On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., paired up to bring back their “Veterans Care Financial Protection Act" proposal.
The bill would make the federal Department of Veterans Affairs work with state and federal agencies to stop con men who are diverting federal aid away from veterans. Rubio and Warren first teamed up at the start of 2014 to introduce the proposal which they have pushed as standalone legislation and trying to add it to the National Defense Authorization Act.
Rubio made the case for his bill on Wednesday.
"It's terrible when anyone falls prey to scam artists who rob them of money, but it's especially despicable when our most vulnerable veterans are targeted by criminals pretending to help them receive federal benefits," said Rubio. "This legislation will help ensure more of these scammers are brought to justice, so our veterans are better protected and receive the proper assistance they need and deserve."
Warren turned her focus to the VA’s Aid & Attendance benefit (A&A) which offers in-home care for veterans. She noted that con men have been charging veterans fees for offering the A&A benefit which can be applied for at no cost.
"Our men and women in uniform have all made sacrifices in service to our country,” Warren said. “The Aid and Attendance program is a critical lifeline for the thousands of older veterans who just need a helping hand for basic daily activities. Unfortunately, the program is being undermined by scams, putting our veterans at even greater financial risk and wasting taxpayer dollars. This legislation will help put a stop to these financial scams and ensure that we honor our commitments to our veterans."
Rubio’s and Warren’s proposal has the support of a host of veterans groups including the American Legion, the Association of the U.S. Army, the Association of the U.S. Navy, the Fleet Reserve Association, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Military Officers Association of America and the Retired Enlisted Association.