Congressman Connolly is proud to represent more than 80,000 veterans and their families in Northern Virginia. He has fought to make sure our veterans have quality health care, better pay, and access to services throughout their lives and to ensure quality and consistent services during the COVID-19 pandemic. In recognition of his efforts, Our Military Kids, an organization dedicated to helping military children, awarded him the "Friend of Military Kids" award for his work on behalf of military families. In addition, Congressman Connolly has consistently received a perfect score from the Military Officers Association of America.
Since coming to Congress, he has fought for more reliable funding for veteran health care, new investments in treating traumatic brain injuries sustained by our servicemembers, and improved assistance for homeless veterans. Congressman Connolly has introduced legislation and helped advance legislative efforts on behalf of veterans:
- The Federal Worker Leave Fairness Act, which would ensure disabled veterans are able to fully utilize their benefits amid disruptions in veterans’ health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- H.R. 7789, a bill that would better address domestic violence in the U.S. military by creating a system of Military Court Protective Orders and establishing a Military-Civilian Task Force on Domestic Violence. Thislegislation was included in the House-passed version of the FY2021 NDAA.
- The Families of Fallen Servicemembers First Act, which ensures the immediate payment of military death benefits to survivors of fallen servicemembers during a lapse in appropriations and expand the transferability of education assistance to veterans’ dependents. This legislation was enacted as part of the 2019 Department of Defense Appropriations Act.
Congressman Connolly has helped advance legislation to minimize increases to TRICARE premiums, supported a grace period for beneficiaries in need, and ensured these fees do not apply to active duty family members, transitional survivors, and medically retired retirees or family members. He has supported legislation to provide free postal benefits for troops in combat zones, provide disability compensation for PTSD, allow military retirees to pay their health care premiums with pre-tax dollars, expand the eligibility for concurrent receipt of military retired pay and veterans' disability compensation, and provide education and respite care support services for family caregivers.
Congressman Connolly believes that we have a sacred obligation to ensure that the men and women who sacrifice so much to defend our freedoms receive the services and benefits that they have earned. That starts with a functional and well-run Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, he has led Congressional oversight efforts to improve management accountability at the VA, reduce VA backlogs, and help veterans access care at private facilities when they are unable to do so at VA centers in a timely manner. He also has supported legislation that directs the VA to establish a “Buddy Week” and provide additional resources for peer-to-peer support to veterans in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Any veteran who finds him or herself in need of assistance should know that Congressman Connolly's door is always open.