Column as submitted by the office of Congressman Jon Runyan:
The House of Representatives passed H.R. 4114, the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Act of 2012. This legislation that I authored would provide an increase in the amount of disability benefits provided to veterans equal to the COLA for Social Security Benefits. The bill was passed by voice vote.
Over the last 18 months, I had the opportunity to speak with a large number of veterans throughout South Jersey and many were worried about the state of their yearly Cost-of-Living increase. These benefits are vital for many veterans to purchase medication, pay bills, and eat. This is why I was honored that the House came together in bi-partisan fashion to pass this legislation. And I urge my colleagues in the United States Senate to quickly take up this critical bill to ensure our veterans receive the COLA increase in their benefits that they have more than earned through their service.
Last year, S. 894, the Senate companion bill to my first piece of legislation, H.R. 1407, the Veterans' Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011, was passed by both chambers of Congress. It was signed into law on November 9, 2011. This was the first veterans COLA increase since 2009.
In addition to H.R. 4114, I introduced H.R. 4142, the American Heroes COLA Act, which would institute a permanent COLA for veterans and their dependents, like the COLA that is granted to Social Security recipients. This legislation was passed out of the Veterans Affairs Committee and is awaiting a vote on by the full body House of Representatives.
Member of Congress