Special to the
Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) spoke last week on the Senate floor to urge his colleagues to support a vote on his bipartisanMilitary Widow’s Tax Elimination Act of 2019, which is currently cosponsored by a record-high 75 senators. Jones requested the bill’s passage by unanimous consent during deliberations on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), but his request was blocked by a Republican senator. The next opportunity to move the legislation forward comes in two weeks, when the House of Representatives debates its own version of the NDAA.
During his remarks, Jones was joined last week in the gallery of the Senate by dozens of military widows and advocates who had hoped to see the long-awaited passage of the bill.
After his floor speech, Jones issued the following statement on his reaction to the objection and his plan to continue engaging Senate and House leaders to pass the bill:
“I am incredibly frustrated that my request to pass the military widow’s tax repeal was blocked. This is sadly indicative of a bigger problem we have in the Senate where we don’t vote on amendments and the only bills that can get to the floor for a vote are simply the result of back-room political deals.
“But we’re not going to give up, and we’re not going to stop trying. I’m going to keep working with leaders in both the Senate and the House to try to get this passed. We will have another opportunity in the House in two weeks, and I will be active in encouraging my House counterparts to act where the Senate has failed. The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee indicated that he would be interested in passing this bill through a different means than the NDAA. I appreciate that commitment and am hopeful that we can work together to achieve that goal. It’s just the right thing to do, so I’m going to keep fighting until it’s done. Plain and simple.”