July 09, 2020

Rep. Mike Levin Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Transition Assistance Program Counseling for Servicemembers Returning to Civilian Life

San Juan Capistrano, CA – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA), Chair of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, introduced legislation to strengthen the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) by improving counseling pathways for servicemembers returning to civilian life.

Rep. Levin’s bill builds on the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019, which required each military service secretary, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Veterans Affairs, to establish at least three pathways for their members receiving individualized TAP counseling. Those pathways are tailored based on a number of factors, including rank, term of service, disability, health, military occupational specialty, members’ educational and employment history, and much more. Rep. Levin’s legislation makes technical fixes to address problems with the program and creates new factors to determine pathways, including child care requirements of servicemembers, employment status of others in their household, members’ duty station location, and more.

“As Chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, one of my top priorities is ensuring that servicemembers have all of the support they need to start a new career when they leave the service, and the Transition Assistance Program is fundamental to that effort,” said Rep. Levin. “Now more than ever, it’s critical that the program adequately serves every servicemember, and it’s clear that a number of fixes are needed to meet their needs. These resources are also critical as we work to address veteran suicide, which can often be driven by economic distress. I look forward to working with my colleagues to make sure these much-needed fixes are made as soon as possible.”

Last year, Rep. Levin introduced the Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William "Bill" Mulder (Ret.) Transition Improvement Act of 2019, a bipartisan bill that also improves the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for servicemembers returning to civilian life. That bill passed the House last year.