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Old 05-15-2018, 06:01 AM
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Arrow This week in Congress: Major vets legislation on the move

This week in Congress: Major vets legislation on the move
By: Leo Shane III - 5-14-18
RE: https://www.militarytimes.com/news/p...n-on-the-move/

WASHINGTON — In between two weeks of debate over the annual defense authorization bill, House lawmakers will vote on a similar veterans omnibus measure this week which would have wide-ranging impact on that population.

House leadership will bring up the VA MISSION Act this week, which includes a community care overhaul for the Department of Veterans Affairs, an extension of veterans caregivers stipends, and plans for a asset review of VA facilities throughout the country.

The measure is expected to pass and be taken up by the Senate in coming days as well. If lawmakers can’t pass the measure by the end of the month, it could jeopardize tens of thousands of veterans medical appointments whose funding is expected to run out in coming weeks.

The veterans omnibus measure could be the most comprehensive bill the House considers until a full chamber vote on the defense authorization bill, which passed out of the House Armed Services Committee last week.

Tuesday, May 15

Senate Select Intelligence — 9:30 a.m. — Dirksen 106
Nominations
The committee will consider the nomination of William Evanina to be director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center.

Senate Appropriations — 10 a.m. — Dirksen 192
Army budget
Committee members will hear from Army officials on the fiscal 2019 budget request.

Wednesday, May 16

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Cannon 334
Members’ views
The committee will hear from fellow House members on their priorities for Veterans Affairs policies for fiscal 2019.

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — Dirksen 419
AUMF debate
The committee will hear from outside experts on a proposal for a new military force authorization for the fight against ISIS.

Senate Commerce and Science — 2:30 p.m. — Russell 253
International Space Station
The committee will hear from outside officials on the future of the International Space Station.

Senate Appropriations — 2:30 p.m. — Dirksen 192
Drug interdiction
Homeland Security officials will testify before the committee on drug enforcement activities and national security ramifications.

Thursday, May 17

House Select Intelligence — 9 a.m. — TBA
Chinese military expansion
The committee will hear from outside experts on national security threats posed by recent Chinese military moves.

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Cannon 334
VA health research
The subcommittee on oversight and investigations will hear from department officials on recent advances in health research.

Senate Appropriations — 10 a.m. — Dirksen 192
Air Force budget
Committee members will hear from Air Force officials on the fiscal 2019 budget request.

House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — Cannon 334
VA employment program
The committee will hear from department officials on their vocational rehabilitation and employment programs.

About the writer: Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies.
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:09 AM
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Arrow Scam Alert: Top Five Veteran Swindles

Scam Alert: Top Five Veteran Swindles
By: John Wasik
RE: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwas.../#3b17c93d60fe

Aside from elderly fraud, scams targeting veterans really burns my bacon. Men and women who have proudly served our country are constant targets for scam artists.

Swindlers target vets because they know they are drawing guaranteed benefits. While veteran payments are paid over a lifetime, they often aren't enough to pay all of the bills. Financial predators know this.

According the the AARP Fraud Watch Network, there are a host of scams aimed at vets. Many of these operations masquerade as charities that claim to benefit vets. Here are the major scams:

Bogus sales – "A scammer claiming to be a deploying service member posts a large ticket item on a classified ad website that he needs to sell right away and at a steep discount. The scammer asks for upfront payment with a wire transfer or gift cards.


Real estate rip-off – A scammer posts a fake rental property on a classified ad website offering military discounts. You just need to wire transfer a security deposit to the landlord.

VA phishing – A caller claiming to be from the Department of Veterans Affairs calls to "update" your information.

Fake charities – Fake charities use names that are close to the names of legitimate charities, often referencing Armed Forces, veterans, or military families.

Benefits "buyout" – Scammers will target veterans in need of money by offering cash in exchange for their future disability or pension payments. These buyouts are typically a fraction of the value of the benefit.

Dubious investment advice – An “adviser” will tell the veteran she is missing out on benefits, and wants to review her investment portfolio. He’ll then want to put the veteran’s investments in a trust, to appear to have fewer assets and to therefore be eligible for an additional pension."

Note: The "benefits buyout" scam also goes by the name of "pension advances." A company will offer to "buy" monthly pension payments in exchange for a lump-sum payment. It's actually an unregulated, high-interest loan.

I've written about pension advances several times. Don't even go near them.

The best way to protect yourself against vet scams? Avoid all mail, email and phone solicitations. If the solicitor claims to be from a charity, check them out on give.org.

The Fraud Watch network also gives the following advice:

"Be suspicious anytime you are asked to pay by wire transfer or gift cards. Know that the VA will never call, text or e-mail you to update your information. Make donations directly to the veterans’ organizations you know. And only work with VA-accredited representatives when dealing with VA benefits; you can search for them online at the VA Office of General Counsel website."

About the writer: John F. Wasik is the author of "Lightning Strikes," "Keynes's Way to Wealth"and 15 other books on innovation, money and life.
__________________
Boats

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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