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One Minute Speech on VETS Act

March 24, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise today to highlight an issue that impacts those who deserve our deepest gratitude and highest resolve to do right by: our veterans.

Currently, veterans who are totally and permanently disabled can get their federal student loan debt discharged. Unfortunately the Department of Education reports discharged debt to the IRS where it is considered as income for federal and possible state tax purposes. And in many instances, having federal student loan debt discharged results in a substantial tax liability.

That’s why I’m introducing the Veterans Education Tax Security Act - The VETS Act. This bill will ensure that disabled veterans, deceased veterans, and deceased members of the Armed Forces are not financially penalized when their federal student loans debts are lawfully discharged.

As veterans ourselves, Congressman Zinke and I both understand the importance of putting politics aside to support our soldiers and veterans who have sacrificed their lives to defend our country. They – or their families - should not be penalized when federal student loans are forgiven because of death or disability. I thank Congressman Zinke for his support on this issue, and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to champion fairness for our veterans.