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Issue Position: Veterans

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Support for America's heroes in uniform and their families

Working with his Veterans Advisory Council, Scott Garrett has been a staunch supporter of the men and women who have served and who currently serve our nation in the armed forces. In 2006, he was the only member of the New Jersey Congressional delegation to participate in the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day ceremonies at the memorial in Holmdel, New Jersey. He regularly attends meetings with leaders in the veterans community and presents deserving veterans the medals, flags flown over the U.S. Capitol, and other recognition they have earned.

Scott Garrett has been a leading advocate for the Paramus Veterans Home, bringing Secretary Jim Nicholson there in the summer of 2006 and securing funding for the Home in 2006 to make important health and safety improvements there. The funds will replace aging fire alarms on the premises. Scott Garrett continues to work for funds to replace the HVAC and to expand and renovate the day room, where residents meet with their family and friends, participate in activities, and hold special events.

The House Budget Committee adopted Scott Garrett's amendment to the budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2008, providing financial assistance to veterans families laying their loved ones to rest in state veterans cemeteries.

Scott Garrett has also introduced two bills, the Armed Forces Tax Relief Act of 2007 and the Strengthening America's Military Families Act of 2007, to put more of the money our troops earn fighting in a combat zone back in their own pockets.

Members of the armed forces serving in a combat zone are currently exempt from having their earnings taxed under the federal income tax. However, their pay is still subject to "employment taxes," such as the significant payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security. The Armed Forces Tax Relief Act changes this, and truly allows our fighting men and women to keep their earnings tax free. Similarly, under the Strengthening America's Military Families Act of 2007, that federal income tax exemption would be extended to their spouses keeping watch on the homefront.


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