(Washington, D.C.) -- U.S. Sen. David Vitter introduced an amendment to legislation before the U.S. Senate to fund a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for veterans. Vitter's amendment would authorize the completion of veterans affairs (VA) clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles that have been bogged down and halted by bureaucratic delays. There are 27 veterans' clinics nationwide that have been delayed -- including the two in Louisiana, which should have been already built.
"The COLA bill is a perfect opportunity to get the Lafayette and Lake Charles community-based VA clinics moving forward," Vitter said. "Even better, we've found a way to completely pay for both. The common-sense thing to do is eliminate a tax loophole -- or quite frankly, a tax fraud -- being abused by illegal aliens and use it to pay for our veterans who have honorably served our country and deserve benefits like a cost of living adjustment and quality healthcare options."
The COLA legislation is expected to get a vote in the U.S. Senate as early as this afternoon.
In addition to authorizing the VA clinics, Vitter's amendment also contains an offset that will fully fund (with funding to spare) COLA and the 27 VA clinics by eliminating a tax credit loophole being abused by illegal immigrants. The legislation includes language that prevents illegal aliens from claiming the Child Tax Credit that is intended for American citizens and legal residents by closing a loophole with the Internal Revenue System.
"The federal government is currently handing out $4.2 billion in taxpayer-funded checks a year to illegal immigrants," Vitter said. "This isn't some service benefit that illegal immigrants are receiving like taxpayer-subsidized healthcare or education. And it's not a tax deduction or credit that requires the recipient to actually pay any taxes. It's a taxpayer-funded check from the federal government via the refundable Child Tax Credit program. I'll be urging my colleagues in the Senate to take up and pass my amendment."