Daniel Akaka||Democratic||Hawaii||2007 – 2011|
|Patty Murray||Democratic||Washington||2011 – 2013|
|Bernie Sanders||Independent||Vermont||2013 – 2015|
|Johnny Isakson||Republican||Georgia||2015 – 2019|
|Jerry Moran||Republican||Kansas||2020 – 2021|
|Jon Tester||Democratic||Montana||2021 – present|
Historical committee rosters
Source: 2013 Congressional Record, Vol. 159, Page S296 to 297
Source: 2011 Congressional Record, Vol. 157, Page S557
Source: 2009 Congressional Record, Vol. 155, Page S5168 and 2010 Congressional Record, Vol. 156, Page S970
- List of current United States Senate committees
- United States House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
- United States Department of Veterans Affairs
- ^ a b c d "About: United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs". United States Senate. Retrieved April 7, 2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- ^ S.Res. 30 (118th Congress)
- ^ S.Res. 31 (118th Congress)
- ^ "United States Veteran Affair's Committee Member List". United States Veteran's Affairs. January 3, 2021. Archived from the original on October 5, 2021. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
- ^ "U.S. Senate: Committee on Veterans' Affairs". www.senate.gov. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
- ^ "Committee on Veterans' Affairs Members, 2015-2016". Ballotpedia. Ballotpedia.
- United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs (Archive)
- Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. Legislation activity and reports, Congress.gov.