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Introduction of Legislation Giving Tax Relief For The Nation's Military Families

Location: Washington, DC


* Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Madam Speaker, the resolution debated this week in the House says, ``Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces.' Today, I am introducing legislation, the Armed Forces Tax Relief Act of 2007, and the Strengthening America's Military Families Act of 2007 that will do precisely that. Both bills would put more money into the pockets of our troops fighting in a combat zone.

* Members of the Armed Forces currently serving in a combat zone are 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. Compared to the sacrifice that our troops make in the field, the amount we compensate them is not nearly enough. And while their sense of duty to their country is not tied to the size of their paychecks, enacting this legislation would put real extra money into the pockets of our Armed Forces, and send them a message that we are working hard in Washington to support them.

* Oftentimes we forget that when the military is called overseas to fight in combat, many leave behind a well-paying job, a family, and children. The second bill I have introduced, the Strengthening America's Military Families Act of 2007, seeks to strengthen those families at home while their spouses are fighting abroad. With this legislation, the federal income tax exemption that we currently offer to members of the Armed Forces fighting in designated combat zones would be extended to their spouses. This way, during the months that our soldiers are fighting, they can have some peace of mind that their absence at home will not be wrought with financial hardship on their families.

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