Column as submitted by Congressman :
The first bill I introduced in Congress was the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011 (H.R. 1407). This critical annual bill provided a cost-of-living increase for veterans' disability benefits, and passed both the House and Senate, with the Senate companion bill being signed into law.
Although I was pleased by the bill's passage, I believe our Veterans, who have placed their own lives in danger for the safety of our country, deserve more. They do not deserve to wait and wonder every year if they will receive an increase in their benefits. Rather, they deserve a PERMANENT yearly cost-of-living adjustment, without an act of Congress. This is why I introduced two bills that will bring us closer to our goal of providing a permanent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for the men and women who have bravely served our nation.
Earlier this month, I introduced the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2012. My bill would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to increase the rates of veterans' disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled veterans, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children, effective December 1, 2012.
This week, I also introduced The American Heroes COLA ACT. This act would make the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act PERMANENT, and remove the burdensome process of requesting a COLA every year. As a member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, I believe an automatic annual Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment is the right thing to do for our country's 24 million veterans.
New Jersey's Third Congressional District is home to approximately 57,000 veterans. It is my honor to serve them and the more than 22 million veterans throughout the nation.
Member of Congress