Veterans Committee Chairman Endorses Buchanan’s Vets ID Card Act
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan’s legislation allowing all veterans to obtain an ID card through the VA won the endorsement today of House Veterans Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller. The Veterans ID Card Act (H.R. 91) has already received support from several veteran service organizations including AMVETS and the Vietnam Veterans of America as well as 37 bipartisan members of Congress.
“I am proud to support this common sense, bipartisan legislation to help protect our veterans from identity theft and make it easier for them to provide proof of their service,” Chairman Miller said. “I thank Congressman Buchanan for his leadership in bringing this important measure forward and look forward to working with him as it moves through the committee process.”
Currently, the VA only offers ID cards to those who have served at least 20 years in the Armed Forces or those who receive medical care for a service-connected disability. This leaves a large population of veterans who have served honorably with no easy way to prove their military service. Buchanan's bill corrects this deficiency.
“I want to thank Chairman Miller for his endorsement and for his unwavering commitment to improving the lives of all those who have served our country in uniform,” said Buchanan, who represents more than 70,000 veterans in his Southwest Florida congressional district.
Buchanan noted that currently many 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.
The Veteran's ID Card Act is budget neutral as the small fee for the ID card would be paid for by the veteran. The bill also requires the Secretary of the VA to review and assess costs every five years and change the fee structure appropriately to cover all ID costs under the bill.
Buchanan served for four years on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
As of Thursday, the Veterans ID Card Act had 37 co-sponsors including Rep. Alma Adams, Rep. Robert Brady, Rep. Barbara Comstock, Rep. Jim Cooper, Rep. John Conyers, Rep. Joe Courtney, Rep. Ander Crenshaw, Rep. John J. Duncan Jr, Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, Rep. Randy Forbes, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Alcee Hastings, Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr, Rep. William Keating, Rep. Doug Lamborn, Rep. Bob Latta, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Billy Long, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, Rep. Jeff Miller, Rep. James McGovern, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Steve Palazzo, Rep. Joe Pitts, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. Reid Ribble, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Bobby Rush, Rep. Bill Shuster, Rep. Krysten Sinema, Rep. Louise Slaughter, Rep. Chris Stewart and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland.