As a U.S. Army combat veteran, and as a former member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Max is focused on ensuring that we strengthen our sacred commitment to the tens of thousands of veterans in New York’s 11th Congressional District, as well as to all of the nation’s men and women who served.
One veteran dying by suicide is too many - but we’ve seen the staggering 20 veterans-per-day statistic persist for far too long. Max set out to change that, and he won’t stop fighting until we end veteran suicides once and for all. In Congress, Max led efforts to increase funding by $5 million for the Veterans Health Administration to hire more mental health professionals, the most-needed occupation according to the VA's Inspector General. And in his first year in office, Max introduced and passed the bipartisan FIGHT Veteran Suicides Act in response to tragedies of veterans dying by suicide on VA campuses, requiring VA to report to Congress key data points to better understand the scope of the epidemic.
Those that put their life on the line for our nation and its people deserve a fierce advocate; Max went to bat for them when in the halls of Congress and will do so again if he is elected. The VA must be fully funded, its staff members must be fully supported, and the VA must be equipped to support 21st Century veterans. This means ensuring VA medical facilities support the significant and growing number of women veterans. That’s why Max introduced the Breaking Barriers for Women Veterans Act to have VA medical facilities retrofitted to serve women veterans, which was signed into law.
Max also fought for veterans exposed to toxic chemicals through burn pits in the field of combat. Lastly, to provide better care and further combat the overdose epidemic amongst our veterans, Max also introduced legislation to ensure that parents with appointments at VA for substance use or counseling can access VA child care.
Keeping in mind that thousands of veterans pursue secondary education after their service, Max fought to put the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for veterans attending college on Staten Island on equal footing with the other four boroughs after years of being treated differently. Max successfully passed a provision in the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to increase the BAH for Staten Island, bringing the thousands of service members and student veterans on Staten Island closer to parity than any other Member of Congress had done for our district before.