WASHINGTON D.C., DC — The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to pass Congresswoman Elaine Luria's legislation that would put more money into the pockets of American veterans.
The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Act of 2019 would aid veterans, their families, and their survivors to help maintain the value of their benefits against inflation.
The bill specifically said it would provide cost-of-living increases for wartime disability compensation; compensation for dependents; clothing allowance; dependency and indemnity compensation to surviving spouses; and dependency and indemnity compensation to children.
This is Rep. Luria's first bill to clear the full House.
“In Congress, I have vowed to keep our nation's veterans at the top of my mind, and today I proudly deliver on that promise,” Congresswoman Luria said. “These heroes sacrificed family time and put their lives on the line to keep America safe. I urge my Senate colleagues to swiftly do their part in ensuring veterans get the benefits they have earned.”
View the full bill:
Before the bill was passed by a voice vote, Luria delivered the following on the House Floor:
Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak in support of my bipartisan bill, H.R. 1200, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019.
In Congress, I’ve vowed to keep our nation's veterans at the top of my mind, and I plan to deliver on that promise through this critical piece of legislation.
I represent a Coastal Virginia district with eight major military installations, including Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval station in the United States. So veterans are a clearly a critical part of my constituency, just as they are honored members of every congressional district across America.
Our veterans put their lives on the line and deployed far from home to keep America safe. As a 20-year Navy veteran myself, I'm proud to bring a bill to the floor that would eliminate the erosions of the benefits they earned in service to our country.
The Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act would recognize that the benefits we provide our veterans need to be modernized and increased the same way that Social Security has raised benefits to meet cost-of-living increases.
My bill enhances benefits for wartime disability compensation; compensation for dependents; clothing allowance; dependency and indemnity compensation to surviving spouses; and dependency and indemnity compensation to children.
We have seen costs for disability care, clothing, and child care increase over the years, and it is vital that we continue to provide benefits that actually meet the demands that our veterans see on the ground.
A cost-of-living increase would aid veterans, their families, and their survivors to help maintain the value of their benefits against inflation. Without consistent increases, veterans and their families may not be able to have a consistent quality-of-life into their later years.
Providing quality benefits to our veterans and their dependents can change lives, and Congress must honor the commitment to those American heroes who served in harm’s way so that we can live in peace at home.
I thank my colleagues on the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee and Ranking Member Mike Bost for being a cosponsor of this legislation.
And I urge swift House passage so that we can do our part to push this into law and help our nation's veterans. Thank you, and I yield back the remainder of my time.
More on Congresswoman Luria:
- Congresswoman Luria delivered 2019 Commencement Address at Virginia Wesleyan University
- Virginia Congress members vote for the Equality Act
- Rep. Luria challenges top Navy leadership over lack of female representation
- Rep. Luria's bill to repeal tax hike on Gold Star families gains bipartisan support
- US House passes legislation to extend Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans benefits
- Female veterans want new caucus and clout in US politics
- Virginia Congress members vote to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions
- Two bills sponsored by Rep. Luria passed out of committee