United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs

Last updated

Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee
Standing committee
Active
Seal of the United States Senate.svg
United States Senate
117th Congress
History
FormedOctober 26, 1970
Leadership
Chair Jon Tester (D)
Since February 3, 2021
Ranking member Jerry Moran (R)
Since February 3, 2021
Structure
Seats18 members [lower-alpha 1]
Political partiesMajority (9)
  •   Democratic (8)
  •   Independent (1)
Minority (9)
Jurisdiction
Oversight authority Department of Veterans Affairs
House counterpart House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Website
www.veterans.senate.gov
  1. Democrats are in the majority due to the tiebreaking power of Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris, who serves ex officio as the president of the Senate.

The United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs deals with oversight of United States veterans problems and issues.

Contents

Description

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. [1]

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. [1]

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. [1]

The Veterans' Affairs Committee had nine members in its initial congress, the 92nd Congress (1971–73). It now has a total of 18 members. [1]

Members, 117th Congress

MajorityMinority

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

NamePartyStateYears
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

117th Congress

MajorityMinority

Source: [3]

116th Congress

MajorityMinority

115th Congress

MajorityMinority

Source: [4]

114th Congress

MajorityMinority

Source: [5]

113th Congress

MajorityMinority

Source: 2013  Congressional Record, Vol. 159, Page  S296 to 297

112th Congress

MajorityMinority

Source: 2011  Congressional Record, Vol. 157, Page  S557

111th Congress

MajorityMinority

Source: 2009  Congressional Record, Vol. 155, Page  S5168 and 2010  Congressional Record, Vol. 156, Page  S970

110th Congress

MajorityMinority

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "About | United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs". United States Senate. Retrieved April 7, 2017. ‹See TfM› PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Bernie Sanders is an Independent, but caucuses with Democrats on the committee.
  3. "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.
  4. "U.S. Senate: Committee on Veterans' Affairs". www.senate.gov. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  5. "Committee on Veterans' Affairs Members, 2015-2016". Ballotpedia. Ballotpedia.