U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee, and Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, a member of the committee, announced a new Senate leave policy for wounded warriors.
The policy was authorized under H.R. 6160, the House companion measure to a bill introduced by Hyde-Smith, that passed the Senate by unanimous consent and was signed into law in December 2018. The legislation amended the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act to ensure disabled veterans working in the legislative branch have leave available to them to attend medical appointments.
“We should be doing everything we can to support wounded warriors who pursue careers in public service,” said Blunt. “The knowledge, experience, and perspective they’ve gained through their military service would be an asset to any office. I hope these commonsense changes will go a long way toward encouraging more veterans to work here in the Senate.”
“When we ask our young men and women to fight in defense of our nation, we make a promise that we will support them when they return home, no matter what job they pursue,” said Klobuchar. “By ensuring that veterans working in the legislative branch can take the leave they need, we’re telling them that their experience and expertise are important to the law-making process, and that Congress will prioritize their wellness when they serve our country here on Capitol Hill.”
“Veterans can offer unique perspectives to the work done in the Senate, and barriers to their service are unacceptable, especially true for wounded warriors,” said Hyde-Smith. “The Rules Committee’s leave guidelines should remove obstacles to work in the Senate, as now directed by law. I believe we are creating more opportunities for wounded warriors by ensuring they can work and still see their doctors and make medical appointments.”
As directed under H.R. 6160, the new regulations allow veterans to take additional leave to seek medical treatment for a service-connected disability. These regulations complete the process of guaranteeing that service-disabled veterans in the Senate have access to the same leave to seek treatment as those in the executive branch.