CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, October 11, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1025 under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval. H.R. 1025 was introduced by Rep. Timothy Walz (D-MN) on March 30, 2011, and was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which held a markup and reported the bill by voice vote on September 8, 2011.
H.R. 1025 would grant the status of honorary veteran to certain retired National Guard and Reserve service members even if they were never called into active duty service. H.R. 1025 would honor with the title of “veteran” any person who is entitled currently, or who would be but for age, to retired pay for reserve service. Individuals who served at least 20 years in the reserves, are under age 60, and were never called to active duty would be eligible for this honorary status. Honorary veterans would not be eligible for additional benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs based on this new status. Thus, CBO estimates that the bill would have no budgetary impact.
Current law defines a “veteran” to mean “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released there from under conditions other than dishonorable.” According to House Report 112-233, persons not meeting that definition are ineligible for the full range of rights and benefits extended under the law.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), H.R. 1025 would have no budgetary impact.