The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

October 8, 2009

2 veterans' bills pass House

Congressman Parker Griffith, D-Alabama, supported two bills Tuesday designed to help veterans.

The bills were passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday night and now go to the Senate for a vote.

Approved was the Senate-amended version of the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, which Griffith co-sponsored.

Veterans’ organizations have endorsed H.R. 1016 as one of the most important bills for veterans and their families. It authorizes Congress to approve investments in the Department of Veterans Affairs. This will provide medical care one year in advance to allow time for the VA to plan how to deliver the best care to a growing number of veterans with increasingly complex medical conditions.

“Veterans issues are not Republican or Democratic issues,” Griffith said. “Our men and women in uniform fight for our freedom every day, and I am proud my colleagues in the House who overwhelmingly supported them with these votes on Tuesday. As we move toward Veterans Day, we must not forget that our soldiers deserve all of our efforts, thoughts and prayers every single day of the year.”

Griffith also voted Tuesday night for the Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act, which ensures that payments provided under the Defense Housing Assistance Program are exempt from taxes. The legislation — H.R. 3590 — also extends the first-time homebuyer credit for qualifying service members past the original Nov. 30 deadline to December 2010.

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