H.R. 91, Veteran’s I.D. Card Act (Senate amendment)

H.R. 91

Veteran’s I.D. Card Act (Senate amendment)

Date
July 7, 2015 (114th Congress, th Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, July 7, 2015, the House will consider the Senate amendment to H.R. 91, the Veteran’s I.D. Card Act, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 91 was introduced on January 6, 2015, by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.  The House approved H.R. 91 by a vote of 402 to 0 on May 18, 2015.  The Senate passed H.R. 91, with an amendment, by unanimous consent on June 22, 2015.

Bill Summary

H.R. 91 requires the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to issue an identification card to certain veterans who: request the card, present a copy of the DD-214 form or other official document describing the service of the veteran; and, who pay a fee needed to cover the cost of the card.

The identification card must include the name and picture of the veteran, an identification number that is not a Social Security number, and must explain that the card is not proof of any benefit to which the bearer is entitled. The card will serve as proof that the veteran served in the Armed Forces and has appropriate documentation describing such service.

The VA Secretary shall determine the fee for each card (including replacements) in an amount equal to that necessary to issue an identification card under the provisions of the bill. The bill requires the Secretary to review and assess costs every five years and change the fee structure appropriately to cover all ID costs under the bill.  The bill’s provisions take effect 60 days after enactment.

The Senate amendment to H.R. 91 makes minor revisions to the findings section and removes a provision in the House-passed bill regarding honorable discharges, which is covered by current law.

Background

Currently, the VA only offers ID cards to those who have served at least 20 years in the Armed Forces or those who receive medical care for a service-connected disability.  This leaves a large population of veterans who have served honorably with no easy way to prove their military service. Under current law, veterans who do not qualify for a VA-issued ID card must carry around a paper DD-214 document to prove their veteran status.  This form includes sensitive personal information including Social Security numbers and service details that put veterans at needless risk for identity theft. H.R. 91 is designed to minimize this threat and provide employers looking to hire veterans with an easier way to verify an employee’s military service.[1]

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[1] See Rep. Buchanan Press Release—“Rep. Buchanan introduces Veteran’s ID Card Act,” April; 9, 2015.

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is currently unavailable.  However, no cost is expected because the bill includes a provision requiring the VA Secretary to charge a fee in an amount necessary to issue the identification card and any replacements, including for necessary equipment or personnel.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jerry White with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.