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Did Jon Stewart Inspire Democratic Veterans Bill?
Posted at 5:18 p.m. on May 23, 2013
Does a late-night comedy show affect Washington policymakers?
As much as Jon Stewart might lampoon us for saying so, it looks like the answer could be “yes.”
Earlier this month, Stewart’s “The Daily Show” ran a satirical exposé on a serious issue: the backlog of veterans affairs benefits claims that currently are not being processed by the government. On Thursday, a group of Democratic senators introduced legislation to help fund legal clinics at law schools doing pro-bono work on behalf of veterans.
Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., announced the Veterans Legal Support Act of 2013 to authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide financial support to either public or private law schools that have established programs to assist veterans attempting to file claims with the government.
“We have a responsibility to take care of our veterans and the VA isn’t currently doing enough. The claims backlog is unacceptable and we still have too many veterans out on the streets,” Shaheen said in a statement. “Some of our nation’s law schools are greatly reducing processing times for the most difficult benefits claims and expanding access to legal services, both of which are key to preventing homelessness. Our bill would authorize the VA to work more closely with these programs and lower barriers for additional schools to develop their own. Our goal is to have a veterans legal clinic in each state.”
You can read the bill text, obtained by WGDB, here.