May 5, 2011

Legislation Improves Benefits Systems for Veterans and Updates Arlington National Cemetery Requirements

For more information, contact: Amy K. Mitchell, (202) 225-3527

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs favorably reported three bills to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. The bills are expected to go before the Committee as early as next Thursday, May 12, 2011.

“With the recommendation to move this legislation forward we are ensuring benefits for veterans are in line with today’s economic climate. We have also taken appropriate action, regardless of rank, to protect against new burial reservations at Arlington National Cemetery,” stated Representative Jon Runyan (NJ-03), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.

“This is the time to restore the public’s trust in our country’s most hallowed ground, Arlington National Cemetery,” said Rep. Jeff Miller (FL-01), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “By passing this bill, we not only once again reaffirm our deepest gratitude to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice as we approach Memorial Day, but we also commemorate the service of America’s Jewish War Chaplains. This legislation is long overdue and provides the Department of the Army with guidelines to ensure groups wishing to memorialize service, above and beyond, can do so in a timely manner without Congressional inference.”

H.R. 1627, as amended, also takes into consideration Arlington National Cemetery’s concerns voiced at Tuesday’s subcommittee hearing, allowing for exceptions to family member burial practices and further transparency in the process for placing monuments at Arlington.

The three pieces of legislation favorably reported to the full Committee are:

H.R. 1407, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011 (introduced by Rep. Runyan, Rep. LoBiondo, and Rep. Stutzman) – as amended.

H.R. 1484, the Veterans Appeals Improvement Act of 2011 (introduced by Rep. Filner) – as amended.

H.R. 1627, To amend Title 38, United States Code, to provide for certain requirements for the placement of monuments in Arlington National Cemetery, and for other purposes (introduced by Rep. Miller, Rep. Johnson, and Rep. Roe) – as amended.