Sen. Doug Jones applauds House passage of the ‘Widow’s Tax Elimination Act of 2019’; bill has 75 cosponsors

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State capitol building in Montgomery, Alabama, at night

Special to the
Opelika Observer

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) released the statement below on the news that the House of Representatives has passed its version of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which included his bipartisan legislation to eliminate the Military Widow’s Tax.
Senator Jones has continuously engaged his House counterparts at the leadership and committee level to ensure support for the legislation and its inclusion in the House version of the NDAA.
“By passing this bill, the House of Representatives has taken an important step forward toward eliminating the Military Widow’s Tax once and for all. It’s long past time that Congress does its duty to these families and repeals this unfair law,” Jones said, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I will continue to do everything I can to ensure this bill makes it in to the final defense bill so we can finally get this done for our Gold Star families.”
The bill now heads to conference committee, where the discrepancies in the Senate and House versions of the bills will be reconciled. The conference bill will then need final approval in both the Senate and the House before it can go to the President to be signed into law.
Legislation to repeal the Military Widow’s Tax has been repeatedly introduced in the Senate during the last 18 years, but has reached an unprecedented level of support under Senator Jones’s leadership. With Senator Jones as the lead sponsor, the bill has earned a record-high of 75 cosponsors in the Senate.
If signed into law, this legislation will repeal the unfair law that prevents as many as 65,000 surviving military spouses nationwide from receiving their full Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs survivor benefits. Currently, military widows and widowers who qualify for the VA’s Dependency and Indemnity Compensation are forced to take prorated annuities from the Survivors Benefits Plan, even though they elected to pay into the program.

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