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The United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs deals with oversight of United States "veterans issues.



It was created in 1970 to transfer responsibilities for veterans from the Finance and Labor committees to a single panel. From 1947 to 1970, matters relating to veterans compensation and veterans generally were referred to the Committee on Finance, while matters relating to the vocational rehabilitation, education, medical care, civil relief, and civilian readjustment of veterans were referred to the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare.[1]

Congressional legislation affecting veterans changed over the years. For the members of the armed forces and their families in the nation's early wars – the "Revolutionary War, the "War of 1812, the "Mexican War, the "Civil War and the "Spanish–American War – the response of the federal government had been essentially financial. This was clearly the legislative mission of the Senate Committee on Pensions which was created as one of the Senate's original standing committees in 1816 and continued until its termination in the "Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946.[1]

During World War I the nature of the congressional response to veterans' needs changed towards a more diversified set of programs. A war risk insurance program, which was referred to the "Senate Finance Committee, changed the consideration of veterans benefits in the Senate. The Finance Committee was the Senate standing committee most responsible for veterans programs from 1917 to 1946. After World War II, the Finance Committee handled the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, the "GI Bill of Rights, which extended to servicemen and their families, a number of benefits including unemployment assistance, education, vocational training, housing and business loan guarantees, as well as the traditional medical and pension benefits of previous times. Many experts believe this law was one of the most important elements in the expansion of the middle class following World War II.[1]

The Veterans Affairs Committee had nine members in its initial congress, the 92nd Congress (1971–73). It now has a total of 15 members.[1]

Members, 115th Congress[edit]

Majority Minority

According to committee members' official online biographies, three of the fourteen members are veterans: "Richard Blumenthal, "Dan Sullivan and "Johnny Isakson.

Previous Congresses[edit]

Members, "110th Congress[edit]

Majority Minority

Members, 111th Congress[edit]

Majority Minority

Source: 2009 "Congressional Record, Vol. 155, Page S5168 and 2010 "Congressional Record, Vol. 156, Page S970

Members, 112th Congress[edit]

Majority Minority

Source: 2011 "Congressional Record, Vol. 157, Page S557

Members, 113th Congress[edit]

Majority Minority

Source: 2013 "Congressional Record, Vol. 159, Page S296 to 297

Members, 114th Congress[edit]

Majority Minority

Source: [4]

Chairmen of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 1971–present[edit]

Name Party State Years
"Vance Hartke "Democratic "Indiana 1971–1977
"Alan Cranston "Democratic "California 1977–1981
"Alan K. Simpson "Republican "Wyoming 1981–1985
"Frank Murkowski "Republican "Alaska 1985–1987
"Alan Cranston "Democratic "California 1987–1993
"Jay Rockefeller "Democratic "West Virginia 1993–1995
"Alan K. Simpson "Republican "Wyoming 1995–1997
"Arlen Specter "Republican "Pennsylvania 1997–2001
"Jay Rockefeller "Democratic "West Virginia 2001–2003
"Arlen Specter "Republican "Pennsylvania 2003–2005
"Larry Craig "Republican "Idaho 2005–2007
"Daniel Akaka "Democratic "Hawaii 2007–2011
"Patty Murray "Democratic "Washington 2011–2013
"Bernie Sanders "Independent "Vermont 2013–2015
"Johnny Isakson "Republican "Georgia 2015–present

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "About | United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs". United States Senate. Retrieved 2017-04-07.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the "public domain.
  2. ^ a b c d Bernie Sanders is an Independent, but caucuses with Democrats on the committee.
  3. ^ "U.S. Senate: Committee on Veterans' Affairs". www.senate.gov. Retrieved January 8, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Committee on Veterans' Affairs Members, 2015-2016". Ballotpedia. Ballotpedia. 

External links[edit]

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