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Congress fails to provide fix for Gold Star family 'widow's tax' just in time for Memorial Day
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Congress fell short ahead of Memorial Day weekend, failing to pass legislation that would provide tax relief for the families of military personnel killed during their service.
Senators unanimously approved a version of the bipartisan Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act Tuesday sending it back to the House of Representatives, where it was tied to a retirement savings bill as an amendment, and passed Thursday.
When it got back to the Senate, the larger piece of legislation failed to pass and make its way to the President Trump's desk.
CNN identified Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) as the lone member of the upper chamber of Congress who stopped a unanimous consent vote, because the larger bill did not provide for an expansion of a college savings plan to homeschooling expenses.
Had the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives not tied their version of the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act to the larger bill, it would've passed Congress, because of its identical language to the Senate version approved Tuesday.
Congress introduced the Gold Star Family Tax Act in early May following lawmakers realizing the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act led to an increase in taxes for those families.
According to the Office of Rep. Max Rose, relatives of fallen service members receive two forms of compensation to help them cope, with spouses of the fallen often signing over one form to their children to ensure more of the benefit is received.
Due to changes in the way children's assets are taxed, families that were obligated to pay 12 to 15 percent in taxes on such income saw their tax rate jump to 37 percent, according to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.
"As we remember all of our fallen heroes this Memorial Day weekend, it's critical that we also honor all the loved ones left behind," Rose, an Army veteran, said.
"So when the ultimate sacrifice is paid, making sure Gold Star Families receive the care and benefits they deserve without egregious tax hikes and headaches isn't only commonsense, it's the right thing to do," Rose stated.
©2019 Staten Island Advance, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Saudi ambassador to the United States visited a U.S. naval air station in Florida on Thursday to extend her condolences for a shooting attack by a Saudi Air Force officer that killed three people last week, the Saudi embassy said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Thursday tested a conventionally configured ground-launched ballistic missile, a test that would have been prohibited under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
The United States formally withdrew from the landmark 1987 INF pact with Russia in August after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.
The Taliban may not have breached the walls of Bagram, but they damaged the hell out of its main passenger terminal
Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.
The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
A retired Navy SEAL running for Congress wore a U.S. Navy dress white uniform at a recent campaign event, Business Insider has learned.
Republican candidate Floyd McLendon of Texas spoke to an audience at his campaign kick-off event in November, wearing the Navy uniform adorned with numerous medals — including what appeared to be the Navy SEAL Trident, the insignia reserved for members of the elite community like McLendon.
The inaugural event in Dallas was held in the 30th congressional district, a different district than the one McLendon is running in. Political strategists in Texas described the venue's location as highly unusual for a House candidate.
The Pentagon's top spokesman tried to downplay recent revelations by the Washington Post that U.S. government officials have consistently misled the American public about the war in Afghanistan for nearly two decades.
Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock first brought to light that several top officials acknowledged to the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction that the war was going badly despite their optimistic public statements. The report, based on extensive interviews and internal government data, also found that U.S. officials manipulated statistics to create the public perception that the U.S. military was making progress in Afghanistan.