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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1815, National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2006

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 1815, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006 -- (House of Representatives - May 25, 2005)

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Mr. Speaker, today I rise in opposition of Rule H.R. 1815. Last night the Rules Committee rejected an amendment that I offered to help our military families who have lost loved ones in the defense of our freedom. My amendment would eliminate the survivors benefit pension dependency and indemnity compensation offset.

Under current law, survivors are prohibited from receiving payments from both programs at the same time. This is unfair and an unjust provision that hurts the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom and democracy.

If a soldier was enrolled in a survivor benefit plan when they died of service connected causes, the spouse's SBP benefit is reduced dollar for dollar by the amount of the DIC, a $933 a month deduction. The remaining SBP is barely enough for a spouse with a family to survive or pay the basic needs such as food, clothing, and rent. We should be taking care of these families, not abandoning them in this time of need.

I am a proud cosponsor of H.R. 808, which would correct the gross injustice for the families of all military personnel and retirees who died of a service-connected cause.

We must keep our promise that we made to the brave men and women who have given their lives for our freedom.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to defeat the previous question, so that we can have the opportunity to debate my amendment and to vote on this important issue. If this effort fails, I would ask that you vote ``no'' on the rule for H.R. 1815, and give our soldiers and their families the respect that they deserve.

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