Andresen, a father of three, takes advantage of the Veterans Retraining and Assistance Program. He puts his stipend into school and works part time at the college, making his benefit payments paramount to his family.
“The whole government shutdown was kind of frustrating, because you didn’t know what was coming next,” Andresen said.
When the shutdown ended Oct. 16, the VA announced it would make the payments scheduled for Nov. 1.
Braley, who represented Clinton County in the First Congressional District before redistricting and is now campaigning for retiring Sen. Tom Harkin’s seat, was one of a handful of Democratic House members to vote with Republicans on the 35 bills that would have at least partially reopened government. But he also opposed four of five resolutions that would have avoided the interruption in government services.
“In the shutdown, knowing that some of those checks and checks for fees and educational needs were either delayed or likely to be delayed was a huge concern especially when you have people whose lives are in place depending on that money being there,” Braley said.
Since the shutdown ended, Braley has pushed for the passage of the Putting Veterans Funding First Act, which would require Congress to fully fund the VA a year ahead of schedule to ensure veterans receive their benefits and keep all VA services operational in the event of another government shutdown.
“I’m going to keep fighting to make sure it’s funded because the demand for these programs has not gone away. And to me this is one of the ways we repay our veterans for sacrificing for us,” Braley said. “These programs are one of the best ways I know of to say thank you.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.