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Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. RUNYAN. I thank the chairman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of S. 894, the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011. S. 894 is the companion bill to H.R. 1407, which I introduced in April, which passed this Chamber, as amended, on May 23 by voice vote. S. 894 provides a cost-of-living adjustment equal to the cost-of-living adjustment being provided this year to Social Security recipients for veterans' disability compensation, veterans' clothing allowance, and compensation for veterans' survivors.

This is an annual bipartisan bill which has been scored by the CBO as having no additional budgetary impact. It is crucial to ensuring that benefits for disabled veterans and their families are sufficient to meet their needs. As chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, and the Member of Congress representing the district in New Jersey with the largest number of disabled veterans, I have heard from many veterans back home and in Washington about the importance of this needed legislation.

This cost-of-living adjustment is tied to an increase in the consumer price index, which has not increased in the last 2 years. S. 894's increase in the COLA for 2012 reflects rising inflation rates in our volatile economy and is necessary to ensure the well-being of America's returning veterans who have honorably served our country and protected our rights and freedoms.

I am pleased this bill is the first piece of legislation I had the honor of introducing as a Member of this Congress, and I can think of no greater priority or commitment that our country owes than to those who have bravely worn the uniform and defended all that we hold dear as a nation.

I want to thank Chairman Miller and Ranking Member Filner for bringing this companion bill to the floor quickly. I would also like to thank Speaker Boehner for his support in bringing this bill to a swift vote. I urge all Members to support S. 894.

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