U.S. House passes bills honoring vets’ service
U.S. Rep. John Tanner said that as Tennesseans commemorate Memorial Day and reflect on those who lost their lives in service to their country, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed several bills to honor service veterans and acknowledge the sacrifices military families are currently making.
Among more than a dozen military and veterans bills the House has passed in recent days:
• Final passage of the bipartisan Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act, which was written by the House Ways and Means Committee, on which Tanner serves. The HEART Act: makes permanent essential tax relief for military families, including tax relief under the Earned Income Tax Credit; provides incentives to make sure that reservists called up for active duty do not suffer a pay cut; clarifies the availability of recovery rebates for military families; and expands homeownership opportunities for veterans. The bill, which does not add to the national debt, now goes to the President for his signature.
• Permanent expansion of GI Bill educational benefits to post-9/11 veterans. At the insistence of Tanner and other members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats, the House authorized dedicated funding so the bill would not be subject to funding cuts in the future and would not add to the national debt.
• A cost-of-living increase for veterans’ disability benefits and to dependency and indemnity compensation for veterans’ families, effective Dec. 1.
• Let Our Veterans Rest in Peace Act of 2007, which increases the sentencing for those who steal from service veterans’ gravesites. Congressman Tanner is a co-sponsor of the legislation.
• A resolution acknowledging May as Military Appreciation Month.
Tanner, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and the Tennessee Army National Guard, serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee. He is chairman of the House delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Published in The Messenger 5.23.08