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  • VA Sec. Shinseki isn’t leading and must get out of the way
    Posted in Op-Eds on May 12, 2014 | Preview rr
    Tags: Veterans

    My late father was a WWII and a Korean War combat veteran who retired as an Army master sergeant. I would often hear him say that the best officers were the ones who “took care of their troops.” The mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is to “take care of the troops” by providing them with the benefits that the men and women who served our nation in uniform, and who were often required to make tremendous sacrifices in defense of our freedom, have earned. Since January of 2013, I’ve... Read more

  • Time for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to get out of the way
    Posted in Op-Eds on May 9, 2014 | Preview rr
    Tags: Veterans

    My late father was a World War II and Korean War combat veteran who retired as an Army master sergeant. I would often hear him say that the best officers were the ones who “took care of their troops.” The mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs is to “take care of the troops” by providing them with the benefits earned by the men and women who served our nation in uniform, and who were often required to make tremendous sacrifices in defense of our freedom. Since January 2013, I’ve served as... Read more

  • Bill would battle sex trafficking
    Posted in Op-Eds on April 29, 2014 | Preview rr
    Tags: National Security, Transportation

    It is not a well-known fact that the fastest-growing segment of organized crime, as well as the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world, is sex trafficking. And while many believe this is only an international problem that pervades Third World countries, the unfortunate reality is that sex trafficking also occurs here in the United States. The United Nations estimates that there is $9 billion in revenue generated from sex trafficking in the U.S. alone. Moreover, according to the Departmen... Read more

  • Combating sexual assaults in the military
    Posted in Op-Eds on March 12, 2014 | Preview rr
    Tags: National Security

    We must end the scourge of sexual assaults in our military. When young women decide to serve their nation in the armed services, they should never be forced to live under a cloud of intimidation or sexual harassment. This is a challenge the military must confront and overcome. During my own military career, I have witnessed quite a number of challenges that the military has had to confront. Each time, it overcame the obstacles, and always emerged as a more effective fighting force. For example, ... Read more

  • Pressure building on VA hospital projects
    Posted in Op-Eds on February 7, 2014 | Preview rr
    Tags: Veterans

    It is time for the federal government to fulfill its promise to our nation’s veterans and get our VA hospitals built, on time and without excessive and avoidable cost overruns. That’s why we are pushing bipartisan legislation to reform a broken bureaucratic system that has been harming our nation’s veterans and wasting precious taxpayer resources. As a Republican from Colorado and a Democrat from Arizona, respectively, we stand united in our desire to see the Aurora VA hospital in Colorado and o... Read more

  • Higher cost for many under Obamacare
    Posted in Op-Eds on December 12, 2013 | Preview rr
    Tags: Health Care

    Obamacare was supposed to “bend the cost curve” when it comes to our nation’s spending on health care but the concerns from my constituents I’ve received in the last few months pertain to increases in health care insurance premiums and reduced benefits through much higher deductibles. One constituent from Aurora wrote: “I was notified by Kaiser Permanente that the current plan in which I am enrolled in will be cancelled beginning Jan. 1, 2014, and I would need to enroll in another program. I hav... Read more

  • A Thanksgiving Message
    Posted in Op-Eds on November 27, 2013 | Preview rr

    Thanksgiving is a day when we focus less on what we lack, and more on what we have. Each and every one of us, as Americans – whether rich or poor – has at least one thing about which to be truly grateful. We live in a remarkable country where people of all political stripes and all religious convictions are able to disagree amicably without fear of persecution or reprisal. As an Army and a Marine Corps veteran with five overseas deployments, I know that is not the case in so many other parts of ... Read more

  • Thank a Veteran This Veterans Day
    Posted in Op-Eds on November 8, 2013 | Preview rr
    Tags: Veterans

    I did not serve in the Vietnam War—the last U.S ground troops were departing South Vietnam in August 1972 just as I was completing Army basic training. I finished my two-year enlistment in 1974 and came back home to enroll as a student at the University of Colorado. I remember sitting in class one day when the subject of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War came up. One student argued that the only ones who allowed themselves to be drafted and sent to Vietnam were too dumb to know how to avo... Read more

  • Reducing Claims Backlog for Veterans
    Posted in Op-Eds on November 1, 2013 | Preview rr
    Tags: Veterans

    During my time serving on the House Veteran’s Affairs Committee, I have been witness to a strong bipartisanship and dedication to get positive results for our veterans. All of us on the Committee share the desire to serve our veterans and do everything we can to help the VA operate more efficiently and effectively. I am pleased to report this desire goes beyond the Veteran’s Affairs Committee and is present in the entire House of Representatives. Earlier this year, I along with over 150 Members ... Read more

  • Time to Reform the Patriot Act
    Posted in Op-Eds on October 25, 2013 | Preview rr
    Tags: National Security

    This week I decided to sign on as an original cosponsor of the USA Freedom Act. This legislation, sponsored by the original author of the Patriot Act and expected to be introduced on Tuesday, October 29, reforms current law to better protect the constitutional liberties of our nation’s citizens. Section 215 of the Patriot Act authorized the collection of a limited amount of information (“business records”) in order to assist in terrorism investigations. However, in 2006, the Foreign Intelligence... Read more

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