Reps. Schneider, Murphy, and Deutch Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Homeless Veterans
Today, Congressmen Brad Schneider (D-IL), Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation to aid homeless veterans through voluntary contributions raised from a new “check-off box” on the annual federal tax return.
The Homeless Veterans Assistance Fund Act of 2017 (H.R. 1875) would make these funds available to the VA, in consultation with the Departments of Labor and Housing and Urban Development, solely to provide services to homeless veterans, including developing and implementing new and innovative strategies to end veteran homelessness.
“On any night in America, nearly 40,000 veterans are without a home,” said Schneider. “It’s unconscionable that men and women who served our country, and may still bear the physical and mental scars of that service, are forced to live on the streets. Giving Americans the option to divert a portion of their tax refund to aid homeless veterans is a small, commonsense step to make it easier to give back to those who sacrificed for us.”
“The United States is home to the best Armed Forces in the world, yet too many of these brave heroes cannot call our nation home when they return from their service to spend their nights on the cold streets and alleyways of our communities,” said Murphy. “This is shameful. As Americans, we have an obligation to end veterans homelessness and protect those who have protected us.”
“When Americans go from risking their lives on the battlefield to struggling to find shelter on the streets, we know we’re failing our veterans,” said Deutch. “A young American’s decision to serve in our Armed Forces should not lead them into poverty and homelessness. With this bill, the American people can help homeless veterans access the crucial services they need by donating directly to a fund overseen by Congress.”
To ensure transparency and accountability in how these taxpayer dollars are spent, this legislation would require the President’s annual budget submission to Congress to include previous year and proposed uses of funds from the Homeless Veterans Assistance Fund and requires Congress to be notified 60 days in advance of any expenditure of such funds.
The full text of the legislation is available online.