Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik today advocated for the Gold Star Spouses Non-Monetary Benefits Act (H.R. 4181), and urged her colleagues’ support in a statement for the record to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs’ Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.
In June, Stefanik and Congressman Andy Kim (D-N.J.) introduced this bipartisan legislation, which would eliminate the suspension of non-monetary survivor benefits when Gold Star spouses of fallen U.S. servicemembers remarry.
“Under this bill, our Gold Star spouses would not be subject to loss or suspension of survivors benefits simply because they decide to remarry,” Stefanik wrote. “It takes courage to pick up the pieces of their lives and continue on. Yet, the very country that promised to honor their loved ones and take care of them continues to jeopardize that emotional and financial stability by depriving them of their benefits earned. This outcome is extremely troubling, and the legislation I have brought forth would preserve Gold Star benefits regardless of marital status.”
Stefanik also expressed optimism that many of her colleagues have brought forth legislation to address this issue, and she hopes to see these efforts codified into law to protect Gold Star families’ benefits.
“The courageous men and women who gave their last full measure of devotion defending our nation, did so trusting and believing that their families would be properly cared for,” Stefanik continued. “It is time that we uphold our promise to them.”
As the leading advocate in Congress for Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division, Stefanik is a proud supporter of Gold Star families.
Read the full statement here.