Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rep. Gus Bilirakis update on Veterans legislation

Rightardia got this in an email today. We cover veteran news regardless of political party. 

Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have worked very hard to ensure our veterans continue to remain a top priority. As Vice-Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, I am proud of the many strides we have made in honor of our nation's heroes and pleased my colleagues in the Senate and House, especially Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), continued these efforts in the final days of the 112th Congress by passing two important pieces of legislation benefitting veterans.

The Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act (H.R. 4057), which I authored, and the Dignified Burial of Veterans Act (S. 3202), which includes language I introduced in the House, are currently awaiting President Obama’s signature.

H.R. 4057 enhances the Post 9/11 GI Bill, ensuring veterans’ educational benefits are used most efficiently and effectively. It highlights available educational resources to help GI Bill beneficiaries choose the school best meeting their educational needs. It also limits the total amount of taxpayer dollars which can be paid to senior VA employees in bonuses.

I hope this important legislation is swiftly signed into law, so our nation’s heroes can maximize their educational opportunities and reintegrate into the civilian workforce with the skills and training they need to succeed.

S. 3202 requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide caskets or urns for veterans with no next of kin and insufficient resources to cover burial and funeral expenses. The legislation comes after it was discovered that Pvt. Lawrence Davis Jr., a World War II veteran with no next of kin, was buried in a cardboard box at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Fla.

America's veterans deserve to be laid to rest the same way they served this nation: with dignity and honor. This legislation recognizes their service and ensures all veterans receive proper respect upon their passing.


Gus Bilirakis
Member of Congress

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