File this one under major league tenacity.
This week, just like he has done for each and every congressional session of the past decade, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced legislation to end the practice of reducing the the Survival Benefit Plan, by the dollar amount of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, a benefit provided by the Veterans Affairs Department. Passage of the bill would mean that widows whose spouses purchased the SBP policy would no longer see their annuities cut because they also qualify for the VA’s DIC benefit.
Like virtually every prior attempt, the Nelson bill (S.270) has early bipartisan support as several Senators joined the longstanding effort. This year’s cosponsors include Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Mark Begich (D-AK), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), David Vitter (R-LA), Mark Udall (D-CO), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and John Kerry (D-MA).
Sen. Nelson said, “This has always been an issue of the military doing the right thing and living up to its promises. These [SBP] policies were bought by service men and women to make sure their loved ones would be taken care of following their deaths.
This year’s bill’s House version is H.R. 178, the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, introduced by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), chairman of the House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee.
Each year, Sen. Nelson seeks to help military widows by asking Congress to repeal the so-called “Military Widow’s Tax.” And each year it dies or goes unfunded.
If you support this bill, you can help push this one through by letting your elected officials know how you feel about repealing the SBP offset.