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Sen. Ossoff’s Bipartisan Bill to Help Veterans Access Service Records & Benefits Passes Key Senate Committee

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff brought Democrats and Republicans together to advance his bipartisan bill to help veterans access the service benefits they’ve earned.

Last week, the Senate Homeland Security Committee unanimously passed Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan Access for Veterans to Records Act, which would help eliminate the backlog of veterans’ service records at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) and ensure veterans can access the benefits and care they deserve.

Veterans are often required to present their military records to access critical care and benefits veterans earn through their service to the nation. The NPRC currently has a backlog of nearly half a million record requests from veterans and their families.

“It can take months and months or even years for veterans to access their military service records. And while they await those records, they can’t access the benefits they’ve earned through their service in defense of our nation,” Sen. Ossoff said.“I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle today and the Chair and the Ranking Member for advancing on a unanimous bipartisan basis my Access for Veterans to Records Act.”

Last week, Sen. Ossoff questioned Dr. Colleen Shogan, Nominee to be Archivist at the United States National Archives and Records Administration — which oversees these veteran records — about the backlog and secured a commitment to work together and find creative solutions to reduce the backlog and help veterans access the benefits they’ve earned.

Click here to watch Sen. Ossoff’s remarks:

Please find a transcript below:

SEN. OSSOFF: “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle today and the Chair and the Ranking Member for advancing on a unanimous bipartisan basis my Access for Veterans to Records Act

“I’m sure that you’ve all heard from veterans in your states as I have from veterans in Georgia about the difficulties that they have accessing their veterans benefits because of the huge backlog at the National Personnel Records Center. 

“It can take months and months or even years for veterans to access their military service records. And while they await those records, they can’t access the benefits they’ve earned through their service in defense of our nation. 

“So we’ve sent a strong signal unanimously on a bipartisan basis today sending this legislation to the floor, and I want to express my gratitude to all of my colleagues for their support. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”

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