Military & Veterans
Senator Menendez believes a grateful nation not only goes to a Veterans’ Day observance or marches in a Memorial Day parade, as we should— but a grateful nation shows its gratitude in the opportunities and health care we provide our veterans, in how we take care of their disabilities, and for those who make the ultimate sacrifice, how we take care of their survivors,. That’s why he fights to provide opportunities for veterans to succeed when they leave the military and to ensure that we take care of those who have sacrificed for us with benefits that can adequately provide for them and their families.
He understands that veterans’ services should not be a pawn in partisan debates. Veterans have earned the services and the benefits we have promised, and it is our responsibility to provide them in a timely and predictable manner. And he will fight to make sure the budget is not balanced on the backs of those who have served in uniform.
- Veterans’ Healthcare. Fought for, and Congress passed, record increases in funding for veterans health care. Helped pass the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act into law to secure timely funding for the veterans health care system, through what is called “advance funding” so the Department will no longer be held hostage by the recurring budget battles in Congress. At the time, the Disabled American Veterans called it “the most significant legislative victory for veterans for a generation.”
- State Veterans' Cemeteries. Successfully secured increased funding for State Veterans' Cemeteries. This money helped ensure adequate funding to address the costs of several critical projects at New Jersey State Veteran Cemeteries.
- Securing Jobs for Veterans. Hailed passage of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, legislation he cosponsored that combined components in the President’s American Jobs Act and additional initiatives to boost employment opportunities for veterans. It expands education and training programs, advances the Transition Assistance Program, improves the transition to a civil service job, and provides tax credits for businesses who hire unemployed veterans.
- National Guard. Co-sponsored the National Guard Empowerment Act that was included in the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. This legislation allows for the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thus giving the National Guard a greater voice in Pentagon decisions.
- Women in the Military.
- Led an inquiry to the Secretary of Defense regarding the impact of the combat exclusion policy on the opportunities for career advancement, training and treatment of women upon redeployment. This letter urged the Department to update its policies in a way that both credits women for their service and provides the opportunity for the best soldiers, regardless of gender, to serve to his/her full potential.
- Cosponsored S. 1018, the Defense Sexual Trauma Response Oversight and Good Governance Act which strengthens the military’s ability to prevent sexual assault on women who serve.
- Cosponsored S.1214, the March for Military Women Act, which amends the prohibition on using funds available to the Department of Defense (DOD) to perform abortions by adding an exception for cases where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. Current law provides an exception only where the life of the mother is endangered. It also repeals a statutory restriction on using a medical treatment facility or other DOD facility to perform an abortion.
- Military Installations. Fought to secure more than $210 million for New Jersey military installations, including $49 million for the National Guard to build an Army Aviation Support Facility at Lakehurst and $9 million for the Base Civil Engineering Complex for the 108th Air Refueling Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard. New Jersey’s military installations provide critical infrastructure to support our nation’s defense as well as impacts our regional and statewide economy.