Thursday, August 28, 2008

Operation Rescue HR 6562

We think HR 6562, as Congressman Filner originally intended it, is worthy of a rescue attempt.

We asked for the support of other Veterans groups yesterday, and were rebuffed. So we are in this alone. The reality is that this effort is likely to fail. But unless and until that becomes crystal clear and the clock has run out, we will continue to press for the passage of HR 6562 this session in the form based on the way Chairman Filner introduced it, plus the inclusion of the Veterans of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. We are committed to giving the effort required to get the bill passed. We will not waste the marvelous effort you have made so far in contacting your Representatives and Senators while they are on recess. We will not waste an opportunity to take a large segment of the Veterans exposed to Agent Orange out of the category of "without benefits."

To that end we think the first step is to provide some input into the process. So rather than do a letter writing campaign, we would suggest a fax and email campaign. We need to convince Chairman Filner and Congressman Hall to reset the bill. We have a bill on its way to Chairman Filner's office for his consideration. It contains the elements Chairman Filner had in his initial version of the bill. It includes the TLC Veterans Congressman Filner added to the mix in late July. That will be all of the Veterans who were originally intended to be covered by the Agent Orange Act of 1991, who were stripped of their benefits by various illegally done policy changes made by the DVA. Retroactive benefits are covered in the bill, including coverage for widows and other survivors of Veterans covered under the bill who died while the claim was being processed.

You can help by going to Congressman Filner's House Veterans Affairs Committee website and getting contact info and faxing or emailing him urging him to back HR 6562 as originally intended.

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
335 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

or fax your letter to: (202) 225-2034

or call: (202) 225-9756

You can also contact Mr. Filner at the following locations:

333 F Street, Suite A 1101 Airport Road, Suite D
Chula Vista, CA 91910
Imperial, CA 92251

Phone: (619) 422-5963 Phone: (760) 355-8800
Fax: (619) 422-7290
Fax: (760) 355-8802

Washington, DC Office:

2428 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-8045
Fax: (202) 225-9073

Recommendation: If you live near DC, visit their offices. They are right off the metro at the capitol complex. If not, don't bother to write as it takes at least a month to go through all the Homeland Security stuff. Fax or call. Urge the Chairman to get HR 6562 passed this term and then float a new bill to cover everyone else. That way the original people covered will not be forced to wait while all the new stuff gets filtered through committees in both houses, as the new bill will.

Also, contact Congressman John Hall of NY. He chairs the Sub Committee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs. That is where HR 6562 currently sits. We need to enlist his help in convincing Filner to change his mind about HR 6562, and get it through this year.

You can email him using this site:

We have 14 Senators ready to sponsor a concurrent bill in the Senate to save time. Let both these gentlemen know this.

The bill can still go through. Congress doesn't start working until after the Republican Convention, so look for them in Mid September to return, but their staffs ARE working and if they get enough traffic they will get their bosses to go to bat for this!

If you hear that other Veterans have added a bunch to the bill, simply say, "They don't speak for all Veterans. We think we can get this through. Will you help?"

Good luck and God Bless you for your forebearance, understanding and courage to go the extra mile for this bill.


”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows than as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

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  1. Anonymous15:06

    At the risk of appearing to be some kind of a dum-dum; where do we get our info that HR 6562 in its original form is dead?? All I've seen is a letter from people at BWN requesting you have something from Filner, not a phone call to some aide, etc??? An actual statement from Mr Filner?? I still say the original bill can be modified to cover any military who had contact with AO; this can be done during the debate period.

  2. See the next post.