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Public Statements

American Heroes Cola Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. O'ROURKE. I would also like to thank the chair of the subcommittee and the ranking member for sponsoring this legislation and the chairman and ranking member of the full committee for bringing it forward. I'm pleased to be a cosponsor of the American Heroes COLA Act.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit Arlington National Cemetery with other Members of Congress and had the opportunity to place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This incredibly moving and grounding experience reminded me of the ultimate sacrifice given by so many of our veterans.

For those who return from service wounded or develop disabilities as they age, veterans benefits are what allow them and their families to live in some level of comfort. These modest benefits are often the difference between paying the mortgage and putting food on the table or going without. The legislation before us offers veterans security and guarantees that cost-of-living adjustments will happen automatically and not depend on yearly congressional approval.

In addition, H.R. 570 will substantially increase benefits for the most severely disabled veterans receiving special monthly compensation. The bill also protects veterans from benefits cuts should a chained CPI be adopted for Social Security. While I oppose adoption of the chained CPI for Social Security, I think it is important we act now to take the issue off the table for veterans benefits.

I represent thousands of El Paso veterans who have served our country and rely on VA benefits to make ends meet. They deserve the security of knowing those benefits will be adjusted when their cost of living rises.

I urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation.

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