Buchanan Veterans ID Card to Become Law
Sent to President Obama’s Desk for Signature
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan’s bill allowing all veterans in America to receive an official identification card has been unanimously approved by Congress and now goes to President Obama’s desk for his signature. The U.S. House put the final seal of approval on Buchanan’s “Veterans ID Card Act” (H.R. 91) this evening by a vote of 411-0.
“Today is a good day for our nation’s veterans,” said Buchanan, who served four years on the House Veterans Affairs Committee. “This bill is a prime example of what we can accomplish when we put partisanship aside and the needs of the country first.” Buchanan represents more than 70,000 veterans in his Southwest Florida congressional district. Buchanan’s district has the second highest number of veterans over the age of 65 in the state.
Buchanan noted that millions of veterans are unable to document their service to our country without carrying around their official military service records. These records, referred to as DD-214 forms, contain sensitive personal information including social security numbers and service history that leave veterans at a higher, unnecessary risk for identity theft.
Donald DiNunzio, a Vietnam-era veteran from Bradenton, Florida hailed passage of Buchanan’s bill saying “I have been asked many times to prove that I am a Vet but carrying around my DD-214 form is difficult and impractical. My DD-214 form is a large 8.5 x 11 carbon copy, delicate, old and quite brittle and thin. Having a permanent Veteran ID card would be a much simpler way of proudly proving my Veteran status.”
Throughout his tenure in Congress, Buchanan has passed a number of measures aimed at helping veterans in Florida and across the nation:
- Soldier Patient Tracking System: Congressman Buchanan wrote the bill to create a standard soldier patient tracking system to make available important information regarding the status of a patient’s care and help cut through the red tape to ensure that wounded soldiers get first-class care in a timely manner. (Included in the 2008 NDAA which was signed into law PL 110-181 §1611e(10))
- Job-training for Veterans: Congressman Vern Buchanan introduced the “SBA Veterans’ Programs Act of 2007” (H.R. 2366), bipartisan legislation to provide greater resources and training for veterans hoping to become business entrepreneurs. Passed by voice vote in the U.S. House on June 18, 2007. Later rolled into a larger veterans bill (H.R. 4253) that passed the House on December 6, 2007. Finally signed into law on February, 14 2008 (No: 110-186).
- Sarasota Veterans Cemetery: Congressman Buchanan fought successfully for $27 million in funding for the new national veterans cemetery in Sarasota, allowing more than 150,000 area veterans to be buried close to home with the honor and dignity they deserve.
- Co-Chair of Florida Delegation: As co-chairman of the 29-member Florida congressional delegation, Buchanan held an emergency meeting on June 12, 2014 to address the VA health care system in Florida. Buchanan later sent a letter to the VA expressing deep concerns over the massive backlog at St. Petersburg Regional Benefits Office.