Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) released a statement Tuesday following the House's passage of the FOR VETS Act [HR 1171] by a 387-1 vote:
"Monday's bipartisan vote highlights the willingness of both sides to come together to work in the best interest of our nation's veterans.
This simple legislative fix clears the way for Veterans Service Organizations to gain access to federal surplus property that can be used to increase the quality of life and care for American veterans.
An original FOR VETS Act was signed into law in 2010 and allowed Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) to receive surplus federal property -- but only if the VSOs were able to prove the property was being used for public health or educational purposes. That wording kept many VSOs from obtaining any surplus property because they did not fit the overly-restrictive legislative definition of an educational or public health organizations.
By more accurately defining the requirements, the FOR VETS Act of 2013 streamlines previous FOR VETS Acts and closely mirrors a similar bill that passed the Senate unanimously last year.
As we continue to do everything we can for our brave former warriors, it's important to understand that often the best way to help our veterans is correctly implementing and simplifying the laws that are already on the books."