Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) yesterday introduced bipartisan legislation, the Service Member Home Ownership Act and the Help Student Soldiers Act, two commonsense bills to provide housing and education benefits to service members.
"Just last month, Wisconsin saw the deployment of the largest group of guards since the Second World War," said Rep. Kind. "With our country involved in two conflicts overseas, these deployments exemplify the need to support our veterans and our troops, to ensure they have access to affordable housing and a first-class education here at home."
In addition to Rep. Kind, the Service Members Home Ownership Act, H.R. 2562, was introduced by co-sponsors Steve Kagen (D-WI), Charles Boustany (R-LA), and Sam Johnson (R-TX). Supporting organizations of the Act include American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American, Military Order of the Purple Heart, National Military Family Association, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. The Help Student Soldiers Act, H.R. 2561, was introduced by Judy Biggert (R-IL), Jason Altmire (D-PA), and Duncan Hunter (R-CA) in addition to Rep. Kind. Supporting organizations of this bill include American Council on Education, American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
"I am proud to be support our troops and veterans through these bills. Their dedicated service to securing our country is inspiring. Service members should have every opportunity to succeed and enhance their life when they return home and these bills will help them do just that."
The Service Members Home Ownership Act extends the time period of the first-time homebuyer credit for members of our armed forces who are serving outside the country in 2009 for at least three months. The $8,000 tax credit, available to anyone who purchases his or her first home, will be available to service members for an additional year.
The Help Student Soldiers Act directs the Secretary of Education to forgive federal students loans taken for the semester in which students must withdraw from college due to a call to active duty and thus do not receive academic credit. By lessening the financial strain and distractions of deployment, service members will be more able to focus on their unit's mission and resume their studies when they return home.