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For Country Caucus

Bipartisan For Country Caucus Touts Lengthy List Of Wins in 2020 NDAA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, the Chairs of the bipartisan For Country Caucus – which is comprised of veterans serving in Congress – celebrated a lengthy list of accomplishments for the military, veterans and military families in the 2020 Fiscal Year National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which President Donald J. Trump will sign into law today.

“As a veteran, I understand the importance of supporting our military and fostering global security, stability and economic prosperity,” said Caucus co-chairman Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.). “The 2020 NDAA has made major improvements to help our military and their family members such as authorizing a 3.1 percent pay increase, the largest in a decade, approving $743 billion for national defense, including $5.3 billion in emergency funding for military installations affected by recent natural disasters and permanently ends the ‘widow tax’ mandatory offset to survivor benefits.”

“As veterans, we know what it means to not only serve but also to complete the mission,” Caucus co-chairman Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) said. “The legislation behind these policies is a testament to our commitment to bipartisanship as well as our desire to serve our communities and country.”

“As veterans who have served this nation both in the military and now in Congress, we have the capacity to heal this country and overcome divides," said Caucus Vice Chair Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.). "I am so proud of the bipartisan work we have accomplished and look forward to another year of finding common ground and elevating the issues that affect us all."

“As military veterans, we are mission-focused to achieve results,” Caucus Vice Chair Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) said. “Although our caucus may be in its infancy, each of us has taken the military ethos of service and our shared value of bipartisanship to make our country a better place and to make Congress more efficient. I am proud that together, we were able to accomplish our mission and deliver a strong list of polices to improve the lives of service members and their families.”

Notable For Country Caucus-sponsored legislation included:

  • Reimbursing Gold Star families for the costs of transporting fallen servicemembers’ remains to a national cemetery
  • Supporting paid parental leave
  • Better Military Housing Act (Tenant Bill of Rights), which sets minimum acceptable livability standards for military personnel and their families
  • Phase out of the Widow’s Tax
  • Authorization of 4,000 additional visas for Afghan allies as well as extending the application period to 2021
  • Requiring full military honors for veterans awarded the Medal of Honor or prisoner-of-war medal
  • Expanding financial assistance to civilian providers of child care services for survivors of servicemembers killed in the line of duty
  • Requiring senior military officials to meet with survivors of deceased service members to receive feedback on issues affecting survivors
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