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Lawmakers Want to Overturn Civil War-era Ban on Attorneys: A bill introduced by members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee would permit veterans to hire lawyers to represent them in efforts to obtain federal benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. A law enacted nearly 150 years ago prohibits veterans from seeking legal help to work through a maze of VA regulations and provisions. Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), the co-sponsor of the legislation, said, “This overdue change will significantly improve veterans’ access to the VA and expedite just outcomes.”