Senate Passes Tester Bill to Eliminate Tax on Gold Star Families
Bipartisan legislation eliminates Trump’s tax on Defense Department benefits for surviving children
(U.S. Senate) – The Senate today unanimously passed legislation from U.S. Senator Jon Tester to eliminate the tax burden placed on Gold Star children and their families by President Trump’s disastrous tax bill. The bill’s passage comes on the same day Tester joined a bipartisan group of colleagues to call for passage of the Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act, a push to help the more than 65,000 military widows and widowers nationwide receive the full survivor benefits they are due.
The Military Kiddie’s Tax Elimination Bill, also known as the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, amends a provision in Trump’s 2017 tax bill that substantially increased taxes on children receiving survivor benefits because they lost a parent in the line of duty. The legislation retroactively reverses the increase for Fiscal Year 2018 and permanently repeals the malicious provision inserted in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.
“Gold Star families have endured the unimaginable on behalf of our nation,” said Senator Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “In return for the life of a loved one, our country provides these grieving families with some basic financial support. But these families have been subjected to loopholes that have slashed these basic benefits—and today is a step in the right direction towards the fix they deserve.”
In Montana, there are about 3,500 military survivors affected by the “Widow’s tax” and about 200 affected by the “Kiddie Tax.”
The March to Memorial Day
VA and “Carry the Load” Team up to Honor the Fallen
This year, the VA’s National Cemetery Administration is partnering with “Carry the Load” with the goal of honoring veterans and restoring the true meaning of Memorial Day. Carry The Load, an organization dedicated to remembering the fallen, established three marching routes that thousands of participants will take as they relay toward Dallas, Texas, from April 25 through May 22. The route will cover over 11,000 miles, with stops at 26 VA National Cemeteries in 17 states. In conjunction with the arrival of Carry the Load and its relay teams, each national cemetery along the route will unveil a commemorative “Tribute to the Fallen” plaque honoring veterans and Gold Star families.
Read more here.
Toxic Chemicals Town Hall Meeting
Toxic Chemicals in the Military Town Hall Meeting
What Agent Orange, Burn Pits and Low Grade Radiation exposure is doing now and for Generations to come
Find out what our Veterans are dealing with and how it can affect their loved ones
MSU Petro Theater, Billings Montana
June 1st 2019, 2 PM
Hosted and sponsored by:
Combat Veterans Motorcycle Assoc. 46-3 Billings
MSU Billings Military and Veterans Success Center
Vietnam Veterans of America
For information contact:
Veterans and Service Providers:
Arbor Elite Tree Company
Billings, MT, 59106
Phone: (406) 890-0277
Is seeking veterans who would like to join their
PROFESSIONAL TREE TRIMMING SERVICE
Please have a look at their website
or call Joey at (406) 890-0277
Houses passes H.R. 299 Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veteran Act
|Houses passes H.R. 299 Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veteran Act by a vote of 410-0
(Washington, D.C.) — “On the eve of the House vote on H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, VVA applauds Veterans Affairs Chair Mark Takano (D-CA) and Ranking Member Dr. Phil Roe (R-TN) for their leadership and their deep resolve in ensuring our Blue Water Navy veterans receive the healthcare and benefits they have earned by virtue of their service during the Vietnam War,” said John Rowan, VVA National President. “We expect that our Senators in the 116th Congress will do the right thing and pass the bill when it appears before them.”
H.R.299, the first bill introduced this Congress by Chair Takano, is similar to a bill that was passed unanimously in the House of Representatives last Congress but was stalled in the Senate by Sens. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Mike Lee (R-UT), despite overwhelming bipartisan support. Members from both sides of the aisle will again vote to extend benefits to some 90,000 service members who served in the territorial waters off Vietnam and were exposed to Agent Orange.
“Contrary to the VA’s assertions, noted Rowan, “we have the science that shows the pathways of exposure to this insidious herbicide.” Earlier this year, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie voiced opposition to the legislation, reversing an earlier commitment by his predecessor, Dr. David Shulkin, to “do the right thing.” Secretary Wilke has now reversed his earlier position and has urged the administration not to appeal the U.S. Appeals Court decision in Alfred Procopio, Jr., V. Robert Wilkie, which will, in fact, restore healthcare and benefits to many veterans who served in the waters off Vietnam. It will also extend benefits to veterans who served in Thailand and those who served along the DMZ in Korea at any time. “We applaud Secretary Wilke for his support in moving forward to assist Blue Water Navy Veterans,” said Rowan.
In February 2002, the VA abruptly terminated benefits to the 534,300+ Blue Water U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and FMF Marine veterans, thereby limiting the scope of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 to veterans who could provide proof of “boots on the ground” in Vietnam which encompassed ground forces and the inland rivers. Suddenly, offshore veterans stopped receiving VA health care and disability compensation. The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, when signed into law, will right this wrong.
Mokie Pratt Porter
Director of Communications