Thursday, July 29, 2021
The bill would “allow for an open re-enrollment for the nearly 1,600 veterans who withdrew from the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) prior to the repeal of the ‘Widow’s Tax’ in the FY2020 NDAA.”
Currently, veterans living in Northwestern Florida have to drive more than 100 miles to receive inpatient care at the VA Gulf Coast Medical Center in Biloxi, Mississippi or be sent to local community hospitals as availability and funds permit.
Bilirakis is the main co-sponsor of U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester’s, D-Del., “Veterans’ Culturally Competent Care Act" which “will require that veterans receive culturally competent, evidence-based mental health treatment from private providers, as is already required of VA mental health providers.”
Last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sent a letter to U.S. Department of Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin, ahead of his trip to Southeast Asia, to promote freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and encourage our partner nations to engage in multilateral military activities with members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and Taiwan.
This week, with Scott onboard, the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee passed the $778 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)--around $25 billion higher than what the Biden administration first asked for.
The release comes as the nation recognizes National Military Consumer Protection Month. The guide is full of information about common scams targeting military members, veterans and their families.
The bill has the support of more than a dozen senators including U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who leads the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. 
This week, two congresswomen from Florida introduced a bill “to require the Secretary of Defense to swiftly brief key members of Congress if the secretary determines with high confidence that a foreign government is deliberately seeking to kill or severely injure U.S. servicemembers, either directly or indirectly through proxy forces.”
Rubio brought out the “Better Examiner Standards and Transparency for Veterans Act" (BEST for Vets Act) with U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., as a co-sponsor. They have been working on the proposal since 2019. 
Rubio, Maggie Hassan, D-NH,  and seven other senators urged the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help more veterans and military families purchase homes by providing additional flexibilities under the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program, as well as additional education and outreach to real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and veterans about the VA Home Loan process.